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What can I do to help 6yo raise self confidence/esteem?

(13 Posts)
tootssweet Sun 08-Oct-17 23:02:08

My 6 yo has decided that they are just spectacularly awful at everything (even though they’re not!) and just gives in so easily. This will inevitably lead to some kind of poor behaviour (tears, tantrums, generally behaving like a toddler.)

Does anyone have any help or advice on what we might try at home to boost how my child views himself? It makes life very hard for him & I just want him to feel like he is just as good as everyone else! We do praise his efforts & I know he does get encouragement from school staff.

Thanks for your advice

ineedamoreadultieradult Sun 08-Oct-17 23:10:47

My son was very similar, he has anxiety that would lead to hair pulling and would regularly give up or just flat out refuse to do something for fear of not being able to do it properly. It doesn't help he is very small for his age and was always comparing himself to his classmates who could run faster, jump higher etc. We found a sport that is not mainstream so he can't compare himself to his brother or friends and took him to training. He didn't know anyone and didn't have any expectation of how the game should be played having never watched it on TV. We were over the top with praise etc for giving it a go, telling him how well he was doing etc and it soon became his thing. He feels proud of his achievements within the sport and loves to wear the team kit. The change in him has been amazing, I hope you can find a similar thing for your DS.

elephantoverthehill Sun 08-Oct-17 23:11:42

For my 3 DCs, Judo, Beavers, rugby and dancing. Different world for them. Sorry I know it's not at home, but maybe that might be the solution.

AuntyElle Sun 08-Oct-17 23:32:05

The RelaxKids CDs are great. Calming and encouraging.
eg www.relaxkids.com/product/Quiet_Spaces/2

tootssweet Mon 09-Oct-17 08:06:09

Thank you for taking the time to reply! He is a bit in the small side too so maybe finding him his ‘thing’ will help. Football has been a disaster as he doesn’t seem to understand that others are better because they play more, actually practice so he will just end up sobbing about how bad he is. I think the coaches are about to ask us leave as his behaviour is disruptive (which kind of goes against the inclusive ethos I was told they had!)

I just want my boy to enjoy life & be able to overcome obstacles & not be so full of woe!

Kingsclerelass Mon 09-Oct-17 09:45:32

You could be describing my DS. It completely put him off school sport because he felt useless.

What does your DS like to do when he's on his own? I started with hide & seek. He hides, and you give up, (after 30 seconds or he'll be giggling so loudly you'd need to be dead not to hear him) and have to ask. Best of three wins a prize. Or a quiz based on Lego Ninjago - my ds genuinely won - I haven't got a clue.

Agree with Indeed on choosing something not mainstream. But the thing that finally sorted it for us was a complete surprise. I blew the budget & took him bargain basement skiing because we'd had a rough year. And discovered after 3 mornings ski school he can genuinely ski better than me. He's been twice now and I am outclassed by a huge margin. I can't afford every year but he comes back 10 feet tall from that.

Plus think ahead. In year 3 or 4 they do swimming in school, so try to get him confident in the water before that comes up. And in year 5, our school does basic cycling proficiency so if you can get him confident on a bike now, he'll cope much better when that arrives.

2014newme Mon 09-Oct-17 09:48:37

Drama is great for confidence boosting

2014newme Mon 09-Oct-17 09:51:38

Our school has resilience as a core value and so they do lots of stuff around that. You could Google some ideas.
Always praise effort not results, even if child does spectacularly well. So 'well done for working good so hard for that maths test. You really concentrated on practising your times tables' instead if 'well done for getting 100% on the times table test'.
We never praise results and I have 2 top performers.

2014newme Mon 09-Oct-17 09:52:36

It's a really good idea to prepare ahead for swim, cycling etc

Floellabella Mon 09-Oct-17 13:37:48

Consider working with him on developing his self-compassion skills over and above self esteem. Both are important but if he can get better at being kind to himself when things aren’t perfect and realising no one is perfect then he will be better able to give things a try without worrying about failing. Model being kind to yourself in front of him too! Good luck x

tootssweet Mon 09-Oct-17 19:25:20

Thank you - we’ve been doing swimming lessons & after 3 years his confidence is increasing there. However he will not entertain the idea of a bike! But definitely a good idea to start prepping.

He has lots of great qualities - he’s kind & quite thoughtful, has a crazy imagination with some really inventive ideas & is obviously my gorgeous loving ds. I’m just struggling to find ways to help him. I shall be researching your ideas & suggestions this week.

nutnerk Mon 09-Oct-17 19:30:04

Try a non-competitive sport or activity. There are lots of good martial arts that don't do competitions and focus on a lot of psychological behaviour as well such as calmness and self-control. Another good one (if you have the budget) is horse riding. See if you can find a stable where riders can get to know or even groom the horse. That bonding and care can be incredible for a young child.

ineedamoreadultieradult Mon 09-Oct-17 19:31:23

If he is creative and imaginative then maybe look out for coding clubs or film making clubs etc. If you can't find one for his age group you could always get an animation kit, stikbots are fab and quite cheap and help him make some short animated videos. You can set him up a you tube channel (I think you can do it somehow so not any old person can comment) and get friends and family members to like his videos and post positive comments.

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