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I think I need to help my DD find a sport for her self esteem

(33 Posts)
BerylStreep Thu 10-Apr-14 21:34:15

Sorry, this is quite long. DD is 8. She had until recently, always done sports and activities with school.

She did hockey and swimming during school (which she endured), and for afterschool she did gymnastics, irish dancing and french (which she enjoyed). I had never really wanted to overload her, so we don't do any other organised activities outside of school, other than Brownies.

She broke her ankle in 3 places just after New Year, and as a result, she stopped doing all of the activities other than Brownies, however she has been very tired, and hasn't even gone to Brownies every week. She only got out of her cast about 4 weeks ago, and has been slowly building up her activity since then. We got the trampoline out last week, and she has been doing well on it.

So she spoke to DH yesterday, very tearfully, about not being good at sport. Other girls in her class have been doing show and tell about their achievements - medals for hockey, swimming galas etc and she is feeling quite left out.

I spoke with her tonight, and she was very tearful again. I tried to explain to her that there would be plenty of time to get back to sport, and that she has had a hard year so far, but was doing really well. She just seems to have had the stuffing knocked out of her. She does really well academically and is very arty, and I tried to explain that some people might feel bad because they wanted to be better at those things.

I would love her to do tennis, but she just doesn't even want to try (we tried it about 3 years ago and she wasn't fussed).

The Easter holidays are just starting, and I was thinking of sitting down with DD and DS (6) to try to plan our break. I was thinking of getting them to come up with ideas under 3 headings -

Things I am good at
Things I would like to get better at
Things I would like to try

I was hoping to encourage her to go out cycling and do more swimming.

Any ideas on how I can manage this? I don't want her to get fixed ideas about not being good at stuff.

nancy75 Thu 10-Apr-14 21:37:52

does anywhere in your area do fun sports clubs during the holidays? Putting her straight in to an actual lesson of any sport might be pushing a bit fast but a fun morning session could be a good intro to something?

Potcallingkettle Thu 10-Apr-14 21:42:28

Try climbing. Your local climbing wall will have a fun kids' session. Great for confidence boosting and getting the adrenaline going.

BerylStreep Thu 10-Apr-14 21:46:05

Climbing is a great idea! We have a clip n climb near us, and she missed a birthday party in January there because of the broken ankle. She would love that.

Our local tennis club has a 3 day fun programme of 2 hours a day over Easter, but she won't entertain it.

OldRoan Thu 10-Apr-14 21:47:04

Horse riding?

ErrolTheDragon Thu 10-Apr-14 21:55:13

When the weather gets a bit better, maybe watersports ... sailing or canoeing are more arms than legs. (My unsporty DD turned into a windsurfing/sailing enthusiast, with the result that she's now a lot stronger than most of her teenage friends which is terrific for her self-esteem)

ShotgunNotDoingThePans Thu 10-Apr-14 21:55:53


ErrolTheDragon Thu 10-Apr-14 21:59:13

Or karate .... judo might be a bit much if the break makes her a bit cautious, but karate is non-contact for children.(its the other thing my unsporty DD did for several years)

BerylStreep Thu 10-Apr-14 21:59:58

Not sure about horse riding? My sister did it a lot when she was little and ended up with quite a few broken bones - collar bone, ankle and ribs IIRC.

We ski every year, and just came back 2 weeks ago. DD did really well, we dropped her down a group and she was a complete speed queen - very impressive. But as she pointed out tonight, skiing doesn't count because we only do it once a year.

I might try taking her out for a cycle. DS hasn't mastered cycling without stabilisers yet, so I haven't tended to bring DD out, but just thinking about it, I could bring her out on her own - it would be nice for her to have special time with me without her brother.

5OBalesofHay Thu 10-Apr-14 22:00:45

How about horses? They can be very therapeutic

Funnyfoot Thu 10-Apr-14 22:02:20


HazeltheMcWitch Thu 10-Apr-14 22:03:24

I'd 2nd/3rd the martial arts - karate is ace (biased), ant tae kwon do good too - maybe a bit cooler?

A slight tangen,t but what about an 'actvity' rather than a sport - for eg yoga, pilates, or just the gym?

WheresRyder Thu 10-Apr-14 22:03:43

Netball? Dd is 8 and loves netball. She does hockey to but prefers netball. It's not competitive at her age just training and games for fun.

OldRoan Thu 10-Apr-14 22:03:46

Where in the country are you? Lots of indoor skiing places around that she could probably go to.

Pretty sure skiing is on an equal footing with riding for broken bones though, if not worse.

KickassCoalition Thu 10-Apr-14 22:04:22

Karate is excellent! A lot is about the mental aspect as well as the physical and is not all heavy exercise and physicality.

There's something really special about that uniform as well grin they look wonderful in it.

HazeltheMcWitch Thu 10-Apr-14 22:04:36

And apols for my typing there.
I am multi-tasking - MNing whilst troughing Lidl CHERRY creme eggs.

Yes, cherry.

Martorana Thu 10-Apr-14 22:07:52

It all sounds a bit intense, to be honest- why on earth is she upset about not being as good at sport as the others when she's been in plaster for 3 months? Is her school very competitive?

yegodsandlittlefishes Thu 10-Apr-14 22:12:52

Do you have a local running club, or a waterway eith a rowing club or other water sports?

Swimming: I took dds to have individual lessons in a holiday followed by taking them with a group of friends, which went down well.

Could she get back into the Irish dancing?

yegodsandlittlefishes Thu 10-Apr-14 22:15:36

Is there an ice rink anywhere near you? Another niche sport that has lots going on for children of different ages and abilities and allows for different rates of progression.

lavenderhoney Thu 10-Apr-14 22:19:24

I second climbing. An indoor climbing wall with bouldering so she can mess about at that. Its not competitive at all, and where I go, super relaxed.

Also geo caching which you can do together, and archery is pretty coolsmile

BerylStreep Thu 10-Apr-14 22:24:21

Martorana I'm interested to hear you say that. I feel like I am one of the laziest parents I know, and when I think back to my childhood, our weekends and holidays were always really active (going for country walks, up mountains, swimming in the sea), but I never really recall doing actual sports until big school.

We have friends who are constantly going from rugby, to hockey, to cross country running. DH is always saying he wants to get the DC into playing squash (he played at uni, and has friends whose DC play at county level) and I keep telling him to leave them alone and to let them be kids. He has ordered a table tennis table, which I am not hugely supportive of, but resigned to.

It is only the fact that DD seems to be feeling so upset that I think I need to do more. Maybe I am feeling a bit inadequate?

BerylStreep Thu 10-Apr-14 22:29:06

Physio has advised no Irish dancing or gymnastics until after the summer.

I rowed at competitive club level in my younger (and slimmer blush days), but I think she is too young for it yet. I was 14 when I started.

I think the climbing and karate sound like good ideas for her.

SoftSheen Thu 10-Apr-14 22:34:11

Horse riding. Incredibly good for building self-confidence. If you find a good BHS instructor and a good riding school with nice, well-trained ponies then the risk of injury is low.

Martorana Fri 11-Apr-14 06:59:15

"It is only the fact that DD seems to be feeling so upset that I think I need to do more. Maybe I am feeling a bit inadequate?"

Why do you think she is feeling so upset? Has someone said anything to her- school friends or teachers? Has she missed a lot of matches or competitions?

Sparklingbrook Fri 11-Apr-14 07:26:39

Have you thought of Golf?

DS2 did it for years. There were weekly childrens classes (groups of about ten) at the local Golf club, and we would regularly do the nine hole course either on his own or with a friend.

He still loves to go to the driving range.

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