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How to motivate an 8 year old who won't try?

(3 Posts)
barnowl Mon 12-Sep-11 14:47:43

My 8yr old ds won't try anything unless he can do it first time. As soon as he makes a mistake he has a major strop and gives up. He won't even try with a lot of things he just says I can't do it. We've tryed explaining to him that if he got everything right the first time that he wouldn't need to learn everything and that making mistakes is just part of the learning proccess and that sometimes learning can be hard. Tiredness does affect him so we try to do things when he's less tired but even then the barriers often go up as soon as we suggest he does something especially reading which he does find hard. We also make sure we point out to him all the things he has done well and succeeded at in whatever he's doing but he always wants to focus on the one thing that didn't go quite right. Has anyone any ideas as to how we can turn this around for him?

carocaro Tue 13-Sep-11 12:05:05

Show him that you can fail and mess up also, lead by example, with my dyslexic 9 yo DS I get words and sentances wrong on purpose to show him there is nothing wrong with getting it wrong, even at my age. We also read stuff he likes, like Sky Sports news, the sports section of the newspaper, endless Dorling Kindersly books in Star Wars.

Are the school books any good? Our school recently got some proper boys books, instead of all that Kipper and Biff stuff. DS is reading one now about a spy and a time machine. Also sometimes just a sentance or two will do, not 30 mins of banging away forcing him to do it, which helps no one.

Also sometimes they like to do stuff on their own without us Mother's hovering over them! Drop him off a Cubs, a climbing wall, swimming party, mates house, just leave him to it, they feel less self concious sometimes when we are not there. DS went to a skate park with his scooter for the first time without me (with some other Mums), I was worried and nervous! He came back knackered, filthy, a couple of bruises and had loved it! You should make a mess, burn tea, fall off your bike to show him there is no problem to not doing it pefectly all the time! Sometimes I think you just need to back off, even the good praise and not be overly 'oh deary me' when things go wrong. My DS gets so frustrated sometimes, he freaks, but he's nearly 10 and has learned that it sometimes goes pear shaped, Rooney misses penalities sometimes!

carocaro Tue 13-Sep-11 12:07:20

I also meant to add no to 'overly wow wee well done yipee rah rah rah' about the things that go right, sometimes can only highlight when it does not.

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