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bright but shy(10 Posts)
Hello ladies. I am worrying about my 7 yo DD who is very bright and able but is shy.
She has recently started at a new, high achieving girls' school and keeps telling me she's 'rubbish' at maths for example. She says she doesnt want to put herself forward for anything including during drama but is a real performer at home.
She is terrified of making mistakes which may be part of reluctance to put her hand up. Is it my fault? Am I too critical of her?! Help.
How can I bring her out of her she'll enough to show her school what she can do so she gets the most fun out of her time there?
Praise effort not achievement. This is the most important thing.
- Encourage talking to strangers (with you there of course), e.g. shop assistant, hairdresser, friend of yours you see in the street.
- Explain that not trying is worse than being wrong.
- Explain there are always people better than you, and people less good, and so try to improve your own skills rather than worrying about place in class.
- Give her things at home that she can't do (easily or at all) and praise the trying.
- Explain that in drama the others aren't really too bothered about what she does, more about themselves.
I did what Teen suggested with my shy ds. I asked him to pay for sweets himself if he wants it, or tell friends mum himself that he is coming to friend's party if he wanted to go.
I have a bright but shy DD. What worked for her was feeling "safe" among her small and unchanging class of high-achievers that stayed together for 5 years. She ended up in the top 3 of her class, despite being one of only two non-French children in her class (in a French school).
Whatever I did to help her backfired, so I left her to it, just praising her mind from time to time & encouraging her scientific & intellectual interests (astronomy, physics) with trips, age-appropriate explanations of light, Big Bang, Relativity, etc. The better she understood something and knew her peers didn't, the more confident she was at talking about it.
You could try reading 'Mindset' by Dr Carol Dweck as it is quite insightful.
A kind of summary:
The risk with 'bright' children is that they can get to the point where they are only comfortable being near the top and with things that come easily to them. this can lead to problems later in education e.g. A level or university when they find themselves having to cope with not being the best and having to struggle to understand concepts.
If their 'self worth' is built around being 'bright' and then suddenly the feel 'not so bright' then their self-worth can vanish. Whereas someone who prides themselves on perseverance and trying hard never hits that barrier.
The Mindset book sounds great. Ordering it now.
Thank you- genuinely sad to watch a little girl feel unnecessary pressure
Your advices should help
My DD1 was terrified at getting things wrong. Especially in tests. In the end we had a long chat about how the tests weren't about getting things write or wrong but about finding out how much she already knew so that the teacher could work out what she needed to be taught next.
I found and read a kids book about being an introvert. It has an important message of basically let your child be themselves. It's called The Quiet Leopard.
Only you know if you have been criticising her, pushing her and making her feel like she has to be perfect in order to please you.
By putting her in a high achieving school, you may well have put her in a class where she is rubbish at maths (compared to everyone else) so her self esteem may have taken a knock. It's not surprising she doesn't want to look like an idiot in front of new classmates, and is hanging back.
I think you need to work on building up her confidence. Perhaps a drama club outside school might help if she likes drama.