Maturity, resilience – Year R(5 Posts)
DD (5-y-o, year R, November birthday) is generally happy at school, but her teacher commented to me after school yesterday that she’d been a bit tearful a few times during the day. I haven’t really got to the bottom of why – the teacher mentioned that DD’s best friend upset her a little at one stage but that was quickly resolved, and when I asked DD about the day she didn’t mention any particular problems.
It’s not the first time – DD has mentioned that a few times she feels a bit sad and goes to a grown-up for a cuddle – either the teacher or TA during class time, or a lunchtime supervisor.
We would always have said that DD is a very confident and mature child for her age: her speech and vocab are advanced and she is confident speaking to adults (she’s an only child) but also makes friends easily with children. Academically she’s doing very well.
The teacher has also commented in the past that she can be quick to back off if she’s not sure about something (lacks confidence/resilience with new challenges) and the teacher is working on her resilience which is improving.
It’s just all got me thinking: is this frequent need for adult reassurance quite normal at this early stage of school? Is DD’s apparent ‘maturity’ (as measured in speech, self-care, academic progress) hiding an inner lack of confidence?
I’d love to hear whether anyone else is feeling that their 5-year-old is lacking inner confidence, despite no outward concerns. Are we just expecting too much from her at this age? How can we help her to grow up to believe in herself a bit more?
Following - you could be writing about my dd.
The last few weeks she's got upset a couple of times about doing things wrong/not perfectly, not wanting to do things because she can't which has never been an issue before.
I'm just trying to reinforce doing her best, giving things a go etc but keen to hear what others think.
I think children mature in aspects of development at different rates. Although she may appear all-round advanced, this is unlikely to be the case at this age. Therefore she may need reassurance and confidence boosters. You may have put her on a pedestal - just a little bit!
Does she have high expectations that sometimes are not achieved? Does she not want to "have a go" and get something wrong, preferring to watch others first? My DD was just like this (and still can be very occasionally!). As a young child she sometimes wanted to observe others and lacked confidence to try something. However, when she did, she was usually very good. I felt she needed to learn slightly differently and wanted to take everything in before committing. I do not think it ever led to tears, except getting frustrated at not being brilliant at the violin from day one! Her teacher said she "beat herself up" if she did not play something well at the first attempt!
I would say that sometimes high achieving children do not want to fail and would prefer to take part only when they feel secure about the outcome. I am not sure this is a lack of resiliance. I think it is learning in a different way and reflects their personality. If teachers encourage appropriately, she will feel sufficiently confident to particpate when asked. She is also very young and her confidence will grow as will her understanding that it is OK to be not so good the first time you have a go at something. That is how we learn sometimes. I would be confident she will grow out of this.
Feeling better already – thank you both.
Bojorojo – I am sure we have put DD on a pedestal a bit. I think we expect a lot of her in terms of behaviour and achievement because she’s always been a ‘good’ girl who has wanted to please and has grasped things quite quickly.
I’m reassured that this is quite ‘normal’ for this type of child, and have already been trying to reassure her that she will always be loved and valued by us whatever happens in life, our love for her is not simply measured by how well she achieves. We will keep up the gentle reassurance!
I recognise what you say from my DD1. I was always aware that she had a very good memory and was enthusiasic about everything. I thought it was odd when she backed off doing something but encouragement as you describe and learning that "failure" is ok, does come from maturity.
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