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Class 1 lack of confidence

(7 Posts)
gingerhousecat Tue 17-Oct-17 11:03:03

I recently went to a parents evening with my sons KS1 teacher. I left feeling quite upset to be honest, it was basically all about my little boy having no confidence and how he gets upset about the work they have to do and how she isn't sure what he understands and how he finds it difficult talking to adults. He's one of the youngest in class, which she didn't seem to think was an issue. I would personally have thought it to be a big factor. Nothing positive was mentioned, social skill wise or work wise, just the lack of confidence. And the fact that she isn't able to give 1-1 all the time and he needs to be working independently. She also said it would be terrible if he was picked by a moderator to go through one of their phonics tests because he would just clam up....and I'm presuming would reflect badly on her. I asked what she could suggest and she said they have a special teacher who gives support to children needing help with issues, with his only being his confidence, for 10 mins a day.
I just wanted to get it off my chest as I felt awful coming out and feel quite annoyed that at the end of the day he's a five year old who no longer seems to have any free play and is obviously finding the transition into yr1 hard.
Also would be grateful for any tips on building confidence.

2014newme Tue 17-Oct-17 11:27:23

Drama is great for confidence. Check out stagecoach or any other local group . Not full of prima Donna's, the opposite in fact. There have been children with all sorts of behaviour, communication and confidence issues at our group. Even elective mutism. It's about teamwork, there's no 'stars' and they build confidence gradually.
Has anything happened at home to affect confidence?

gingerhousecat Tue 17-Oct-17 11:33:51

Nothing has changed at home. We moved house but that was over a year ago, so same school etc. He get worried about new things; parties, new class etc. We talk to him in advance about these sorts of things which helps.
Thanks for the drama suggestion. Will have a look and see if we have any close

2014newme Tue 17-Oct-17 11:38:46

Have you looked online for any tips for dealing with anxiety in that age group?

Missstickinthemud Tue 17-Oct-17 11:58:14

I wonder if it might help if you emphasised with him that it's the working hard and taking part that matters, not getting things right. I sometimes think they get the wrong impression at school that being 'right' and doing things perfectly is the only thing that matters.

I've found that my son can be really anxious about being seen to make a mistake publically, or on getting things wrong/not perfect, so we've been talking about being proud of him because he works hard, not because he gets things correct. It seems to have helped with the anxiety about that a little bit.

As he seems to struggle with talking to adults, maybe you could work on getting him to talk to other adults too.

I hope you find something that works for you and your DS.

paddlingwhenIshouldbeworking Tue 17-Oct-17 12:30:39

Re confidence I'd say encouraging your child to do as many things for themselves as possible is a great confidence builder. Do they always get their own drink, snack, can they make a little sandwich, pack their bag for an activity or a trip out, run their own bath (with you nearby obviously!), look after a pet etc etc. Choose a comic and then pay for it in the shop. Choose a dinner and help you cook it. Pack their lives with little non stressful achievements where you can praise their efforts. None of these things are important things for a 5 year old to do so they don't need to feel they've failed at and you don't need to worry if they can't do them.

re anxiety with that age group I think it's helpful to talk through scenarios in 'what's the worst that could happen' way and talk about what they'd do and help them to see that the consequences of a mistake or whatever are totally manageable, And when talking be really relaxed about the consequences yourself.

With my less confident child to get him talking about things that bothered him we used to chat at bedtime. We'd pick a 2 opposing emotions every night so I'd say 'lets think of something that made us laugh today' and we'd both give an example then 'lets think of something that made me want to cry today' (I'd make up a small example..not talk about anything serious). The next night we might do 'what did we do really well today' / 'what do we wish we'd done better'. I'd make up some funny examples. It wasn't a serious chat and he certainly didn't think I was deliberately helping him with anything but alot came out of it and then we could move onto talking about the consequences of anything he seemed worried about etc.

Might not be explaining myself very well but acknowledge the way they feel, don't downplay their fears but help them deconstruct it and work out for themselves that they can manage the consequences.

But you are totally right, he is 5. I've had 4 5 year olds now, all totally and utterly different in their confidence or maturity levels. Some need alot more nurturing at that age and that's absolutely fine and normal.

The help from a special teacher is great though.

Ginmummy1 Tue 17-Oct-17 14:47:05

It sounds like your son’s school is not being the most patient and understanding with the younger children still settling into Y1! It also sounds as though she’s in a bit a panic about being checked up on!

I don’t think there’s any cause for panic. Unless he’s interested in drama, I don’t think it’d be kind to shove a shy child into a drama class! However, I’m sure there are things you can do to help him to build his confidence and independence at home. How is he about following instructions? Does he get dressed and tidy his room and clear the table etc.? Perhaps a bit more of that at home would help him to be more independent. Is there another adult that he could read to – perhaps a relative, friend or neighbour? Just to get him interacting more with different adults.

It sounds like the teacher handled this rather abruptly, and could have been a lot kinder with you. I hope your son is happy in his class, and that the teacher was just in a bit of a parents’ evening panic!

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