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Self confidence question

(15 Posts)
WholeNutt Wed 12-Mar-14 11:07:20

There's a long back story, too long to write here but long and the short of it is dh and I would like to do something with dsd (10) to help her gain confidence.

She has huge insecurities and when anything appears too difficult, homework, tutoring, new hobby she wants to down tools or have someone do it for her.

Is there we do together as a family that will instil some confidence in herself, some self belief?

WholeNutt Wed 12-Mar-14 11:07:45

something we can do.

HoneyandRum Wed 12-Mar-14 11:09:17

Do you things together that are not about competing or being measured such as going on a hike, swimming etc?

WholeNutt Wed 12-Mar-14 11:17:39

Dh takes dsd swimming and I watch then partake in the after swim hot chocolate.

I'm starting to see real self worth issues, she tells us about the fights at school that go on between her and the group of friends she has, they seem to be frequent and although we keep an eye out for potential bullying it seems to be normal 10 yr old stuff.

I think she feels quite lonely we have a 50/50 arrangement and we all live within 10 minutes of each other and school. There's a lot of family time spent but perhaps we need to encourage her out if her comfort zone just slightly?

Xalla Wed 12-Mar-14 13:32:02

This might sound odd but how about some kind of drama class? My DS5 isn't a very confident little boy. I signed him up for speech and drama classes at school after another Mum suggested it. I thought he'd hate it but actually, it made a world of difference. Your DSD is bit older so maybe a theatrical group like Stagecoach if they have one in your area?

WholeNutt Wed 12-Mar-14 14:10:44

Xalla that's a great idea, I know she did once do drama but got awful stage fright and gave it up. Now she's a bit older she might be willing again.

She loves horses but as soon as she gets on one freaks out until it's proves it's safety by plodding. I was thinking about taking her to riding lessons including the grooming tacking up etc, give her a sense or responsibility and help the fear?

We're at a loss and sadly her mum doesn't really want to know.

Xalla Wed 12-Mar-14 14:15:19

Riding lessons also sound like a fab idea.

Not sure if your DSD's school offers them but DS's speech and drama lessons were in small groups of children from his class - I think there were 4 kids doing it. Anyway it didn't cost that much. I think it was about £40 a term. From a stage fright point of view, that's probably better than the big groups like Stagecoach.

mymiraclebubba Wed 12-Mar-14 20:51:04

have you considered things like Girl Guides or Scouts? My DSS is acutely shy and socially awkward so like your DSD refuses to do anything normally that is outside of his comfort zone, but Scouts has seen him go camping (after 2 sessions) with 15 kids and 5 adults he had known for all of 3 hours, Rock climibing when he is terrified of height, he plays football now, talks to people that he ahs never met whereas before he would withdraw into himself. All in less than a year!

Xalia's drama group is a great idea, but if you are specifically looking for 'family things' why not all of you take up horse riding or something else sporty like badminton maybe - better if its something neither you or her dad have done before then she can see that it is ok to be crap at something when you first start? Hopefully if she can see you and her dad being rubbish at it but still having a go and a laugh about it then it will help her to learn that struggling with something isn't a bad thing and it isn't scary?

RandomMess Wed 12-Mar-14 20:55:00

Can you actively encourage her to have friends around more? You say she seems quite lonely...

purpleroses Wed 12-Mar-14 21:55:34

Does she get to see her school friends out of school much? That can sometimes help with the fallouts they have in school a bit I think. Can be more tricky to arrange if you're 50-50 with her other home, but by 10 she might be able to be encouraged to start arranging things for herself. A tablet/computer/smartphone with access to Skype/messenger/etc can help them start to organise themselves a bit - my DD is 10 too and just starting to do this. I've also managed to friend one of DSD's friend's mums on FB, which has helped for getting her set up with a playdate or two. It's not easy though as DP is a bit clueless about that and I don't really know any of the other parents.

I think any hobby or interest outside of school that involves mixing with different people from in school is also really healthy and great for giving them the chance to develop different sides to their personality.

It is also just a case of keeping going at encouraging and pushing her to step just a little bit outside her comfort zone each time. My own DCs are both really confident and self-reliant, as is older DSD. But younger DSD is a bit like yours - her school reports always say she should put her hand up more but I know she won't. She's scared of getting things wrong and always likes to watch anything new from the sidelines first before she gives it a try. We have made huge progress with her levels of independence recently though - a year ago she wouldn't cross a road or go to the corner shop on her own (she's 13). Recently she's caught a bus into town and borrowed my bike to get about. It's not come without effort on our part to keep pushing her, but it's lovely when they do get the confidence to do something you knew they didn't have before.

HoneyandRum Thu 13-Mar-14 13:31:16

She may be a natural introvert but then other circumstances (whatever they may be) have undermined her confidence as well. Just look for very small improvements and just create a warm and loving environment. Maybe acknowledge when you also feel nervous, scared or make a mistake to show that it happens to us all but we also can recover and it doesn't mean we are liked or loved any less.

I would focus on building resilience in various ways and don't expect quick changes, praise her when she makes even the smallest positive improvements.

WholeNutt Fri 14-Mar-14 09:58:58

Thanks so much for your replies, I feel like a fish out of water today. Dsd has been having problems at bedtime getting up with various reasons why she can't sleep. I went up to see her to have a chat with her and what she said has shocked me a bit.

I work away a fair bit so am not always at home when dh has her, I went up to talk to her and said that just because I was now home didn't mean she would be missing out on anything with her dad that it was her bedtime and we both loved her. She said 'it's not dad I'm missing out on it you'

This has put me in a bit of a tailspin as I've not always been tolerant I've felt resentful at times but since her mum has said she can't cope with her, doesn't want to attend sports matches etc I feel I need to be more of a supportive figure.

I'm not looking to be a replacement mum I can only hope her mum will see what's she's doing to her daughter and take steps to make it right.

I now though am panicking because I don't have my own children I have never really wanted them so to step up and be more present with dsd is a bit scary as I don't know what's expected of me or how to parent (without being a parent) iyswim. Dh does the discipline he's her dad I think dsd would like me to do the things with her she really wants to do with her mum but her mum won't do them.

So although I am willing to give dsd the love and support she needs I feel a bit lost as to where my place is.

Kaluki Fri 14-Mar-14 11:41:28

That's sweet! She obviously loves you.
You don't have to replace her Mum. Keep on doing what you are doing as you are obviously doing a good job.

RandomMess Fri 14-Mar-14 19:00:56

Her Mum will always be her mum, and you will always be you. She clearly very much wants you in her life as the loving supportive figure you must be. YOu are not her parent but you love her and show it anyway - that, perhaps, means more than you think?

MeepMeepVrooom Fri 14-Mar-14 21:27:01

That's lovely, I appreciate it's daunting but she is obviously missing out on the "girls time" that most little girls have with their Mum.

Is there something she is interested in? A sport or something the two of you could partake in? Maybe a lunch out just the two of you or a trip to the cinema?

How would your husband feel about the two of you heading off for a few hours for some time alone? She obviously loves you and wants to have that one on one time with you. It doesn't mean you are stepping on any toes.

When I was younger (17) I had a boyfriend with 2 children, I never viewed myself as a step mum (possibly age related) but more of a fun aunt. I don't know if you could try and view yourself more like that it might make it easier?

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