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How to build 11yo DD's self confidence?

(5 Posts)
wishingchair Sat 22-Mar-14 17:31:10

Just that really. She's lovely, thoughtful, bright. (Well, she's 11 so is lovely and thoughtful some of the time!). But she gets stressed about so much. Misunderstanding stuff at school and not wanting to ask the teacher, tears if her 2 best friends aren't at lunch even though she's got other friends, non-uniform days. You name it, she'll worry about it. She's been off a couple of days and is already worrying about going back in on Monday in case it's awkward.

I want to help her to cope with her anxiety in a positive way, now when it's a manageable level of stress. All the threads about self harming terrify me. In the past she's bitten the skin around her fingers until it's bled. She starts high school in sept and I'm already dreading it!!

Any advice welcome as I'm feeling alternately frustrated and helpless hmm

Startliteangel Sat 22-Mar-14 19:51:42

DD aged 13 was exactly the same shy and introverted in primary school didn't like going on school trips didn't even go to the school prom the only girl who didn't go sad she also was dreading high school and so was I ..but tbh she has been totally transformed she's made tons of new friends and has really come out of her shell and she is going on a school trip to Paris

FernieB Sat 22-Mar-14 20:32:01

I have one DD who is a worrier. She always has been and at 13 she still is. At 10/11 she was really anxious like your DD but over the last couple of years she has begun to deal with her worries much better. She knows herself what is rational and irrational and is very open about her feelings. Her anxiety has made her into a good student as she is so scared of doing badly in a test that she works hard.

Your DD will be fine. It's a difficult time with a lot of change. Keep talking to her so that she feels comfortable telling you her worries and reassure her. Sometimes asking 'what if' can help - what if the worst hung happens what would she do? By getting her to come up with strategies or dealing with the issue, she can be confident that she could cope whatever happened.

adeucalione Sat 22-Mar-14 20:41:02

I think it would be worth talking to the school so that they are aware of your concerns and her anxieties when managing the transition to secondary school.

At home I think all you can do is model by example, encourage her into new situations that will help to build confidence, and praise her enormously whenever she suppresses her anxiety in order to achieve something.

Talk about situations she is worried about and ask her 'what's the worst that could happen?'. Afterwards, tell her how proud you are of her and point out that the bad thing didn't happen, or that she dealt with it amazingly when it did happen. Tell her she is resilient and adaptable and copes well with change so she begins to believe it.

wishingchair Sat 22-Mar-14 21:15:52

Talking about the worst thing that can happen is a great idea. As is telling her she is resilient - and actually she is in many ways: we moved hundreds of miles when she was staring yr4 and her dad has a serious illness. It's the little stuff that totally floors her. But it's little in my eyes - I remember it was so important at that age. So yes I need to remind her of all of this so she starts to believe it too. Really helpful, as are the positive stories of others who have pulled through too!

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