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How do I build daughters confidence

(26 Posts)
Hello247 Thu 14-Jul-16 18:23:12

My 13 year old dd has very little confidence and I don't no what to do to build it up. As a little girl she was very confident she would speak to anyone and had no problem mixing and joining in with other children and was always happy to leave me. But in the last couple of years since probably the last year of primary her confidence has dropped she did have some problems the last few months of primary where her and her best friend kept falling out to the point where they stopped talking to each other until they started secondary also her friends left her out of a group arrangement to go to the taster day at there new school together meaning my daughter had to go on her own. I Remember her being very sad but when I would try to talk to her about it she didn't want to. what made it hurtful to me one of the girls was my cousins daughter who used to be close to my dd and her mother did not see this as a problem.
When she started secondary things seemed to pick up she made a new best friend and quite a few new friends and even made up with old best best friend I remember having to struggle to fit nine girls in my living room for her 12th birthday sleepover and she happy confident and had a busy social life. But then at the start of year 8 her new best friend had moved away which she was upset about but I thought she would be fine because she had so many other friends but all these friends from year 7 seemed to just disappear as far as I no there was no falling out they apparently just hang about in different groups. She did start hanging out with a new group of friends but doesn't seem very confident to invite them to do things with her she'd rather they ask. Which means if there's a film at the cinema she wants to see she would rather go with me than ask a friend which I don't mind but I just think she should also be doing stuff with friends too she has no friends round where we live so spends most her time in her room on her iPad either watching shows or writing stories on what pad she hates having to talk to people and her school reports although are very good all say that she doesn't volunteer answers. She will put herself down and say she is stupid fat or ugly she always say it in a jokey way but I think she means it I always say to her don't put yourself down your not. I try to build her confidence by praising her and spending time with her and taking an interest in her interestes but I don't know what else to do I also try to get her to talk more in social situations ie ordering her own food in a restaurant paying for stuff in shops just so that she has to talk to someone. She has very bad acne so always has her hair in her face to try and hide it she does own makeup and foundation that she could use if she wanted but she chooses not too saying she prefers to be natural she also prefers to where jeans and baggy t shirts and a hoody most of the time even in hot weather.

I really don't no what else to do to boost her confidence I have suggested clubs to her but she's not interested I don't think she's depressed as when she is at home with us or with family she seems happy and full of sense of humour.

antshouse Fri 15-Jul-16 11:49:00

No overall advice to give but can you get a gp appointment over the holidays if her acne is bothering her? I waited until my dd worked her way through the skin care section at boots and a lot of products can make sensitive skin even worse. She eventually saw the gp at 15. I wish we'd done that earlier because although she probably would have outgrown her skin problems she felt less insecure about her appearance during her early teens.

JustSpeakSense Fri 15-Jul-16 11:58:52

You sound like a lovely mum, and she is lucky to have you. The teenage years are so tricky for them and some find it much harder than others, I promise you she will be fine and she will get through this awkward stage. A new school year will bring a new routine at school and bring her into contact with different kids again, as they get older and choose their options she will find she is die ding more time with like minded kids with similar interests and it will get easier. Can you take her to the gp and make a real effort to get her acne sorted, I think this would help matters a great deal. Good luck and keep doing the wonderful job you are.

JustSpeakSense Fri 15-Jul-16 11:59:42


Kennington Fri 15-Jul-16 12:34:35

Restrict social media? Particularly Facebook and Instagram
Focus on education
Spend time doing nice things together at weekends so she doesn't feel she is missing out
Call bullshit on all the celebrity focused looks that is rammed down teens throats
Remind her it is the studious kids who do well. Not those causing ridiculous teen dramas
Said by someone who has no experience of teens but remembers the bullshit clearly

FarAwayHills Fri 15-Jul-16 14:59:52

Are there any clubs or activities she could join that would help with her confidence and widen her social circle? There will always be ups and downs with friends at school so sometimes it helps if there are other friendships to fall back on.

Hello247 Fri 15-Jul-16 17:12:35

Thankyou people I have thought about taking her to the doctors about her acne but was worried it might make her more self conscious about them she does have the different washes but may suggest it over holidays.

Kennington although she has Facebook and Instagram she doesn't use them that often and doesn't really care much for fashions or this obsession with posting selfies every five minutes like a lot of teen girls so in that regards she is quite level headed

Farawayhill I have looked into clubs but nothing takes her fancy she did guides up to last year but lost interest as the time table of activities was always the same I'm hoping to get her in police cadets next year as she wants to join the police and at the moment she seems keen on the idea. I know what you mean about having other friends to fall back on but she has no other friends an old friend from primary that lives nearby got back in touch about 3months ago but but she called for her twice and hasn't been seen since I've suggested to my daughter why doesn't she call for her and she just shrugs her shoulders and says na and then that's it.

JustDanceAddict Fri 15-Jul-16 18:00:37

I would take her to the GP re her acne. I took my DD over a year ago & she was put on antibiotics this Feb and it's really cleared and I think given her more confidence. She has also had friend issues, although never been confident, it has really improved recently and she is finally making more friends towards end of year 9. Have to say year 8 was the worst year friends/wise. We have talked about her doing a club (she does drama but doesn't see anyone outside the group) to give her more options re friends.

FarAwayHills Fri 15-Jul-16 18:24:30

It sounds like you are a lovely mum and doing all you can OPflowers

Hello247 Sun 17-Jul-16 16:12:02

Just an update have offered to take dd to doctors regarding acne but she does not want to go saying it doesn't bother her. which is different to what she was saying a couple of months ago about the ones on her back when I was trying to find swimming costumes that went high enough up her back for our holiday To cover them. So guess I'm going to have to keep doing what I'm doing and hope her confidence picks up.

forcryinoutloud Wed 20-Jul-16 22:13:36

Hi 247 gosh so much of what you're saying sounds just like my DD who is 14 yrs, esp the bit about when she was younger she would talk to anyone and now has no confidence. Although it is difficult to comprehend what has happened to our bubbly outgoing DDs I try to tell myself this is most likely part and parcel of the teenage years, it's bloody rough at times! I try to encourage DD as much as I can and give her confidence and praise as possible.

DD too has had/does have the friendship struggles and has no friends at home and struggles at school but like yours, seems happy enough and can have a laugh in the family unit which I think is really important and should be encouraged. When you can manage to persuade teens out of their rooms we like to have a game of cards, board game or have a film night. I think you can only gently suggest clubs and activities when they get to this age and leave it up to them. Other things to consider are activities at church or a pet, something of that nature, plucking at random straws here!

And just reiterate that if the acne is bothering her there is stuff the doctor could give to help, failing that I take it she is following the advice re diet and face washing etc to help herself?

Hugs and flowers it is tough going with our teens, hate to see parents worrying as much as I do (well, part of me is glad I'm not alone but you know what I mean).

Haggisfish Wed 20-Jul-16 23:12:13 These are really great weeks for quiet children lacking in confidence. Disclaimer-not employed by them. National citizenship thing-Google it. Volunteering? These are all things my quiet lacking in confidence students have done to improve their confidence levels.

Hello247 Thu 21-Jul-16 08:34:48

Forcryinoutloud thankyou very much for coming on here its good to here from parents in the same situation and thankyou very much for your advice and kind words I hope that your daughter comes through these awkward teen years too and when we both look back we will wonder what all the stress was about have decided to carry on with what I'm doing spending time with daughter and trying to boost her confidence thanks again xxx

Haggifish Thanks for the link and these places look great but I don't think she would agree to go on any of these camps alone as her school offers many trips but she will not go on them unless a friend is going which means she never goes and although this may be good for her I wouldn't want to force her to go .

disneygirl10 Thu 21-Jul-16 18:05:18

Sorry no advise really but just wanted to add sounds just like my dd who is 13.
She is being excluded from her friends and seems to have list all confidence over the last 6 months or so. All her so called friends are having a sleepover tonight she isn't invited, its heart breaking. Even harder now it's the holidays.
I am not sure what to do for the best really, I am really struggling with it all.

forcryinoutloud Thu 21-Jul-16 19:10:06

247 let's hope we can all look back in 5 + years time and be glad to be through it with our wonderful 'adults' that they now are, hopefully much more self assured and confident and with real friends that don't exclude.
I'm sorry to hear your DD is going through this Disneygirl it's horrible. My DD has been through similar, found out about a year after leaving primary that all her so called 'friends' had a leaving party which she knew nothing about. Even though it was now well into the past when she was telling me that she had found out it still really stung and upset me. She was indignant but other than that said she wasn't bothered. The only thing I can advise is to be there for her, give her love and confidence. We have had lots of chats about how true friends behave and that she will find it easier to know who they are as she matures. I also try to explain that selfish or nasty behaviour reflects on other people, it starts and ends with them and it is nothing to do with us. Try to find other avenues where she can maybe meet people who share the same interests then at least they'll have something in common.

Hugs to everyone going through this. Yes and the six week break is a killer when your DC has no company.

Dutchcourage Thu 21-Jul-16 19:19:29

Voluntary work or something where she is actively helping others is a massive self esteem boost. She will feel good about herself helping others.

My niece was very skinny and called horrid names around the age of 13 and was hiding away but then got very involved voluntary work at the football club near us - honestly it's transformed her. She has just left secondary school, looked fab at her prom and her confidence draws people to her.

is there anything she could get involved in that has nothing to with her friends?

disneygirl10 Thu 21-Jul-16 21:57:04

That's great dutchcourage. Great idea about volunteering or a job. We put her name down for a paper round a while ago but nothing yet.
She looked at some activity days tonight so hopefully she can a few of those and we are away for 2 weeks.

disneygirl10 Tue 26-Jul-16 10:21:59

Really struggling to deal with how to deal with this. Saw on dds phone that all her friends are going to the cinema today she has been included in the message. I just saw first bits of message on home screen. Said to her this morning why didn't she see what her friends are doing today as I have some work today she said they are all busy! Can't work out why she is lying about it and why she just doesn't go along sad
Obviously she doesn't know I have seen first bit of message. I wish she would just open up to me, rather than making things up.

Hello247 Tue 26-Jul-16 11:19:18

Hi disneygirl10 I know how your feeling about your dd not being straight with you my daughter doesn't always give me the full story which I find makes things more stressful as all sorts of things start going through your head maybe she doesn't want to go because she is still hurt about not being invited to the sleepover and she's not telling you because she is worried u might make her go. Or maybe it's just not a film she wants to see. Either way may be best not to mention it to her that you have seen the message. Maybe suggest in a few days that she invite some friends over for the day and see how that goes. I know I've prob not been much help but I'm just as confused by the teenage mind as you are good luck

seventhgonickname Tue 26-Jul-16 23:21:07

Sounds so much like my 13 yr old DD.Also outgoing when young,ditched guides too as she stopped enjoying it.I didn't worry about yr 6 fall outs as this seems quite common as they outgrow primary school and have been hothoused for SATs.She also had a good yr 7 but there seems to be more fluidity in yr 8with groups moving and boys joining too.She migrated to her room and we see her for snacks,drinks,going out and putting off going to bed cuddles on the sofa.
She gets some bad spots but still ties her hair off her face and is realising that they get worse premenstrual and better in the sun.She also doesn't yet want to go to the Drs yet but knows it's open as an option.
I'm as lost as you ,
All I think you can do is offer love and when you get told to go away when you go to talk to them don't take it as rejection and be happy when she joins in family stuff and I like to think they will sort themselves out because of this.

seventhgonickname Tue 26-Jul-16 23:27:05

Oh yes and the partial truths drive me nuts,but I think it's more that they want control without you questioning/cajoling them.Just part of growing up and making decisions.And never admit to seeing any messages/emails unless it puts them in danger.

ImperialBlether Tue 26-Jul-16 23:34:39

My daughter, now in her twenties, completely transformed herself with yoga. She now goes a few times a week and is really into healthy food, though she'll have a blow out occasionally - but, interestingly, she never worries about it and just says she won't follow anyone's rules. It transformed her body but, best of all, it meant she hasn't suffered from depression for years. I firmly believe that's due to yoga.

Would your daughter do something like that? It's not just good for your body, it's really good for your mind, too.

Cocochoco Wed 27-Jul-16 06:46:32

I think it's best to make home welcoming and supportive, and to enjoy time together as a family. Sometimes they need time away from the stupidly competitive and unpleasant dynamics of girl world so I wouldn't push her to join friends too much. But I would limit the electronics. Get her cooking with you - not treat stuff but proper food. Making dinner is useful and can be a confidence-booster in itself.

disneygirl10 Fri 19-Aug-16 16:40:14

Well dd is having a lovely holidays, she saw friends when all.mums met up one night. Seemed happy enough that night but has shown no interest in seeing them all. She has spent time with her cousins which has been nice. Seems very happy at the moment not seeing friends! So just going to go along with it at the moment.
I have been letting her look after her younger sister she short periods. Went is really helpful and she seems to enjoy babysitting.

Imaginosity Fri 19-Aug-16 21:12:55

When I was in secondary school I had hardly any friends or no real friends at times. I was really, really quiet with no confidence. I'm not sure why I was like that.

When I went to university I met a group of people that I became friendly with. I couldn't really understand why they wanted to be friends with me but it was great. I met my DH in those days. So things worked out well for me and I gradually became more and more confident. So you might just be in the middle of a bad patch.

The one thing I remember from that time is my parents putting huge pressure on me to make friends and making such an issue out of it. That made me feel constantly stressed even when I was at home. It sounds like you've a better approach with your daughter but just be carefull.

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