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DS1 (8) is struggling to fit in with boys of his age - he lacks confidence - how can i help him?

10 replies

josben · 20/05/2009 10:52

DS1 is quite shy and and is a bit sensitive - not a rough and tumble boy really - i feel that he is withdrawing more and more from the boys of his age in his class - (he has one good friend,) and so maybe i shouldn't worry...

He likes to play with the younger boys in year 1 or even reception...

i think he lacks confidence with boys of his own age - he is a bit immature i suppose.

How can i help him grow up a bit?

He is not very sporty although he likes going to footie club - but he is a slow runner and is a bit clumsy. I would like him to find a hobbie he's good at and is passionate about too... Sorry for rambling if you've got this far..?

OP posts:
sorkycakey · 20/05/2009 10:54

what is he good at and passionate about?

are there no after school activities run by the school that he could join?

have you asked him what he'd like to do?

josben · 20/05/2009 10:59

He does judo after school and swimming whish he enjoys. He really loves computer games - he would be on his DS lite and PS2 all day if I let him- but we really try to limit those games to a few hours at the weekend. He has a younger brother whos 6 who he gets on well with and plays with. DS2 is quite sporty and is very independent and quite confident - he also seems to be the one who wins awards at school and in football - so I don;t think that helps DS1 with his confidence..

I'm thinking of maybe getting him a pet ? or him learning a musical instrument...? He can't ride a bike - we've tried to teach him but he co-ordination isn't great - so that doesn't help either really....

OP posts:
cornflakemum · 20/05/2009 11:01

If you look in the archive under Behaviour/Development I think there are quite a few posts about similar type of concerns.

I think 7/8 is when boys begin to 'sort' themselves into 'types' (sporty, geeky, funny... ) and become a bit more self-aware/ self-conscious.

We had similar concerns about our son, who is very bright, but tall, clumsy and a bit of a geek, if I'm honest. He felt as if school social life all revolved around football, and if you weren't part of 'The Team' then it was a bit miserable.

DS1 is quite mature/ adult in his interests and conversations. He found making conversations with his peers difficult.

The book, The Unwritten rules of Friendship has some useful ideas if you borrow it from the library.

Also we've found that it gets easier as they get older (DS1 is now nearly 10) because football becomes less important as a social leveller, and there are many more activities/interests for older children.

Your son might not need to 'grow up' as such, bit perhaps has yet to find his niche? If he's not into the rough & tumble side of team sports he might prefer a more individual sport such as tennis or judo (mine did!) or enjoy playing an instrument as part of a music group?

cornflakemum · 20/05/2009 11:01

Oops - cross-posted - I see he alreday does Judo & swimming!

sorkycakey · 20/05/2009 11:03

They sound like 2 completely different kids to me

I think I'd have a chat with him about it, he might not see it as a problem at all. Some kids are naturally a bit introverted. He might be happy with things the way they are.

josben · 20/05/2009 11:08

I will def look at getting that book from the library - thanks for that, he does do tennis on a sat morning which he likes.

Its the social side of things that has always concerned me with him - he is very bright, but really struggles in a social situation with boys of his age.... he is also a bit of a worrier, and it would help him to loosen up a bit

OP posts:
josben · 20/05/2009 13:48

Sorkycake - I can see where you are coming from - i think that i am an awful worrier and so i worry for him to that he's not had an invitation to a party or that he doesn't want to join in with the playground football before school - but like you say, Is he that bothered about these things? And i thinking about it - I don't really think he is that concerned about it to be honest....

I think that i probably need to let him be the person he is - and if he's happy being a bit introverted and quiet with his peers then thats fine... Maybe I need to chill out a bit!

OP posts:
Doodle2U · 20/05/2009 13:55

josben - same situation here for ages but DS joined Beavers and has just gone up to Cubs and it's helped more than I can say. Large range of activities and mix of kids from different schools, which helps dilute things.

My son is good on DS Lite and oddly and contrary to popular opinion, it's helped with his social skills no end - he was showing year 5 boys how to get on to the top level and lo, he was accepted a bit more.

He's also shown me (and I am embarrassed to say i never spotted/recognised this a bit earlier) but he is his own person. He's said a few times now that he gets fed up with the same old faces at school and he wants (and loves) to go in to new situations where he gets to meet new people. It's like he's starting to grow in to his own skin.

He hates footie. He was berated by the class, self-appointed, football emporer in reception and that was it - didn't want to know after or since.

Think about Cubs/Boys Brigade/other 'general' club where he can meet new people and try a range of things.

JeffVadar · 21/05/2009 17:17

This is exactly the age that we started worrying about our DS for pretty much the same reason.

I agree with cornflakemum that this is just the time when their personalities (and interests) really start to diverge. You seem to end up with an 'sporty' group who spend all playtime kicking a ball around, and a 'creative' group who prefer making up imaginative adventures.

If he is enjoying after school clubs then he will make friends there who will share an interest with him.

Just keep supporting him in what he likes doing and the areas where his strengths lie and I am sure he will be fine.

GrapefruitMoon · 21/05/2009 17:27

Similar situation with my ds1 (and a similarly differing personality for ds2)!

I think it's real shame that football takes over so many playgrounds as it means that the few who are not into it can feel left out.

Ds1 has been reluctant to try new things but by perseverance we have found things that he is good at - eg he is one of the best swimmers in his class and enjoys tennis and Beavers. Last year we went bowling for his birthday and it was brilliant because the boys who are great at football weren't necessarily the ones who were good at that!

My ds has one good friend from his class - it was lovely to see them getting on so well when he came around for tea. Unfortunately the boy's mother has some "emotional issues" so it's unlikely ds will be invited back.

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