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Books which encourage "taking initiative and not be submissive in front of dominating and seniors"

22 replies

mom17 · 30/11/2017 06:22

I found my child to be submissive/pleasing in front of elder kids ( while playing basketball he will pass basketball to them more often and will not be aggressive at all) and giving up with classmates if they are too dominating. He will stop putting his efforts ie during group presentation and group activities like that. I tried telling him multiple times but his arguments for elder kids is - they will not let him play with them and for classmates- whats the point if they don't listen.

I have tried convincing him not to give up and be aggressive but doesn't work. I am thinking if few autobiographies/books on similar theme might help, so here I am looking for those. Thanks for your help.

OP posts:
CheapSausagesAndSpam · 30/11/2017 06:25

That's just the law of the jungle. Children will always be submissive towards older children. Boys especially.

Why do you want him to be "agressive" ?? Hmm

BertrandRussell · 30/11/2017 06:32

You want him to be aggressive??

How old is he?

haba · 30/11/2017 06:32

You don't say how old he is.

mom17 · 30/11/2017 07:06

He is 11.5 years, sorry for not being clear. Aggressive in sports and taking initiative and not give up during other group activities where 1-2 kids are very dominating.

OP posts:
jaimelannistersgoldenhand · 30/11/2017 07:46

How big is your son? Physical build is an easy way to establish dominance in sport (especially if you're male) Does your son play in a competitive team? Passing to an older person (who he's probably assuming is more skilled) is a reasonable tactic. My son's assure me that is team sport situations, you don't want to be the person blamed for losing and not passing to a star player could be doing exactly that.

If you want him to be more confident then can he play with younger kids so you can create a situation where the ball is passed to him? Or could he focus on a solo sport?

haba · 30/11/2017 08:09

So it's more about asserting his point of view in group work, and being braver in sports? Aggression isn't the answer, it will lead to isolation, particularly in the classroom.
Has he just switched to secondary? He needs to get used to the change from 'big fish, small pond' to "small fry in huge ocean". I'm afraid that for now his position is at the bottom of the pyramid- all Y7s are in same position. He needs to focus on his relationships with his peers, and firm good working relationships with them so as, by the time his year are the oldest, he is confident and someone younger pupils will look up to.
Books about cameraderie may help?
Leadership and bravery too.
What authors does he like already?

mom17 · 30/11/2017 08:50

I have seen this behavior ( sports )in community. In school, it is expected and wise though. Not taking enough initiative in group activities involves same age group kids ( class activities). He likes fiction but would be fine with any book, has read most of classics, HP, PJ and all similar series famous among kids. He is an avid reader.

Basically, all this boils down to leadership which he is lacking. Suggestion to play with younger kids is good one but as of now he is mostly youngest in that group. I really want him to improve on his leadership skills.

OP posts:
dkb15164 · 30/11/2017 08:51

At his age books that clearly focus on teaching things are starting to get embarrassing for him. If he likes to read, I'd recommend getting him a few novels for Christmas with assertive (that's the word you're looking for I think, not aggressive) role models - action books such as the Harry Potter series, the Maze Runner series, or Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. These books similarly start off with characters who are not so assertive however learn to be brave and stand up for themselves.

Also don't worry about him being sensitive. It just means he's going to be an extremely caring adult one day. I struggled to assert myself when I was younger and it made me always worry about the little guy now I'm older and more confident. If anything, you're bringing up a good human being, not a pushover. He's just probably aware of when little things don't matter showing emotional maturity beyond his age.

dkb15164 · 30/11/2017 08:55

Also in terms of encouraging his leadership abilities, have you thought about getting him to join scouts or a similar organisation? The leaders are very good at making sure everyone has an opportunity to lead a team at some point and even though he might seem indoorsy, he might actually find he enjoys the adventure of being outside and going camping quite a bit, much like the adventurers in his novels.

CheapSausagesAndSpam · 30/11/2017 09:03

Not everyone is a natural leader.

VioletCharlotte · 30/11/2017 09:08

Not everyone is a natural leader. Encourage him to be confident and assert himself of course, but pushing someone to behave in a way that is unnatural to them will just undermine their confidence. If you want to help him to develop his confidence, it's far better to focus on his strengths and doing more of what he's good at and enjoys.

What would you say his strengths are?

BertrandRussell · 30/11/2017 10:22

Scouts sounds like the answer to me. But you really don't want to be encouraging aggression.

mom17 · 30/11/2017 11:32

Leadership can be developed, isn't it ? Its just starting of their life, it is not that all leaders are born with this trait !! As a parent, we need to guide them How they should have behaved in certain situation, they probably will find a easy way out and would always be in their comfort zone. I don't want to push but slowly guide him to be assertive and initiator.

OP posts:
VioletCharlotte · 30/11/2017 12:27

Leadership isn't about being aggressive though. Good leadership is about being a confident communicator, being positive, being able to adapt to change, taking responsibility.

I agree with pp that encouraging him to take part in team activities like scouts would help him to learn these skills. Also help him to build his confidence by working on his communication skills - making his own appointments where possible, ordering in a restaurant.

mom17 · 01/12/2017 01:51

Very nice suggestion of scouts ( it is not possible for us, will look for similar opportunities) and things like ordering food in restaurant, I am getting basic idea of giving him more responsibility. Really appreciate

OP posts:
BertrandRussell · 01/12/2017 08:42

Why isn't Scouts possible?

CappuccinoCake · 01/12/2017 08:45

Are you passing on this feeling that he needs to be improved/isn't good enough?

mom17 · 03/12/2017 06:32

CappuccinoCake ,
yes probably as otherwise how will he know he didn't take enough initiative ?
school doesn't offer scout.

OP posts:
CappuccinoCake · 03/12/2017 08:28

If he starts to know you don't think he's good enough it's more than likely to backfire into lack of confidence rather than a place confidence can grow. Which is why I asked as I wondered if perhaps that was the case. If be trying to avoid that if it were me.

BertrandRussell · 03/12/2017 08:30

Not everyone is a leader- some are team players.

No 11 year old ever needs to be aggressive.

Scouts usually doesn't happen through school.

dkb15164 · 03/12/2017 17:57

Schools don't offer scouts as it's not a government organisation, they likely have a branch in your local community. It's a good opportunity to interact with kids outside of their school environment as most scouts have kids from a few of the high schools in the areas.

slightlyglittermaned · 03/12/2017 18:12

Developing empathy, awareness of interpersonal interactions, and self-confidence in individual work is probably the best foundation for leadership skills at this age. He seems to be quite perceptive already.

A good leader is someone who notices that some members of the team are quiet and takes responsibility to draw them out. A crap leader just loves the sound of their own voice and doesn't notice others have switched off (which is entirely understandable at 11 as they are still very small, but not so endearing as they get older).

One thing you could encourage him to do, is to draw attention to a good idea someone else said that wasn't heard: "I thought Toby's idea was really good". He needs to be prepared that 90% of the time it won't register with his peers (but Toby will feel happier), but over time he will get better at it, and he may gradually influence the group to listen a bit more.

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