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Confidence in Preteen Girl

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hi-
My daughter just turned 10 and has started to loose confidendce in herself. I wasn't prepared for this! i thought it would start much later, though I remember it starting at this age for myself.
We homeschool, and I allow her as much independence and decision making over her life as reasonable (I dont think I would be considered a helicopter parent.) However, I wonder if we praise her enough. My husband and I and my parents vere to the critical side of things. In our view, we are directing or correcting. We may be doing it in a healthy manner, but lately her reaction tells me that she is internallizing it, hearing the direction/ critism much louder than we mean it/ say it. On the other hand, I have always believed with my kids (at least when they were younger) they should seek approval from their abilities, not from my mouth. So, I worry about verbally laying on the praise. We do tell her we love her a lot, and our physically affectionate.
Her attitude my be completely on target/ normal regardless of the situation,too.
She says things like "I never do anything right". "I can;t do this" "I am just not smart enough." She gives up when things dont go easily- math and violin practice are always a struggle with this attitude.
What would you do?
What would you say to her?
Can you recommend some good books about preteen girls?

thanks
Brenda
post #2 of 4
My DD is 13 and has always been quite confident and continues to be so. I think part of it is just her nature (she's phlegmatic, she does well in sports and studies, and she has friends, although she's not in the most "popular" set at school).

The best book I found for her to read was "Real Gorgeous" which we got when she was 12. But she is also a very mature girl for her age (other girls, it might be more appropriate at 13 or 14, or older)
http://www.amazon.com/Real-Gorgeous-...dp/0393313557/

Books on mothering and parenting - I found these books to be good:

By Mary Pipher:
The Shelter of Each Other
http://www.amazon.com/Shelter-Each-O...dp/1594483728/

Reviving Ophelia
http://www.amazon.com/Reviving-Ophel...dp/1594481881/
post #3 of 4
My dd is a little older, but I've actually seen her confidence blossom this year, esp. in the social realm. I worried alot about dd turning inward, low self esteem, etc.-I just haven't seen it at this point. I will say that positive social experiences seem to lead to more positive social interactions, and finding her "fit" w/her group of friends has been a big deal for her this year. I see your dd is homeschooled, so I'm guessing that's not an issue for her?

Participating in sports has been a good confidence booster-dd does one sport exceptionally well and another not well at all, but seems to really like both. Academics are hit or miss, so this is where I sometimes get a picture of lower confidence, but she's working through it.

I have to say, we have backed way off on our "helicopter" parenting, esp. in terms of choices about clothing, media, etc. It's not to say we don't have values-we do, and we talk about them all of the time. But we're out there with our discussion of valuing and respecting the choices dd is making, and reflecting w/her about mistakes, judgements, etc.

In terms of the negative comments--to some degree I think it might be the age. My dd has said that she hates her life a few times, and it revolves around leaving her possessions somewhere, or forgetting her homework, etc. Kind of dramatic, although the crisis is real to her. It's worth listening to though, because things can feel really hard at this age!
post #4 of 4
my daughter is 14, almost 15, and I firmly believe in finding something that they excel in, to help shore up their confidence/self esteem. For my daughter, it's singing. She's been in voice lessons for a few years now, and is in our city wide youth choir, sings at church, etc. It's been a wonderful thing for her.
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