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 Post subject: Self confidence
PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:08 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:47 pm
Posts: 2151
Location: Warwickshire
This is a silly question really, but I have a dd1 who is in year 9. She lacks confidence, and I feel it's partly our fault.

She has a brother in year 10, who has an extra chromosome (not Downs) and it means he is slow. Yet to date he has always achieved more than her academically, she just isn't bright. He has always had more help than her and the fact he is just one school year above has never helped, I think teachers compared them at infant school. I can't deny it, he has - up to say year 7 - had more help with schoolwork than she has. She's never been totally neglected but I always feel she is a bit left out.

She has a sister in year 6 who has just passed the 11+. Dd2 has diabetes and a demanding character, so she gets lots of attention. She has a brother in year 2 who seems bright, he's naughty, noisy and demanding so he gets attention.

Dd1 is the nicest member of the family, kind, pleasant, considerate, very few strops considering she's 14 in July!

It was her parents consultation yesterday where we were supposed to meet her 8 teachers. We only met 4 :( I wonder if teachers can't be bothered to meet parents of less able children.

We saw her food tec, drama, English and Geography teachers. Who all said her work is on track for a C in year 11 (which is good), but that she lacks confidence terribly. I don't know what I can do to help (apart from try and help with more homework). I lacked confidence terribly (similar situation) and do not want her to be the same. She freely states she is the "stupid" one in the family and I don't know what to do. I can totally understand why she lacks confidence. She hasn't found a niche apart from drama that she really likes.

Feeling a bad parent but do not know how to help. :( Any advice welcome. For a lovely girl. I sometimes wonder if she believed in herself her schoolwork would be better, too ... as her teachers suggested. Help!


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 Post subject: Re: Self confidence
PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:36 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 2:32 pm
Posts: 923
What does she like to do in her free time? Maybe for example helping others would be a good raison d'être for her - helping children, animals, old folks? There's more to life than exams - oops! Shhh!


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 Post subject: Re: Self confidence
PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:50 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2010 6:55 pm
Posts: 247
Hi Ginx,
I have to say your daughter sounds really lovely. I don't have much advice but a few thoughts include:
- You mention she likes drama. Does she do any clubs or activities outside of school lessons to build on that interest?
- Regarding the parents evening - it doesn't sound right that you were not given the opportunity to speak to more of your daughter's teachers. I would contact the Head of Learning for Y9 to folow this up.
- Does she like animals and do you have a pet? Think having a close bond with an animal can be lovely for children, especially if stressed/lacking self confidence.
- I am sure you do this already, but give her lots of praise her for her amazing character and tell her that you are proud of who she is. In our family I tell the DCs that there 3 things that are important (not that they follow them all the time!) -be kind, be honest and try your best. Cannot ask more than these.


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 Post subject: Re: Self confidence
PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:52 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2011 9:16 am
Posts: 686
I would really encourage her love of drama Ginx, if it is a passion for her than that becomes 'her thing' and she can hopefully shine in that area, and come on leaps and bounds with her confidence, if that makes sense. Does she visit the theatre, take part in drama clubs/societies. Is she quite arty, my two children are very different and I know is hard not to compare, but I try not to see one as 'the bright one' and was as 'the not so bright one'. They are individuals with very different needs and wants.

Must be hard with four different characters to rally round. Good luck, she sounds a little treasure x


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 Post subject: Re: Self confidence
PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:54 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 17, 2010 2:53 pm
Posts: 138
Could you do something special on a one-to-one basis? Maybe connected to drama, even just a theatre trip for the two of you? Make her feel special.

Focus and praise on her good points - she sounds great - and don't compare outloud!

Maybe a bit of 'middle child' or 'middle of 4' thing going on - I truly believe middles can 'feel' a bit overlooked whatever the circumstances. Mine certainly did and I was quite shocked when he said it once. :shock:

Re parents evenings - our school often don't see parents where there is 'no problems'. So maybe she fits into that category - she sounds like a well behaved student.


Last edited by secondtime on Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Self confidence
PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:55 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:47 pm
Posts: 2151
Location: Warwickshire
silverysea, she doesn't seem to have found her niche yet. She has always been good with young children. She might even be good with older people, but she is quite shy so I'm not sure.

You're right, though - I will be steering her to a course at college with children, probably. If she wasn't squeamish she would be a good nurse. I know there's more to life than exams - I wonder if she should do some kind of work experience - she is a bit young. She doesn't really have much street cred., wear make up, isn't trendy. More self conscious.

Education is a worry. She will probably get 5 GCSE's. She has said there is no point in doing A levels because she doesn't feel she is good enough at anything to get a B pass at GCSE, and she doesn't want to do A levels just to kill the time - she has to stay in education till she is 18. I need to see what courses our local colleges offer. She is immature for her age and a July birthday, I can't imagine her coping with college aged just 16 - but she might be fine, it might be a good thing. Also for the first time she won't be at school with any siblings which will be good.

It just all feels a little sad. (Spot the guilty parent :( ) She doesn't moan. That almost makes me feel worse! I want her to feel good about herself, to believe in herself.


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 Post subject: Re: Self confidence
PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:59 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 17, 2010 2:53 pm
Posts: 138
She is only Year 9 so imho it is Ok to be immature - still very young. She will get there in the end - not necessarily a bad thing.


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 Post subject: Re: Self confidence
PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 1:04 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:47 pm
Posts: 2151
Location: Warwickshire
Countrymum, she loves drama. But she mumbles so never has speaking parts. She doesn't care. She's been attending a drama club on Saturday mornings for three years. I was very impressed that she started, she went and didn't know anyone. She doesn't have lots of friends but the few she has, they are good friends, loyal and kind.

She is doing drama GCSE. The drama teacher recognised her strengths and weaknesses. She is in a class of 15 (lovely and small!) where everyone is very keen on, and good at, drama. She is only on a D1 now but of course it is two years till the exam. She can act, though, but the teacher said dd1 is so "nice" that she lets everyone else have the good parts.

Of course she is the "not so bright" one and she knows it. You know what, she is a treasure. All my friends comment.

Jules7, I might take your advice and contact Head of Year 9. Her school report suggests she's working on an E for everything except Food Tec and Drama (her two fav. subjects). Whilst an E sounds awful to me, apparently that should lead to a C in two years.

We have guinea pigs but she's given up looking after them. :( She loves dogs but we can't really have one. I do praise her (hope I'm not over compensating) and she is very kind and honest (she just can't lie, if she tries she ends up crying and telling me the truth). I'm not totally sure she always tries her best regarding homework ... but I'm quite strict so I probably don't believe anyone here tries their hardest with homework. You're right, I can't ask more. And she is a sort of survivor - result of being a middle child maybe.

She will probably be fine, I really am wishing her life away, I want her to get through school, get GCSE's, get to college, do something and get a job. She enjoys school. Thanks for the advice, everyone. I am going to talk to head of year 9 to see if she has any advice, try and give her more 1:1 and as you said, take her to the theatre/cinema more often. I rarely go so it will be nice for both of us.

Forgot to say, secondtime, maybe you are right about her school work and it is fine - hence we don't need to see the teachers (we had letters to that effect). Or maybe she will surprise us and do better than we expect. Just want her to believe in herself a little more.


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 Post subject: Re: Self confidence
PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 1:34 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 17, 2010 2:53 pm
Posts: 138
ginx wrote:
very few strops considering she's 14 in July!


Also don't be so hard on yourself. It is a minefield bringing up lots of children - love their differences! I can't imagine the above quote about my DD - even now at 11 !


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 Post subject: Re: Self confidence
PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 1:40 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:45 pm
Posts: 4607
Ginx, this brought a tear to my eye :D . She sounds lovely and I think you are probably doing just the right thing in appreciating her for who she is. How would she react if she got a big speaking part in a play? Would it be good for her, or would it terrify her? Might be worth trying to see if you can push for it if it would help her. Has she tried singing/dancing classes? Also v good for confidence building. Do they have a mentor system at school? An older pupil to show an interest in her might help too. Could she volunteer at an old people's home (probably too young)? Just thinking out loud, really!


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