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How can I help my son be more confident?

My son is 9 years old. How do I know if his self esteem is developing like it should? he is kinda shy and sometimes I worry that it's a direct reflection of his self esteem. How do I get him to come out of his shell without forcing him or making him feel pressured? Before we meet someone new, i try to prepare him and remind him to shake hands, say "its nce to meet you", and make eye contact(which he seems to do little of)etc... Is this the proper way to go about it? He seems to respond and if he missed something, he'll say he just forgot wshich is fine with me, I know it takes practice). Any suggestions?


Asked by ericadrian at 12:05 PM on Mar. 12, 2009 in Tweens (9-12)

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Answers (7)
  • dont worry so much, youre doing everything right. not everyone can come in first place or be the best at something. keep encouraging him but dont let him see that it is making you worry or dont overcompensate by spoiling him later. sometimes kids learn early how to manipulate. there are all different kinds of fun things he can do or maybe he is doing too much.

    Answer by greenpeace65 at 5:52 PM on Mar. 12, 2009

  • Is he in anything that he enjoys-like clubs or sports or anything. Sounds like he could use being around kids who like the same things.

    Answer by JennRN09 at 12:07 PM on Mar. 12, 2009

  • I agree with JennR. Enroll him in some sports or clubs, I feel like activities are helpful to a child's confidence and development. Also, just keep telling him how great you think he is, eventually he will believe it, if you sincerely mean it, and it will rub off on him. Don't forget to praise him-even though he is 9, he still needs to be praised and reassured.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:15 PM on Mar. 12, 2009

  • You must involve your son in sports, such as karate and soccer. His self-esteem will develop when he is sure about himself. The sports area impart that to the child and he gets healthier and makes more friends.


    Answer by SufiMajik at 1:20 PM on Mar. 12, 2009

  • Find out what you son's interests are and get him involved in either sports or clubs. If he is shy, start of slow. Don't pick something that will put him spotlight all at once.

    Answer by marbear98 at 1:44 PM on Mar. 12, 2009

  • I was very shy and my son (6 yo) is shy, too. I find that for him, being in karate and encouraging him to speak up in small scenarios has helped tremendously. In karate, they are asked to demonstrate the techniques in front of the class at the end of each month. I am sure that there are other extracurricular activities that do the same.

    Also, if we are out to dinner, for instance, I have him order his own food, encouraging him to make eye contact, etc. When I was younger, one of my hindrances was that my mom and sister always spoke for me (although I know they meant well) so it took me longer to be confident when I was on my own.


    Answer by Tobi75 at 2:22 PM on Mar. 12, 2009

  • Thank you for all the advice so far! :) My son is involved in after school activities.He is currently taking a golf lesson once a week as well as taekwondo at least 3 times a week.He really enjoys both activities.So he's getting at least one hour of excersize/socializing a day outside of school.He also has tutoring an hour a week to help him with any subject he might need help in.He mentions having best buddies in school as well.One thing for sure is that he has to give 110% in any team sport to do okay (his coordination isn't the best) and he knows this. He says things like, "I always come in last", "I stink at ...". He hasnt really found his niche. He's very active and loves sports but because he feels he's not good at them, he stops playing because he's so hard on himself.No matter how much I encourage him,he doesn't want to play them anymore.I also stress the importatnce of playing for fun.

    Answer by ericadrian at 5:34 PM on Mar. 12, 2009