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How can you begin to build confidence/self-esteem in a 7 year old?

I have a 7 year old boy. He has always been extremely shy. He clams up when he meets new people which for a while I thought he would eventually grow out of. He just started the 3rd grade at a different school and the teacher is having a hard time communicating with him. I was okay with him being shy, but now it could affect his grades. What can I do to get him to be comfortable enough to be himself no matter what situation he faces?

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Asked by rcreshanda29 at 3:54 PM on Aug. 24, 2010 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Level 2 (8 Credits)
Answers (24)
  • Just believe in him and never show any doubt in his abilities.

    Answer by tryin2BGOOD at 3:55 PM on Aug. 24, 2010

  • Focus on positive aspects of his personality and the things he is good at...that and acceptance of who he is without trying to change him

    Answer by Syphon at 3:57 PM on Aug. 24, 2010

  • If you can do it, Horseback riding. I know it sounds weird but my son has Asperger's so his ability to talk to others as well as his confidence are very low. We started horseback riding over the summer and he is a different child. Being on a horse is empowering alone. They listen and you are in control. He had something in common with the kids there to get him talking with some encouragement. While the get the horses brushed and ready they are encouraged to talk about what they are doing and ask each other for help. During the ride they play a few team work games but mostly they just ride. I can always get him to talk about 'his horse' (It's so not his lol) And kids are interrested to hear about it so they ask questions. I couldn't be happier!

    Answer by But_Mommie at 4:04 PM on Aug. 24, 2010

  • Yes that is true Siphon, I agree that can't be done enough,and mirroring what they say.

    also giving the child some part to play with a chore at home, like dishes, or setting the table. But for school time it's tricky since they have so much to do there. It makes me wonder what is more a priority. School is important. Home is so at home level it's nice to show them how good they are at home with every little thing. Not talk down to them.

    By 7 yr. old I see changes happening when you let them try to do more, and create and show them ideas, just let them be in charge more. With the materials available or they can make a list or ask.

    Answer by coffeeyum at 4:05 PM on Aug. 24, 2010

  • Is there a counselor at school who could meet with you and his teacher to brainstorm ideas? Maybe the teacher can give him some resposibilities in class that would help him feel special. Everything needs to be done with a positive and encouraging approach. My niece was like this and her teacher said it would all work out in time.

    Answer by elizabr at 4:09 PM on Aug. 24, 2010

  • Encourage him to find 1 friend to hang with. He's the "new" kid so he's out of sorts with the cliques.

    Answer by butterflyblue19 at 4:11 PM on Aug. 24, 2010

  • You can not give someone confidence and/or self esteem.... it come from doing and succeeding. Perhaps you need to find something to enroll him in that would give him the opportunity to succeed. Boy scouts and marshal arts were the first to come to mind. Unless there is something he is very interested in that might work out better.


    Answer by sahlady at 4:17 PM on Aug. 24, 2010

  • Thank you sahlady! That's so very true! Parents who want to "give" confidence merely build less-capable young people! Give him opportunities to succeed. Help him find things he enjoys. Help him to become capable and competent in many arenas, including home, school, social behaviors, academics, sports, art, or whatever else he is interested in.

    Answer by aliceinalgonac at 5:10 PM on Aug. 24, 2010

  • Try a sport or boy scouts their really great for building self esteem. I signed my little girl up for ballet and girls scouts to help her out of her shyness an it really seem to help.

    Answer by Mz.Burger at 6:20 PM on Aug. 24, 2010

  • Find something he is good at and let teach about it. Sports and other extra curricular activities are great

    Answer by Liansmommie at 11:24 PM on Aug. 24, 2010

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