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Any advice would be appreciated....

Posted by on Jul. 31, 2007 at 10:40 AM
  • 5 Replies
I am a single mother to a 10 y/o girl.  For the most part my daughter is pretty self-confident and seems to hold her own in a group of her peers.  As a child I never had a lot of self-esteem so it has always been very important for me to nurture this in my child.  When she was 6 I started her in karate; she is smaller than the other kids in her class and was starting to show some confidence probelms and I was told that this would boost her confidence in herself.  Well, she took to it like nobody's business and has always done very well.  She advanced steadily and now out-ranks many of the others in her dojo, adults included.  She is due to test again this weekend and out of the blue yesterday she started showing some anxiety about this.  Now, this morning she starts crying and telling me that she's afraid to test because she doesn't want to "look like an idiot in front of everybody" and tells me she wants to quit.  Well, it's 6:45 in the morning and I was stumped...she had never voiced any concerns to me before this, even though I asked her just 2 weeks ago, before I paid her tuition again, if she was still enjoying it and did she want to continue, and she said yes to both.  I tried to cover my shock and baffle her with my brilliance, but I fear I failed miserably.  I asked her why she was so scared she would look bad and all she could say was that she just knew she would (?).  I then asked her if she really wanted to quit, or if she would maybe want to consider telling her sensei (teacher) that she was not ready to test.  She just continued to bawl.  I finally got her to settle down and she agreed that she was not ready to test and asked if I would tell her sensei.  I told her no, she should discuss it with sensei herself as I was sure she would be very understanding, and if need be I would speak with her sensei after she told her.  Was I wrong to refuse to speak for her?  Did I handle the whole "I want to quit" thing okay.  I hate to question my own ability to handle situations, but I'm still in shock that she is just now having what can only be called a lack of confidence in herself.  I'm at a loss of what I should do next.  Anybody got any good advice for me?

by on Jul. 31, 2007 at 10:40 AM
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by on Jul. 31, 2007 at 11:21 AM
You did the right thing.  Our kids have to learn to deal with their own situations.  We want to rescue them from hard stuff, but it will not serve them later in life.  My son wanted to quit the track team on the very first day.  He came in last.  I was watching from far away and I knew he felt defeated and was going to want to quit.  I didn't let him quit.  He lost 5 lbs and got better in track.  Built up his endurance, won the praise of his coach who was surprised he stuck it out.
Maybe the crying is about puberty?
Hang in there, mom.  She'll be OK.
And , you can talk to the sensei after she does.  Just don't do it for her.
by on Aug. 1, 2007 at 9:10 AM
I think you did great!  I wish my parents had made me stick to some of the many activities I had quit.
and I also thought about puberty as soon as I read that part
by on Aug. 1, 2007 at 9:35 AM
you absolutely did the right thing.  my dd went through something similar.  she is a full calendar year (and then some) younger than her entire grade and she is soooo terrified of "looking dumb" in front of her peers, because she has always been the "smart one."  she freaks out before tests, "can't" do presentations in front of the class, sobbed uncontrollably for an hour before her first solo band performance.  i think it's a hormonal thing.  i made her tell her teacher herself what was going on, and together we've worked through it. 
by on Aug. 1, 2007 at 9:50 AM
Honestly?  This seems very normal to me.  My daughter couldn't care what anyone thinks about her on a daily basis but when she had to do a dance in front of the class, she freaked!  She has performed three times in front of huge audiences (she's in ballet) but for some reason this was very scary for her.  I think some of this has to do with feeling like you're being judged and that can be a very scary experience.  You did a great job tho!  I would suggest just giving her support and letting her know that no one is there to judge her, that everyone wants her to do well!  Good luck!


Don't worry about what others think

because those who mind don't matter

and those who matter don't mind

by on Aug. 1, 2007 at 12:16 PM
I think you absolutely did the right thing.  There was no failure there.  I have a 10 year old daughter too and there are times when the anxiety and stress of life just overwhelms her!  The fact that you sat down and talked it out with her showed her that you cared and that you're there for her.  What more can a 10 year old girl need?  She has to learn to stand on her own two feet and you'll be there to lean on when things get kind of scary.  Good job, Mom.  Hang in there!

Molly and Chaz's Mom
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