foxy06 Registered User

I am trying to build up some confidence in my 5 year old son. His teacher says he is falling behind in school and it's because he lacks confidence.
He has always been an anxious child that worries a lot but I just thought that this was his personality and never thought it would effect him academicly. It was suggested that maybe he should try a group sport. Has anyone any ideas. His younger brother is very confident and independent so I'm not sure where I am going wrong.


Children even siblings have different personalities.

I would suggest building on the things that he is good at and teaching him new skills.

IF he is having difficulties in school maybe some extra home work or projects can be assigned tohim to work form home or you could work with him doing a few different things to bring his skills up.

When my daughter was having trouble with her writing we had her write letters to family members and she loved the idea of posting them and would put a lot of effort in.

Dizzyblonde Whirling dervish

Is your son one of the youngest in his class by any chance? Sometimes this can make a slightly anxious child less confident. I know of a child like that who repeated a year and so was one of the oldest in the class. It made a huge difference.
Some people are just more anxious than others, you can't change that but you can help your son to be more confident by praising him etc. A team sport would be good but only if he wants it because you don't want to push him into something he won't like.
I very much doubt you're doing anything wrong, and your son will most likely grow in confidence as he gets older. One of my children was quite anxious at that age and she's a confident well-adjusted adult now.

foxy06 Registered User

He is one of the youngest in the class and I even caught him telling fibs to his classmates about how old he was so you may be onto something there. I am bringing him for football training on saturday morning so I am just going to see how it goes. He wants to go at the moment but that may change by Saturday.

Dizzyblonde Whirling dervish

My friend's daughter who repeated a year never looked back. It didn't change her personality but she grew in confidence and was far happier in school afterwards. I hope your son enjoys football training, exercise is a great distraction from worries.

Colm_OReilly Registered User


I've coached a lot of children and I've foud the best thing to help them develop confidence is to treat them as if they are confident.

To explain: People will generally behave how they're expected to behave, and will try to conform to your image of them if you verbalise it. If you praise someone for something, even if they don't believe it, they'll generally try and be that way about you.

So if you say (genuinely): "Wow, I think it's great how hard you work at your homework." they'll try harder at their homework.

I've had kids of various abilities in my classes, so I think it's best to let them knor their effort is appreciated. Once they realise they'll get rewarded (through praise) for effort they'll try harder. The greatest way to improve at something is to consistently and consciously work on it - so the tangibles like results should increase.

Also, the more anxious/worried you are about his performance or nerves, the more he'll pick up on it. I KNOW this is easier said than done, but try not to worry about him falling behind or losing confidence.

I hope this helps,

di11on Registered User

There was a famous study conducted in the 1970s by Robert Rosenthal and Lenore Jacobson. They conclusively demonstrated the power of expectation in a school environment. I think every parent should be made familliar with this.

OP: I'm not suggesting a lack of expectation is at play in your situation! I just think this is very interesting:

Here's a study which shows that the impact of a child's age position in his class outweighs any benefit of being in school longer:

D Bronc Registered User

I think its a good idea to get him involved in after school activities, but what are the chances he'll meet people from his class there?

He really needs to build up a relationship with classmates so he wont be uncomfortable around them.

Would you not let him throw a party, (just for class mates) give him a set number of people from his class he can invite and make the invitations together? I think that would help him, when his classmates come to you're house they will be on his territory so there will be no need to be anxious.

Hope this helps .

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