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Thread: Low Self Esteem

  1. #1

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    Default Low Self Esteem

    We got a letter home from school today saying they would like to get a guidance counsellor in for Ethan (8) As he has low self esteem




    I am sitting here feeling like the worst parent in the world.. I feel like I have done something wrong by him

    I know I am busy with the other kids and do tend to let Ethan do more for himself then I would normally or maybe the things I get him to do are normal things..

    I feel like I have done wrong by him by having 4 children which is silly but I feel like I don't have enough time for him. I try to make the time I really do but to be honest usually by the time I have finished what I need to do with the other kids I am tired.

    I worry I should have really pushed the issue with this bullying at school more instead of letting it go and letting the school deal with it. We have approached them numerous times about this one kid. The response is always the same.. They just don't get on (no sh*t sherlock) and they need to work together..

    Has anyone elses children ever had Low Self esteem? and what did you do..

    Tonight I sent an email off to Boy scouts hoping that something like that might be fun for him.. He does Touch Footy on Wednesdays as well.. but other then that no other out of school activities..

    agh I feel so bad..

  2. #2

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    Have you read Raising Boys by Steve Biddulph? It's a great book - easy to read and very informative. Maybe getting your hands on a copy might give you some ideas about building self-esteem.
    What about his Dad? I can't help but to feel that going fishing/fixing the car/working in the garden/whatever with his Dad a few hours a week might be more beneficial than Scouts. Of course if your DH already spends one-on-one time with him reguarly then feel free to ignore me lol.

  3. #3

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    I have heard of that book.. Might get to the library tomorrow to check it out.. Thanks for that


    Dh doesn't generally do any one on one time with any of the kids, neither do I really. We always do things as a group.. I am thinking we really need to do things separatly.. We do go fishing ect and do fun things.. I am unsure of the scouts thing it was just an idea. I wouldn't even have a clue what they were about, I just see the ads on tv and thought it might be good

  4. #4

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    Please don't take me the wrong way. I wasn't dissing Scouts I think they have an emphasis on learning new skills and achievements are always good for self-esteem. I was just trying to say that sometimes if someone is feeling left-out the best cure is some time doing day to day things with someone who cares about you and values you just because you're you.

  5. #5

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    Oh no I knew what you meant.. I think if I sent him to scouts he would feel as though we were pushing him away..

    I much prefer the idea of "making" one on one time with him

    I think Ethan needs less of a competitive enviroment.. I am only assuming this would be how scouts went.. like who has the most badges kwim? He needs to be steered away from that sort of thing

  6. #6

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    Please don't beat yourself up Nic. We all do the best we can. I think Dach has a point though. I have read that each parent should have one on one time with each child at least once a week. Personally I think whoever wrote that didn't have four kids, but it's still a good goal to aspire to. I think if you can somehow find a way for each of you to have even half an hour one on one with him, doing something he enjoys, or even just talking, it could make a huge difference. Time really is a great gift to give someone you care about.

    And please let go of the guilt. You have done a great job and are obviously a caring and devoted mum. He is a lucky boy.

  7. #7

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    Hey nic
    Hope you arent beating yourself up too much over this!!
    I had really low self esteem as a kid, and a teenager, its not fun!! But I had a thought - you said ethan does touch footy? Do you all go to that and watch and cheer him on? I just remember one of the things that has really stuck with me (and quite frankly still upsets me) is that my older brother had footy and cricket and he and dad played nintendo games together ...I played netball. And nobody would come to my games, just drop me off, and the one time they did come my dad read the newspapaer the whole time. I was so upset.
    My point is, I would have felt more 'important' if as big a deal was made about my meagre attempts at netball as was about spending the entire saturday at the footy club (with smelly boys!! lol)
    If you already do, then feel free to ignore my rambling!!
    The other thing is martial arts is great for a kids self esteem and self confidence too

    GL

  8. #8
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    Nic,

    My oldest daughter has just finished a Centacare course called Kids With Confidence. It was run at the school in a small group. I'll see if I can put together some ideas from that later on today.

    Definitely read Raising Boys if you can. Another good book by Steve Biddulph is Raising Happy Children.

    I think Scouts could be a good option if your son is interested in it. I don't think the environment is usually very competitive - but it does depend on the group dynamics there though. I'd say to talk to your son about it, if he is interested definitely give it a go - or try other out-of-school activities as well. Obviously don't overload him - but activities that require him to interact with other children and adults and develop independence and extra social skills, etc are all beneficial to the development of self esteem.

  9. #9

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    Have you noticed that he has low self esteem? Has his teacher ever mentioned anything before? As a teacher, I would never just send a letter like that home out of the blue. Where is the guidance counsellor located? Do you have to pay? In NSW it would be unlikely that any public school would have the resources for this so I wouldn't ever send a letter like this home anyway!
    I think spending one on one time with him would be great, and valuing the things he already does but speaking as one with low self esteem, its often personality that makes us susceptible to it also. My brother and I reacted in 2 different ways to the sam upbringing- he vowed to prove Dad's negativity wrong and I just accepted that I was hopeless.
    Sorry to ramble on.

  10. #10

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    Sorry I didn't notice this post sooner


    Have you noticed that he has low self esteem? yes and no. We knew he was a low in himself but not this extent because at home he is generally a happy kid

    Has his teacher ever mentioned anything before? No. just that his work was fine. Admittedly I hadn't been up to the school in a while. Mu Dh and my friend were doing the school runs and they wait in the car for the kids to come down where as I walk up to the class room

    Where is the guidance counsellor located? Do you have to pay?
    She is at the school and Ethan has a session once a week.. No we don't have to pay

    I am honestly at my wits end with him.. It is not just his low self esteem but his attitude towards everything. I don't know what to do or who to turn to right now. My mum is no help as she just says oh you were like that or you did this... My Dh just doesn't know either. my stupid MIL says its because I didn't have him around lots of other children when he was younger.. so of course I sit here at night and think over the days events and blame myself and wonder where I went so wrong and how can I avoid these same problems in my other children

    sorry for the ramble

  11. #11

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    Sweetheart every child is different just as adults have different personalities, part of this is his nature not anything you have done or not done.
    I still think the teacher should have called you for a chat first too not just sending a bomb like that out of the blue.
    Another thing I have thought of is that the school has received funding for a self esteem program so they have rounded up every kid who even faintly fits the bill to go to this. Do you kow if other kids are doing it too?
    I have a little girl in my class who is very reluctant to work by herself (she has learning difficulties too though) I have changed my attitude to her and nevr go head on with her about anything and I sort of jolly her along or help her a bit then let her do a bit. I also have a system with her mum which at the end of each day when she picks her up outside the door I either give "thumbs up" or thumbs down for her attitude/behaviour to the day. MUm has a chart at home and every thumbs up gets a sticker, if she gets any stickers from me during the day they get added too. After the card fills she got a treat/prize. I cannot tell you the difference it has made to this little girl- she now is smiling and happy at school whereas her last years teacher said she was sullen and cranky. She just thrives on this praise, some days have even been 2 thumbs up!! (one memorable day I told her mum that if I had more thumbs they would be up to LOL) We have had the odd thumbs sideways or down at the start but not for weeks now. Do you think your DS' teacher would help with something like that??
    Sorry to ramble on I am just worried about you cause its obvious you are a great mum and you are not being supported.
    PM me if you want me to post you a copy of the chart or anyhting

  12. #12

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    I know other kids are seeing the guidance counsellor. Well one that I know of I mean. the other child who picks on Ethan is seeing her and apparently has been since last year.

    I think Ethans behaviour at school is fine it is just the crying.. I like the idea of the thumbs up approach and will arrange a meeting with his teacher for Tues or Wednesday to see how his week went last week and what else there is we can do..

    I do have some support. My husband and I talk about this situation a lot and i can also have a vent to my friend who has a son in the same class about things. She offers me some advice and is just there to listen when I am having a really bad day about things..

    Today for example he is very happy ect.. But Keeps asking to play the computer. i have said no due to his behaviour during the week. Like right now for example. I have just put my DD to bed and all I ask is that the boys don't jump around and yell inside the house while she is asleep.. All was good till I got up to put her in her bed and Ethan started this high pitched laughter and as a result she is now still awake. This is the 3rd time in the last hour I have managed to get her to sleep and thanks to Ethan she is being woken each time. Is he jealous of the attention she gets? he was never like this when his brothers were babies! i should point out I haven't said he can't laugh and play i have just asked that they go outside if they want to play those games. I really don't think that is too much to ask.. or is it?

    sigh..

  13. #13

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    I always try to remember that when kids at their worst, its when they need us most...

    Does Ethan have any 'special privileges' because he is the oldest? We let eldest dss stay up half an hour later 'because he is older'. He really got a kick out of it, and gave him his 'place' in the family.

    DH is the most important role model Ethan has, then you. (other way around for girls) In Raising Boys, it is highlighted how much boys need one on one time with their dads...fishing, going to Bunnings etc - like Dach said.

  14. #14

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    Ethan does get some special things the younger ones don't.. We bought him a phone. one for our own peace of mind but also thought it would be something he would really like to have as he had been asking for one.. He loves it and says it makes him feel all grown up..

    Dh always says he is going to do this or that with Ethan but either he doesn't get the time or is to busy doing something else. They were going to go see amovie the other week but we all got sick and now we have to wait till pay day again.. but they are going at the end of the month..

    Ethan probably gets more things then the other kids. but maybe time is what he needs more then things. but it is also hard to tell and 2 and 6 month old to wait because mummy is busy..

    Today he has been pushing my buttons. He woke DD for the 4th time not long after my last post. Thankfully she went back to sleep without to much fuss.. and he has been good pretty much ever since because I gave him a really good talking to..

    With getting to stay up a bit later it just isn't possible in Ethans case. bed time is between 7 and 7:30. If Ethan doesn't get enough sleep he is tired, cranky and emotional all the next day.. for 4 nights in a row now we have had him come out argue whine anything to stay out of bed even though his eyes are hanging out of his head.. and yet he is still up by 6 every morning. yesterday morning he woke at 5:50 and was falling asleep at 8am. I wish we could get through to him why he needs to go to bed and stay there..

    oh and we have tried letting him stay up till 8 on school nights and later on weekends but that backfired well and truly as it still took an hour to get him to stay in his room..So we told him bed time is the same as everyone else until he can be responsible about it..

    I hope we are doing the right things and not making th situation worse. I try not to raise my voice too much.. hard some days but most days I take a deep breath and speak in a calm voice even though inside I am cranky as hell.. I am yet to get a copy of te book Raising boys. My local Library didn't have it and I haven't been into town to look around the shops..

    Hopefully next week we will get in there

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    I'd lend you my copy but I've got to get it back first......!

    Can you try to get DH to stop putting it off? You certainly do have your hands full...I was saying in another thread how the older ones waking the baby pushes my buttons like NOTHING ELSE ggrrrrrrrr.

  16. #16

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    I have spoken to Dh about it but he just says yeh I do put it off a bit..

    After his talking to he was pretty good for the rest of the day. Tonight before bed I told him he was to stay inhis bed no matter what.. and amazingly he did. For the first time in months he has not got back up..

    We are going camping tomorrow, provided this rain stays away and Ethan is so looking forward to it. he has asked if he can stay up later then normal and go fishing at night and i told him if his behaviour stays the way t was this afternoon he sure can ..

  17. #17

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    Nic, I don't have older kids so I'm not much help with advice but I just wanted to say IT'S NOT YOUR FAULT!

    I had shocking self esteem as child and teen. I mean really bad. A few examples - my mum has a huge family and family get togethers terrified me as a child. I would spend the day literally holding on to my mum and hiding behind my her skirt. When I was older, if I was out with friends and we were having lunch, I'd make them order my food for me, I couldn't talk to the person behind the counter because I'd wonder what they thought of me and what I was eating etc etc. I remember my parents being told by my high school history teacher that even though I was at the top of the class academically, she rarely called on me during class because I would react so badly to it, I couldn't handle being the center of everyone's attention. I'd go bright red, look down at my desk and mumble the answer. It was really awful and made my life miserable for soooo long. For me, I think it was mainly about being overweight, particularly as I got older (I wasn't overweight as a child), because once I made up my mind to fix that (when I was about 17) it truly was like I was a new person and since then my self confidence has just grown and grown. People who've known me for years always tell me it's like I'm not the same person, and I really feel like I'm not. But I'll always be a shy, reserved person, some of us just are.

    It had absolutely NOTHING to do with my parents or the way I was raised. My parents are fantastic and I love them to bits. Now that I have children of my own, I admire the job they did with us even more because they were young parents; 18 when my sister was born, then had me 2 years later and my brother 2 years after that. My brother and sister were the opposite of me growing up and were very outgoing, confident kids.

    Just let him know often that you love him and think he's a fantastic kid!
    Last edited by Willow; June 7th, 2008 at 09:12 PM.

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