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13 year old daughter confidence and self esteem drop

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13 year old daughter confidence and self esteem drop


13 year old daughter confidence and self esteem drop

Hi everyone, I have something I need a bit of advice on regarding my 13 year old daughter.

So, my daughter has been playing netball since she was 9. For the most part, she has really enjoyed it. Ability wise she stinks at it but that doesn’t matter to me, she tries her best, has fun and I really enjoy watching her play.

However, this season her enjoyment for it has dropped drastically, and it’s translating into some self esteem issues away from the netball court. Essentially, my daughter is the worst player on her team. She’s got no coordination. Like I said, that’s fine by me, my job is to cheer her on and support her, not go on about how bad she is. However, somewhat tragically she overheard one of the other girls on her team saying “I hope (insert daughter’s name) quits. We always lose because of her!” which completely destroyed any sort of confidence and enjoyment she had. Another problem is, a few weeks ago she got sick during the week and missed the game on the weekend. Her team proceeded to blow out the other team and get their only win so far this season, and it has made her feel responsible for all of her team’s losses.

This confidence drop has also translated to life outside of netball. She used to be the kind of girl that’s always open to try new things and will always put her hand up in class even if she thinks she’ll get the answer wrong. Now, that’s gone. She still seems relatively content with life, but this confidence and self esteem drop has taken a toll on her. I feel really bad for her too because she tries so hard at netball, she probably tries 10x harder than all the other girls combined. It’s just such a pity that one of the other girls spoke behind her back about wanting my daughter to quit doing what she loves just because she’s not very good at it.

Any advice on how I can help her regain her once huge amount of confidence? I’ve been doing my best to support her and tell her that the girl was disrespectful and that my daughter should do her best to not listen to comments like that. I understand that it’s difficult for her to simply ignore it though, and that’s why I’m reaching out on here.

So, any advice?

Thank you

Star contributor

Re: 13 year old daughter confidence and self esteem drop

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Hey @DuckAquarium777 


Thanks for sharing your story on ReachOut! You sound like a wonderful and caring mum! It must be hard to see a decrease in your daughter's confidence. I think it's great that you're doing your best to support her. In terms of how to get her to regain her confidence, that's a little hard to answer because I do not personally know your daughter. If you continue to see a decline in her confidence, it might be worth taking her to see a therapist? That way the therapist can understand what exactly is causing it, identify any negative self-talk that might be occurring, and then provide her with positive coping strategies. 


In terms of yourself, it might be worth calling Parentline, which is a confidential telephone helpline that offers information and counselling about parenting issues. Their number does vary depending on what state you're in so I have linked you this website here. If you scroll to the bottom you can see the different contact details per state. 

I have also tagged some of our most regular users here in case they can offer help in any way. They generally offer great support to users on the forums Smiley Happy @PapaBill @Dad4good @JAKGR8 @sunflowermom @compassion @taokat 





Parent/Carer Community Champion

Re: 13 year old daughter confidence and self esteem drop

Hey @DuckAquarium777 ,


Thanks for sharing, nothing worse than seeing your kids go through something and you feel hopeless.


I agree with @TOM-RO in that it can be really helpful to use those resources, they are great!


In my own experience with my children, confidence can be a really hard thing to foster (at least when they are not the best at the activity). I tend to try and provide feedback to my kids in a way that is positive but still linked to reality. For example, my 12 year old daughter plays basketball and is "afraid of the ball". I talk to her about this as an "opportunity to improve".


I wonder if you can also introduce her to other things that may be in line with her natural abilities? It can be really hard to encourage someone into confidence when they keep "failing" at the task. After all, we all have our strengths and weaknesses and so maybe exposing her to those activities that are likely to experience success will help remind her that she has those strengths.


I think it is great that your daughter has always tried really hard with basketball. Do you think that she may have already known that its not her strength (prior to the team mates comment)? If so, I wonder how she managed to keep motivated to practice so much.


Maybe a conversation about the "other reasons to play the game" (i.e., just to have fun, keeping active, socialising) could be the greater purpose for continuing with the game. If the team mates are primarily in it for winning then this might be difficult. Could you join a different team. My daughter plays basketball for those other reasons, but this is easy for her because her team mates are supportive of this.


Best of luck, let us know how you go!

Parent/Carer Community Champion

Re: 13 year old daughter confidence and self esteem drop

Hi @DuckAquarium777 


Teens can be very mean to others and that can be devastating.  It is quite understandable that if your daughter is feeling unwanted on the court those feelings are extending beyond the court.


Adding to @Dad4good  comment about "introduce her to other things that may be in line with her natural abilities" another option you might be able to consider (Depending on where you live) is have her join a team at a different grade (i.e. C or D grade etc)