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Self Confidence

Discussion forum for parents in Australia


Self Confidence

My son turns 13 next month. He is a beautiful person but has always lacked self confidence. He has 3 or 4 close friends but constantly tells me how they consider him last, don't include him everything ("in" jokes, group chats etc.). It's like he can never see the positves, he searches for the negatives. Everyday is a story about some kids at school who did or said something to him. He makes it sound like he's always the victim. Whilst I am sure some of his concerns are valid, I feel like he is constantly looking for things to worry about and complain about. I always listen to his concerns but I also don't want to validate every negative thought. I constantly try to get him to look at the postives but I also don't want him to feel like I'm not supportive. Is anyone elses son like this?

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Re: Self Confidence

I get this so much. We have started (a year ago). Started to have discussions at the dining table about the positives in our day. Everyone except our 14yr old daughter can answer. My 10yr old son however. Is starting to mimic his sister and is starting to find the negatives. We are about to introduce 1 negative and 1positive but with the negative we will try (if possible) use a growth mindset approach to show that it may feel like poop at the time but there is a positive. Hopefully it sinks in.

Re: Self Confidence

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Hi @Mum333 , welcome to the ReachOut community! Thank you for sharing a little bit about your situation regarding your son. The challenges your son faces with self-confidence and social interactions seem really tough, and your concerns for his well-being are completely understandable.  

It’s clear that you care deeply about your son’s well-being and want to strike the right balance between validating his feelings and encouraging a more positive outlook, which isn’t always easy. 

Listening to your son’s concerns is an important step, and it’s great that you’re providing a supportive environment for him to express himself. Helping your son develop positive coping mechanisms for handling social conflict is another important step, and it’s great to see you already incorporating this into your support. 

If you’re open to exploring additional strategies, we have resources available on building self-confidence and resilience in teens that might offer new insights or techniques to support your son. For example, we have one article on self-confidence and teenagers and another on coping skills, resilience, and teenagers. I hope you find these resources helpful Smiley Happy 

I am also curious as to whether you can recall specific times or situations in which your son feels most confident? Reflecting on these moments may help to identify his skills or attributes that he’s proud of. By recognising his strengths, you may be able to encourage him to leverage them, which may boost his confidence in challenging situations. I'd love to hear your thoughts around this.