Monday, September 15, 2014

A Six Year Old's Self Doubt

Quinn has been struck by a severe case of self-doubt this year.

In Kindergarten he was a rock-star. He breezed through reading, writing, and arithmetic too. His parent teacher conferences were a half an our of hearing that my kid was great, and doing well in everything.

I kind of wanted to do his parent teacher conferences twice, because really, I wasn't going to hear that in anyone else's meeting. Not that all my kids aren't awesome, (in my totally biased opinion) but there have been some struggles here and there. For Quinn there were literally no concerns.

So, I was pretty shocked to hear from his new teacher that he was avoiding doing things in class. Because he says he can't.

But I was hearing it at home, too.

"I can't read that. I don't know how to read."

"I can't write that. I'm not good at writing."

I did his spelling with him tonight, and he's REALLY good at writing. And he's such a good reader, he read through every book they had in his classroom last year. He hasn't forgotten how. I checked.

So, how do I convince him of his own abilities? Right now I'm using a lot of praise, and encouragement. It seems to be working, albeit slowly.

It made me think about how I'm the first one to say that I can't do things. I can't sew. I don't cook well.  I can't make a lot of things. I'm not a good writer (though I really wish I were). So, how often am I right, and how often am I totally underestimating my own talents and abilities? Is Quinn learning this most basic lesson from me?

It's food for thought, to be sure. I want my children to see themselves as the amazing people I see them as. But I have to keep doing the same for myself. I keep telling myself that there is a huge gap between confidence and narcissism. And I'm really not anywhere close to falling in it. I can afford to give myself a little more credit.

It's a work in progress.

You can boost my self-esteem a bit.

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