When does confidence grow for a child?

I have always been an over sharer, even from a young age – I’m a chatterbox and I am not afraid to admit that, I actually don’t think it is a bad thing.

Open, honest and often loud are my traits.

Those traits used to get me in trouble in my later school years as I would answer back, mainly to fit into the crowd but often I just couldn’t help myself – things jump from my mouth faster than my brain can compute that its really not a good idea to voice the words, but of course by then it is too late.

It was around this time I found a love of drama, something I had always pushed aside previously.  I began auditioning for the school productions and much to my surprise found myself with parts every time, and not just background extras but speaking and singing roles.  I was always in the school dance productions from the start of secondary school and loved every minute and even took part in the music productions towards the end of my secondary schooling singing with friends.

I’ve never gone out of my way to be centre of attention but I have never shied away from it either.  I’ve always had a nice circle of friends, never a huge group but a nice select manageable circle who I fully trust, even now I still see and talk to my best friends from school – it isn’t everyday or even every month but we catch up on WhatsApp and I know if I needed them at all they are only a call away.  I feel very privileged to have the friends I do, all of them are amazing in their own way and all of them are there for me at the drop of a hat should I need them – this goes for friends old and new, I am lucky in that I only have a handful of close friends but they are amazing and I know they are always there.

younger pictures of me, www.emmysmummy.com, my school days
The younger faces of me – Thanks for these Mum (pictures of pictures) – I don’t think I’ve changed much

Becoming a Mum made me a little more refrained in my ways, thinking before speaking is generally a good idea around young children as they do like to parrot what we say, and of course saying out loud that someone is a moron or a F****** idiot for running across the road in front of the car will only be repeated in class so I have to just think it.

As I was always a confident child I find it very hard to help Emmy gain her confidence in the world and to find her foothold on the ladder of life.

She takes knockbacks hard and personally, and it takes her days if not weeks to get used to new situations and environments.  Changing classrooms at school provokes weeks of sleepless nights and fears and she managed to go two terms in reception class before she even spoke to her teachers. 

Thankfully she absolutely loves her current teacher but we’ve already had tears about moving to year 2 in September and changing classes even though she will remain with all of her class mates, the though of a new teacher worries her.

Holidays see her clinging to us by the sidelines wanting to join in with the other children but not having the confidence to do so, although this Easter going away with my best friend and her children really helped and by day 3 Emmy was up dancing and joining in but I can’t see her going to holiday clubs anytime soon.

Today we attended a birthday party for one of the boys in her class, she was reluctant to go to start with and for days she has been saying she was unsure of going but wanted to.  I assured her I would be staying with her and her other class mates would be going and definitely her 2 best friends.  All morning she kept saying she had a tummyache, which is her default for when she is worried.  Party time arrived and we set off and she was happy but upon arriving she refused to join in, clinging to me and then sitting on my lap for the first 10/15 minutes.  It was a small hall with all friends she knew but she wasn’t keen to join them.  She did eventually sneak in at the back to sit with a boy in her class and joined in with the dancing and did enjoy herself.

After the party she announced she had a great time and I was so pleased, it was nice to watch her joining in with her friends and playing the games with a smile on her face.  A slow start but she got there in the end.

I do worry about her at school as often she will come home and say she didn’t play with anyone at break times or lunch times, and this week she has written Paul, Harry and I lovely notes she has written during these breaks saying she is missing us and this breaks my heart.

School are helping to build her confidence and have introduced a ‘Butterfly Club’ on a Wednesday lunchtime, this is an art club for a few select children which have been identified as having extra emotional needs.  During this time they all have their own art books and each week they draw or make something new.  There are around 2 children from each class who were chosen by their teacher.  Emmy looks forward to this class all week and talks constantly about what she has drawn that week.

I am so pleased the school are helping her and we are doing our best to help to boost her confidence and to bring her out of her shell.

When do children stop being worried by new situations?
Any tips on helping to build confidence in children?

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12 thoughts on “When does confidence grow for a child?

  1. I was always very worried about Minxy and her lack of close friendships when at primary school. She often played alone. However, since starting secondary school in September her confidence has developed endlessly and she has some fantastic friends! x

  2. My eldest daughter is the same when it comes to things changing, she doesn't cope well. She's been worrying about starting secondary school in September since the start of this school year.
    She has gained in confidence since being in junior school though, thankfully. She's got a good circle of friends now.

  3. I'm struggling at the moment as boo is going through some hard times with friends. It is so hard to see them go through such things isn't it and feel pretty helpless 🙁 xx

  4. I am so glad that you wrote this post – I am in exactly the same boat with my little girl. I cant even leave her at school without tears. I wish there was a little club she would enjoy too.
    Following your post x

    1. It's so hard it's it? We want them to be happy and enjoy themselves but when they don't have the confidence to join in it's another worry as they may then be over looked and not make friends as easily.

      I thought these types of clubs would be common in schools but it appears not sadly and that really makes me mad – they need a little individual nurturing. I hope you can also find some answers for your little girl

  5. This is such a difficult one. My eldest daughter is confident and out going, much more so than me. She takes after her daddy. My youngest is a lot more shy in new situations, sitting on my lap until she warms up, this is much more like me when I was little. I think it's fantastic that the school are supporting her and maybe she will make a friend a butterfly club. Sorry I don't have any tips X

  6. How lovely that they put on classes for emotional needs too, I don't think they even think about that at the boys school although I think they should. I am sure her confidence will soon grow x

  7. All children are different and it is hard when they are shy (I have no fears of that with Eliza, she is TOO confident). I think you are doing everything right and it is lovely that the school are helping her too.

  8. I think you are taking all the right steps, just being there, being supportive and encouraging Emmy into new situations is the best thing. Confidence comes from within, I think I was 30 before I found mine, hopefully Emmy won't take so long!

  9. I think that it really depends on the individual. I was always a confident child and I have two pretty outgoing children. They have a nurture club at the boys school and it works wonders with kids who lack confidence

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