Posted: Sat Sep 20, 2008 9:37 pm
Post subject: How to raise confidence in a child
Recently my niece's confidence has taken a tumble. She was never the most forthright child before but since starting at school things seem to have got worse, to the point where she will only talk to me and my brother.
The things that may have caused this include that she and her brother have only lived with us for just over a month, starting school for the first time and my bubbas arriving. When i went into hospital she apparently locked herself in her room and would only let her brother in. My Dh is feeling really confused and left out and i'm incredibly worried about her. She hasn't had the easiest time but i had hoped she would get better now she's with us.
I'm thinking about talking to a child psychiatrist but if anyone has any ideas on how to raise her confidence, especially in my DH it would be much appreciated.
Posted: Sat Sep 20, 2008 10:57 pm
Aww bless her, its horrible to think she is like that when I bet you and oh try your hardest to make her feel comfortable. I defo agree about the professional help, is she too young to talk to her, she might give out some clues as to why she is so clingy to you?
Maybe try some fun things including the oh, let him take the lead role in organising but you be there to oversea things, that might help a little.
Soz if the advice is abit rubbish lol I hope she starts to come out of her shell soon.
Posted: Mon Sep 29, 2008 12:36 pm
Post subject: Selective mutism?
As a speech-language pathologist, I have worked with a small number of children who have a condition called selective mutism. They are able to talk, but only do so in certain contexts (e.g., at home but not at school).
Selective mutism is a social anxiety disorder, and it is treatable, so I would definitely encourage you to seek professional help. A child psychiatrist or psychologist is a good place to start.
Meanwhile, continue to provide her with love and security at home (as I'm sure you're already doing). Don't make an issue out of her not talking, as this will just add to her anxiety. Keep up the good work, and do let us know how things progress!
Best of luck to you and your family,
Posted: Mon Sep 29, 2008 2:53 pm
You could give her teh lead for a while. Try to find out what she likes to do, to play with. Then take your time patience and tune into her. Try for one thing that you dont really understand what she is doing and maybe she likes to explain. many parents restrict their kids. parents tend to make decision for kids, either because it suits them or they think its dangerous.
A friend of mine wrote it this way to me. I just copied it.
With kids, the common problem is that adults tend to think the kids
are in grave immediate danger -- all the time -- so they coerce and
claim it's emergency. But that's almost always false justification
because childhood is not the least bit time sensitive, and has very
few genuinely urgent emergencies. And so there's pretty much always
time to discuss issues until everybody feels heard and satisfied with
Basically learn to respect your nieces wishes. Go her pace in certain things. Take her with you on certain outings and let her watch you how you do things. Or teh playground, playgroups, even if she only watches other kids teh first few times. Eventually she shoudl come around it. Give her time and never force things on her. I know you wouldnt do it delibrately but sometimes we do without knowing only thinking we do it for tehir own good.
Posted: Tue Sep 30, 2008 7:35 am
she's been through an awful lot for a little girl, so its no wonder she's having trouble. I wouldn't be shy about seeking professional help, its amazing what they can do.
Make sure she sees you and hubby talking and having conversations, and try to include her where possible (although not by asking questions - let her jump in if she wants to). Try not to pressure her - she'll figure through whatever is going on in her head eventually. She's probably frightened that more people are going to disappear from her life, and is possibly trying not to engage with people too much.
I think you just have to give her time, love and provide as cheery an atmosphere as possible.