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Is your child too self-critical?

Has your child ever said, ‘I’m rubbish,‘I’m such an idiot,‘ or ‘I’m useless’? Sadly, it’s far too common – and can be so upsetting to hear. What’s causing this confidence dip? And what can you do about it?

Teenagers are bombarded by media images promoting perfection and the important of success. Meanwhile at school, the endless drive to push up standards makes many teens feel they’re a disappointment if they don’t measure up.

Even in junior and infants school, there is pressure on children to pass exams,  achieve full marks. And on top of this, because levels have been phased out, children are confronted with reports saying they’ve ‘not met expectations.‘ In black and white – spelling out that some kids are simply ‘not good enough.’

Of course, this isn’t the intention. But as we see here at 121 Home Tutors, it doesn’t take much to shake a child’s confidence. Worse than that, if left to fester, shaken confidence can turn into a crisis.

How to help your child boost their confidence

  • Praise your child for the smallest achievement – especially for trying. If they did poorly in a test, saying ‘I’m so proud of how hard you tried’ helps a child with low self-esteem realise that making an effort matters too.
  •  Explain how making mistakes in life is natural – that one bad performance doesn’t mean they are worthless. Failing at something is an opportunity to improve. This thinking can also help them keep perspective and not over dramatise failing.
  • Break down a big problem into a smaller one. If your child is struggling with Maths, for instance, whittle down the areas that he or she most struggles with and focus on them first.

Still need some specific support, or feel out of your depth with a subject? Don’t worry, we’ve a wonderful team of personal tutors across Manchester and Cheshire ready to step in to help.

Whether your child is feeling stressed by A levels or GCSEs – or is struggling with SATs or entrance exam skills – drop us a line today.


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