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13 year old creative introvert!

answered 04:39 PM EST, Mon March 19, 2012
My 13 year old son has a problem with self confidence and self esteem. He has always been shy but he is a lovely person and a great artist and a true pleasure to be around for anyone that takes the time to get to know him.

I watch him with his classmates at school and he just lets them walk all over him and he never stands up for himself. It is so hard for me to sit back and watch but I don’t think having him mom wading in to fight his battles for him is going to help him in the long run.

How can I get him to be more assertive and confident with his friends at school? He wants to fit in so badly so he just lets people treat him very poorly just so he’ll have a group to belong to. I tell him that real friends don’t make you do things you don’t want to do but I know my words probably don't carry the same weight as his need to fit in with his peers. I am worried that he is going to get involved with dangerous things like drugs since he seems like he’ll go along with anything just to fit in.

Rachel Starck Says...

My heart goes out to you!  It is so hard to watch our children struggle with self worth, social pressures etc.  I agree with you that it will not benefit him in the long run to have you rescue him or fight his battles.  I would really focus on ways he can connect with peers who share his interests, and I would recommend finding a local counselor for him to work with on self esteem, peer relationships and all the adjustments of entering adolescence.  It takes a village to raise our children.  You don't have to do it all by yourself, and at his age, as you mentioned, your words may not have the weight that other role models may.  Think about what other adults are in his life, who he respects, might listen to, talk to, develop his talents with...   And keep appreciating and noting his strengths as you clearly are!

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Page last updated Mar 19, 2012

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