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Why is my daughter not confident and outspoken?

Q: My 11 years old daughter is bright in her studies but has very low self-esteem. I love her a lot but sometimes cannot control my anger when she does not behave properly. I have a few concerns about her. She feels extremely self-conscious while responding to others. Her body language indicates that she is not confident. We live in an area where there are no children and she does not get any opportunity to play after school. There are absolutely no extra curricular activities in the school also. She doesn't even interact properly with guests. She is learning Carnatic vocal but does not like to sing in front of others. We have to force her to sing something. I am extremely concerned about her shy and introvert nature and have doubts on my own parenting skills. Please help.

A:Parents often get stuck with their concept of the perfect child. Everything that falls short of that is then seen as a problem. That seems to be a fair description of your situation. When you have chosen a school that has no play activities and a neighbourhood where there are no children, why do you expect a specific kind of behaviour from your daughter? I think that some hesitation to answer questions that well meaning (but often tactless) visitors ask is normal. Not wanting to sing, because one is still at the early stages, is also normal. Leave something to your child's judgement and do not see her as an extension of your smartness. If she is shy, let her take time to get accustomed to a new person. Parenting skill requires that you do the best for your child, given her inborn nature and preferences, not that you have a product that meets with your definition.

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