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10 yr ds lacking confidence

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I am struggling with this and wonder what the hive thinks. Our 10 year old son takes a homeschool gym class which he loved last year. He doesn't want to go anymore this year because he says he isn't aggressive enough and he may as well not be there because he doesn't ever help his team. He states he just stands around and gets in the way because he's confused about what to do and he's worried kids are going to start laughing behind his back.


I think he's fearful of getting roughed up since the other kids are getting older and rougher. We had him try soccer, tee ball and basketball each for two years but he didn't care to continue. He's great at one-on-one or small group play with his friends.


Anyone have experience to share on this? On one hand, I would like him to toughen up about the gym class and stick it out, but that is tantamount to saying that it's not okay for him to be the way he naturally is, which is not competitive in sports. On the other hand, I'm okay to just say he can stop gym class. My dh thinks he shouldn't quit the class or he'll learn to give up on other things as he gets older. I think our son would love to just enjoy the class, but that means changing his personality to be more aggressive and competitive. Thanks.

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What's wrong with giving up on unsuitable things? Is there something virtuous about smacking your head against a brick wall? It sounds like there are more beneficial things to be doing than hanging about a gym class for the principle of the thing. You can't find the great things that suit you if you haven't the time or money to explore and if you don't have those things because they are being spent on something that doesn't suit, well you have to wonder why not enjoying your recreation time is such a high priority to you!


So why is he in this class? Is it the social aspect? The fitness aspect? For learning an enduring skill? For teamwork?



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My newly 11 year old ds feels exactly the same about competitive team sports. Look for active activities hecan do that don't require that. Jogging, biking, skiing, etc. some people are just not competitive. I think that's fine. My son does unicycle and acrobatics.

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My oldest ds is the same way. What has helped him gain confidence is martial arts, running and hiking (through Scouts).


He wasn't really interested in running at first but needed it to do the hikes. In the end though, the running has helped him gain confidence too. Now, he runs daily and wants to do more hiking.


The biggest part is that now, he loves gym night at our church youth group and he's willing to shoot hoops or rock climb w/other kids - things he wouldn't do before.


I'd let your ds drop the gym class and find other ways to boost his confidence. Once he feels more secure, he'll be more inclined to participate in group games, whether he's great at them or not. He just needs to build his confidence first.


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