We have known for years that Lizzie struggles with self confidence. It’s a mystery how a child who has us wrapped around her finger can have any insecurities but she does. Math, in particular, has always been an issue. She struggled with it when she was in elementary school, when she was homeschooled, and now.
This year, the three started a new school. They weren’t thrilled with that fact because they liked their old school. But, the reality is that they weren’t really learning or being challenged there. When I registered them at the new school, the administration told me that it was normal for a child’s grades to tank temporarily. They weren’t exaggerating!
The good news is that the boys are getting the hang of things and William’s issue is mostly deciding whether or not he actually does the work. 😉
But, Lizzie, she hasn’t gotten the hang of it yet. She agonizes over every question on her math homework. She struggles with coming up with sentences to write in her journal. And when she does write, she writes painstakingly slowly because she’s trying to get each letter right.
It hurts my heart. She is such a smart child; there is no doubt about that. But, she gets in her own way. Last week, we were working on her math. I would ask her a question and she would just freeze. It wasn’t anything she couldn’t handle but she was so afraid to be wrong that she didn’t want to answer at all. I encouraged her, I told her how smart she is and how she can absolutely handle the material. I told her to believe in herself.
And she said “If I don’t believe I can do it, I won’t be disappointed if I can’t.”
That may have been one of the saddest things that I have ever heard. My little girl doesn’t believe in herself. I said all the things. I told her how amazing she is. I told her again how smart she is. I told her that she could do it.
She didn’t believe me. I told her that I would believe in her for her until she could believe in herself.
We got through the assignment and she went to bed. And we have been repeating it each night. I have seen a little progress. Sometimes, she answers the questions quickly and confidently. And sometimes, she begs me to let her stay home because she has a group project in class and the other kids always rush her and get impatient with her.
I’m in communication with the teachers and she’s getting tutoring after school. But, I don’t know what else to do for her. I want to rip her out of the school and bring her home. But, I know that’s not what she needs. All I can do is keep supporting her and believing in her. It’s not hard to believe in her. She really can do it and she really is amazing.
One day she will know it, too.