How do I help my son with his low self -esteem?
February 2, 2007 3:57am CST
My son is 14 years old and has been playing basketball for the last 2 years on the school team and all of a sudden he has been saying stuff like " I suck" and " I can't play ball" and I try to get him to stop saying the stuff ,but he will start arguing with me and yelling off stats of other ball player and even NBA ballers! My son is not the best ,but he CAN play! He is actually pretty good. He gets a ton of rebounds and steals. And I think that is why he is down is because he is not the leading scorer ,but he is the leader in rebounds and assists. I tell him and the coach has told him that that is awesome and he does not have to score everytime he has the ball ,that he is part of a team. Luckily he has not gave up and quit but how do me and his dad talk to him and get into his head before he does give up??
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Feb 07
It's hard, isn't it? I know how you feel. I have a 16 year old and he has gone through his stages of beating himself up over things when he shouldn't. My son plays football and wrestles for his high school. He isn't the best but he's getting there and what is most important is that he never gives up. He's not a quitter. What works for me when he's feeling down about his performance is to remind him that practice makes perfect and those (in your son's case) NBA players had to start somewhere. They weren't born perfect ballers. My son isn't the best because there are boys who have been playing and practicing longer than he has and are older than him but that doesn't mean he won't be in their shoes when he's their age. You just have to try and learn from others, keep trying and you will get better. By the time your son is a senior in high school, I bet there will be kids that are 14 years old looking at him and thinking they suck. Ask him what he would tell them - what kind of advice or encouragement would he give a kid who feels the way he does right now? What has also worked for us is when I give him real examples of people that have been in his shoes and are now very successful. There is a father within our football group that has a few sons who have all played football at the high school. His older son was really bad at football his first 2 years of high school but then his 11th grade year something snapped and he was one of the best players. He ended up getting a scholarship to play football at Arizona State. Or there is a kid that is a senior on the wrestling team that my son really admires and looks up to. This kid has taught my son so much. He's one of the best wrestlers on our team but I found out from his mom that it wasn't always that way. When he was the same age a my son, he wasn't the best - he was actually wanting to quit because he thought he sucked but his parents made him stick it out and encouraged him as much as they could. This young man will most likely take the State Championships this year - and he has a prosthetic leg and is missing alot of his fingers... but he doesn't let it get him down. I share these things with my son and they sink in. He realizes that sitting around and telling yourself that you suck isn't going to help - it's only going to cause you to continue thinking that way and pretty soon you will suck because you aren't giving yourself enough credit. He needs to stay positive and before he knows it - kids will be looking up to him! Good luck to both of you!