Our first night of T-ball practice was a huge success!! The only thing their practice consisted of tonight was running bases and hitting the ball. It was a great start! ALL of the kids did such a wonderful job & even though it was freezing cold out there they still had a great time! I’m proud so proud of my babies though!! They were listening, paying attention and most importantly having fun 🙂
I’m especially proud of RJ though and let me tell you why. First, I’m going to start by letting you in on a little bit of my personal business. For a little while now, RJ (my five year old) has struggled a little bit with self-esteem and confidence issues. At first, Justin & I couldn’t figure out what was causing him to feel so low about himself at such a young age because we make sure the exact same love and attention is shown to both of our boys but during this past year of trying to help him gain confidence and improve his self-esteem.. it just sort of clicked with me!
RJ is my firstborn child and like most first time parents – I spoiled him rotten! As a parent, you want to give your kids everything their heart’s desire to make them happy, but parents who give too much, too often can spoil their children. As a matter of fact, between me, my family and his biological dad’s side of the family.. we babied him entirely too much. I’m not gonna lie, we were all a little too overprotective over RJ. I mean as soon as he would fall down, bump his head or something like that we’d rush to his rescue instead of letting him be a big boy and get back up on his own. As time passed, I started to think that we probably did more harm to RJ’s growth than we actually helped it and when he started Pre-K.. my thoughts were confirmed to be right! Spoiling/babying your children can be harmful to them, both socially and developmentally.
RJ started Pre-K when he was four years old and he had the hardest time. As far as schoolwork went, he excelled in that but his social skills were awful, he lacked independence, and he struggled some with his speech. He wasn’t as mature as the rest of the kids in his class. In fact, his teacher that year told me that he wasn’t mature for his age yet. As disheartening as that was at the moment, she was right and it was just a hard truth that I had to face. Because his social skills weren’t where they needed to be, he didn’t play much with the other kids. He was considered the “loner” in his class. Even though, he could dress/undress himself and never needed any help in the bathroom he still lacked independence because he wasn’t good with following two and three step directions. Even though he excelled in his schoolwork, knew how to do everything and made really good grades, often times he wouldn’t actually complete his work without a teacher sitting right beside him kind of guiding him and watching him do it. Last but not least, he struggled some with his speech. I feel like this and his social skills definitely had a big impact on his self-esteem. For the most part, you could understand what RJ was trying to say but sometimes what he was saying didn’t make sense. Sometimes, the teachers didn’t understand him nor could they make sense of what he was trying to say. Of course his teachers would work with him the best they could but then there were kids… kids being kids… when RJ did try to play and talk with them and they couldn’t understand what he was saying.. some of them would kind of tease and pick at him and ask questions like, “Why do you talk like that?” and after a few of those questions is when RJ shut down even more. His teachers started telling me that he started to be more quiet than usual and was hardly talking at all. At this point, I knew that my baby was embarrassed. He would come home and try to tell me about it but just didn’t know how to get it out so he would say things like, “I don’t have any friends or I only have one friend or the other kids were making fun of me or I don’t know how to do this or that or I don’t understand” and as a parent.. as a MOM.. this was very hard for me to hear. A part of me wanted to get those kids and confront the teacher about potential bullying and the other half of me just wanted to break down and cry. I did cry actually because I knew that everything RJ was going through was pretty much my fault. Had I not been babying him so much, he would have never been in that type of situation. So anyways, after a few breakdowns or two.. I finally got myself together. My Husband & I came up with a few plans and different strategies to put into the action of working towards improving his self-esteem, confidence and maturity.
The road to this type of success has not been easy but worth it! We’ve worked more in depth with learning school work, reading, improving speech, let him participate in more activities with many other kids and I also had to put my foot down with my family! It is so hard trying to raise your children a certain way and teach them new habits when family members keep encouraging the exact opposite. It’s very frustrating. We had to have a few “Come to Jesus Meetings” before I finally just said, “If you can’t respect the positive changes we’re trying to make in RJ’s life for the betterment of his growth and future.. then you will be cut off!” and I wasn’t playing either!
RJ has improved tremendously in all areas and I am so proud! All of the extra work we’ve been putting in with him has paid off. He talks so good now that no one would ever believe that last year he struggled with speech at all. His social skills are much better. There’s a little group of kids in class that he sticks with and he has like two “best friends” haha!! He’s definitely way more independent now with everything. He gets that classwork done with no problem or the comfort of having a teacher right beside him. He’s one of the top smartest in his Kindergarten class!! That makes me & his dad sooooo PROUD! He’s currently five years old and acts like it. He’s definitely matured a lot in this past year and I couldn’t be happier! Most importantly though.. his self-esteem and confidence has came a loooong way! I feel like it’s finally where it needs to be at, especially after last night’s first baseball practice!! 🙂 He was so proud of himself and excited. He was confident in everything he done on the field last night. He’s like a different kid. He’s a big boy now .. so he says.. but deep down he will always be my baby! Both RJ & Noah will.
I’m sorry. I know this post was a little lengthy today but I appreciate you taking the time to read it! The moral of my post is that self-esteem is an important part of conﬁdence. Having good self-esteem means accepting and feeling positive about yourself. Conﬁdence is not just feeling good but also knowing you are good at something. Particular ways of thinking are very important for building conﬁdence, especially for kids. Kids confidence matters… a lot!