How to get my son to be less wimpy at 8?

Julia - posted on 05/15/2011 ( 32 moms have responded )

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I love my son and yes his dad is in his life almost every weekend. But to me he is still so sensitive, and not strong. I would like to know what else to do. Like a camp, karate what would be best.

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Jenny - posted on 05/18/2011

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OK just read that you meant no muscle strength not wimpy as in emotional/sensitive. I've worked in the childcare field for 13 years and we had one child who had no muscle strength and it was due to lack of protein intake. I am by no means a Dr. but just a visit to the Dr. might be a good idea before you begin any exercise program. What types of activities does your son do regularly? If he's a sit quietly type of kiddo (you lucky thing you) then his muscles may be underdeveloped and he may need more physical exercise (my own three did WAY better in "free time" types of activities - the community park, school yard, family swim times at the local pool) with their Dad or I. DOING with your children instead of sending them off for others to do with them may be the answer. I'm not being glib here, I'm just going on my own kiddos behaviour - swim lessons freaked them out so I swam with them and they all can swim (at 4-5yrs). Basketball/riding bikes/using firepoles/monkey bars - all challenging but more rewarding with Mom than a stranger in some program. I'm by no means a fitness guru (quite the opposite actually) but 1/2 hr - hr a day to build up strength is worth it, don't ya think? ;-)

Summer - posted on 05/24/2011

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Buy him a trampoline. My son has one, he is 9, he loves it! It's a 10 ft one. They are lots of fun, great excersize n can play ball games n stuff with a friend on it too as well as bouncing around. Trampolines are great for toning up and strengthening muscles throughout the body.

Lindie - posted on 05/18/2011

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I agree with Theresa, however, my little boy is extremely sensitive and there is nothing wrong with it. It is because he is so sensitive that everyone loves him. However, he was also wimpy. You just looked at him and he would start crying. He would try something for the first time, could not do it and then start crying.

He started doing kickboxing with me and his dad, mostly as a family activity and he loved it. Today it is a year later, Aidan is so confident within himself that it shows in everything that he does from the kickboxing to his schoolwork. But most importantly, he is still very sensitive and kind hearted and is confident enough to not be shy if he wants to cry about something that did upset him.

Remember you want to allow your child to be who he is but you don't want to expose him unnecessarily to the cruelty of other children at school teasing him about crying all the time.

You just have to find the balance.

Charlie - posted on 05/18/2011

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Martial arts is a great idea it builds great strength , discipline and endurance .

Lisa - posted on 05/15/2011

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Julia, we go through the same thing with my step-son. For him, it is rather not a lack of strength--but that there has always been someone who will step in and do it for him. He has never had a reason to "have to" flex his muscles, so-to-speak. We started giving him the space and the power to do things for himself. About a year ago, when he would proclaim that he couldn't do things we noticed other children his age doing, we would problem solve what the fears were, discussing each one as we went and then after giving him whatever tools we could (elbow pads when he rides his bike so he could feel assured that he would be fine if he fell etc) we would then give him the space to do it himself. For us, that even included common house-hold things like getting himself a drink and washing his hands without our assistance turning things on etc. As he realized that we weren't going to do it for him, he would try for himself. Occassionally we have to step in and help but that he is trying has built tremendous self-confidence.

And yes--we also swear by Karate/Tae Kwon Do. It has had a huge impact on his mental attitude towards trying new things.

And...I'm happy to conclude with a higher-self confidence, he is still the sweetest, most sensative little man he has always been.

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Roberta - posted on 05/25/2011

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Dear Julia: I too have a problem with your idea of your son being wimpy. I have three sons who are now all adults. All of them were sensitive as children and as men they still are. Too me they have grown up to be caring, kind individuals, who are loyal to their family and to their friends. Men that are able to express their feelings are much less likely to have nervous breakdowns from keeping it all inside. I would rather have three sons who are kind and caring then three sons who are in trouble with the law, drugs and who are abusive. I am proud to say they are my sons. I think there are many women and even more men out there that want their sons to end up macho! Well it takes all kinds to make this world and we are all different. What I will tell you is that as my kids grew older into their teens they weren't weeping as they did as children. But they were able to identify how they were feeling and talked to me about those feelings. They also are very kind to me, (their mom) and treat me with love and respect. We are there for each other! As the other mom said, love him for who he is and be proud that he is sensitive and caring.

Letitia - posted on 05/24/2011

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I agree with the other folks who said that letting him be himself is the best.

Find things that he likes to do, like some sport, riding his bike, etc. But I wouldn't push him into something like karate without first letting him try it. He'll eventually find his own "crowd" in school, and then it won't seem like he's wimpy, he's just himself.

Summer - posted on 05/24/2011

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Buy him a trampoline. My son has one, he is 9, he loves it! It's a 10 ft one. They are lots of fun, great excersize n can play ball games n stuff with a friend on it too as well as bouncing around. Trampolines are great for toning up and strengthening muscles throughout the body.

Nathalie - posted on 05/24/2011

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Any form of Martial Arts WILL help improve his strength. My son was in a martial arts camp last summer and it not only helped his self confidence, but also built his upper and lower body strength due to the type of exercises they do. My son is also more sensitive than other children and this sensitivity has made him not stand up for himself when he got picked on. The camp helped in all areas for him so we've enrolled him in the childs program for the year as well as the summer camp for this summer. Our autism/adhd specialists said martial arts is one of the best things you can do for your child to help them in these areas. So if you want improvement in both areas, any form of martial arts will truly help and be very beneficial to your son.

Mendy - posted on 05/23/2011

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hi,my son is 8 years old and on the wimpy side,,so i put him in taekwondo-and he just got his hi yellow belt but its like its worse--he will fuss and fight with his family but when it come to take up for his self at school or on the street he is a wimp--he cries and acts like a 2 year old--he is scared to go in to a room by his self --please help

Lindie - posted on 05/18/2011

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Hi Julia



I had exactly the same problem with my boy until he started kickboxing the beginning of last year.



You can't believe the big difference it has made in a year's time. I would most definitely recommend something like karate or judo or kickboxing. It teaches them discipline, determination and up their self esteem especially it they are good at it and most importantly, the boys love it.



It worked wonders for Aidan. He is even sparing now and has jumped 3 belts in one year.



The funny thing is, if I didn't enroll him because of him being so wimpy, we would have never discovered his talent.



The thing that makes me the proudest is that he is not wimpy at all anymore but still is soft hearted and kind.

Tiffany - posted on 05/18/2011

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I would totally recommend karate as well! My son is just about to turn 8 and is a very sensitive and emotional. He also needed to build upper body strength and we let him start karate almost a year ago. He's taken longer but he's moving through belts and he's really bulked up strength and confidence wise. I think all around you can't go wrong with a good instructor.

Bonnie - posted on 05/18/2011

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Wimpy as in strength? Well how much does he weigh? How tall is he? When you say he is the biggest kid in the class, do you mean in height or weight or both? If he is thin that could be why. If he is overweight, that vould be why he is having trouble with the monkey bars and lifting.

Vivian - posted on 05/18/2011

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Try putting him cadets, It's a really good program for young impressionable children. Its a valuable program.

Christy - posted on 05/17/2011

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Do you have a chore chart for your son? Various household activities side by side with mom may be a great way to teach him how to work hard and use his body strength. Then of course play hard together, too! That may come in the form of exercise of all types, maybe sports or maybe just wrestling with mom. Convey to his dad what type of things you are working on so that there can be some consistency.

Christy

Sherri - posted on 05/15/2011

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My son took it for 6+ yrs and was an apprentice blackbelt so very seriously yes I have. It did zero in its ability to work on my son's strength. It did wonders for self esteem and respect though.

Firebird - posted on 05/15/2011

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Hehe Sherri, have you ever taken a serious karate class? =) My dad's an instructor, I started training when I was 4 and I can say that if you apply yourself, it certainly does build strength and endurance!

Sherri - posted on 05/15/2011

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ya sorry force wasn't the right choice of words I kinda meant use the muscles without realizing it.

[deleted account]

OK, I misunderstood, sorry. Yes, sports such as tennis, swimming might help. But don't force him, that would be counterproductive.

Sherri - posted on 05/15/2011

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Oh okay totally different ballpark then any activity that will build up his strength and endurance. Karate will not help in this area. What about Tennis, chin ups, push ups etc. Anything that forces him to work on his upper strength.

Julia - posted on 05/15/2011

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I meant wimpy as in strghth he cant open a bottle drink, he cant hold on to the monkey bars he cant lift things, thats where i think i should step in hes nine and the biggest kid in his class

JuLeah - posted on 05/15/2011

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Don't confuse sensitive with weak. Strength is not about what you can life, or how well you hold in your emotions. Strength is not about refusing to cry. In fact, that is weak.
It takes great courage in our culture for men to express their feelings in an honest fashion and I respect the ones who can. He is strong, but lives in a culture that doesn't see his skills as strength. The culture needs to change, not him.

Sherri - posted on 05/15/2011

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#1 It may just be his personality no matter what you get him into that will never change that. It appears you have the issue with your son's personality and honestly I find it sad. Why not let him be who he is?

Firebird - posted on 05/15/2011

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Yea that's not going to give the kid a complex.... let him be himself. If you think he needs to be more assertive then, karate or cub scouts would help.

Jodi - posted on 05/15/2011

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It is a total misconception that boys should not be sensitive but strong and masculine. In my experience, boys are a lot more sensitive than we give them credit for. It isn't wimpy, and I think it is wrong to label them as such. I am not sure what you mean by wanting him to be strong, but being sensitive is actually a wonderful quality that will help your son become a wonderful, sensitive young man.

♏*PHOENIX*♏ - posted on 05/15/2011

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Maybe he is just naturally sensitive, and that will always be part of him.
But when you say wimpy what does he do that’s wimpy?

Amy - posted on 05/15/2011

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nothing wrong with being sensitive. my dad cried at disneys when we were growing up. he was so understanding and we didn't think him less MANLY at all.

why do you think he's so wimpy? i agree with just letting him be himself.

Sarah - posted on 05/15/2011

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How about getting him to join the Cub Scouts IF he wants to. They do all sorts of things to build character as well as physical activities.

Dina - posted on 05/15/2011

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My son is sensitive and emotional, but I would never label him as wimpy by any means....I love the care and compassion my son shows people. My son is 5 and by no means a whimp, being sensitive and being a whimp are 2 different things.

I think you are looking at it in the wrong way, often sensitive people are strong (if not stronger) then those who are afraid to show their emotions.
If he lacks self confidence then yes you should try to find some activity to help boost that (but it doesn't need to be a violent one to "toughen" him up just something he really enjoys)...and if thats the case ask him what he enjoys or would like to learn, or play on his strengths of what he is good at, whether he be artistic, musical, athletic and go from there

[deleted account]

How about just letting him be himself? Karate can certainly help w/ strength and confidence though, but I'm concerned w/ you labeling sensitive as wimpy. Trying to give him the tools to be confident is great, but trying to change him from sensitive if that just IS who he is.... could backfire and make him even MORE sensitive.

[deleted account]

I was just going to suggest karate. My son is also a sensitive kid in a competative way. Not really wimpy though. But in the past 3 months he has thrived in karate! It builds charatcer and self-confidence. Plus I love that the program he is involved in is geared for his age bracket (school-aged kids) in that it promotes self-defense from "Stranger Danger". He just earned his yellow belt and he just loves karate! Good luck!

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