Fearful to step out of comfort zone
02/06/2012 at 06:19 AM

My son is a well adjusted 8 year old. He does well academically and is athletically inclined. The problem is that he will not join a baseball team or football team because he's too scared. He doesn't want people looking at him. He is shy and would just rather blend in with the walls, but I've always thought that in order to grow, one must step out of his comfort zone. If he doesn't face his fears, when will he ever do something he enjoys? Any advice would be appreciated.

Give him permission to do the work without the emotion. Here's a strategy you could try. First, write down how the scene usually goes. Have him help you with it. for example. "John comes home from school. Mom asks if he has homework. John describes his homework. John explains how lame it is that he has homework. John asks if he can play a video game. Mom says when the homework is done. John yells. John knocks books on the floor. Mom takes John by the shoulders and sits him at the table. Mom puts books from backpack on the table. John does the homework."


Have good humor while you develop this narrative. Laugh about it. Add in silly details like, "John and his pet elephant go for a jog to cool off." (cross off the silly ones.)

Then, tell him you two will take turns circling the sentences that are required, and substituting sentences for the ones that are not required, or simply deleting them. You get to go first. Circle "John does the homework." Then give him a turn.