Self Confidence in The Classroom

Date: 07/06/2023

Title: How do I get my kid to ask questions in class?

00:00:01 Speaker 1
So your daughter won't ask questions in class. But what's really going on behind that? Let's
talk about that today on Tips on Teens. My name is Kent Toussaint. Excuse me? I'm a marriage and
family therapist and I specialize in helping kids, teens, and families live happier lives.
I lead two organizations teen Therapy Center and the nonprofit 501 organization Child and
Teen Counseling, both here in Woodland Hills, California. Every Wednesday at noon, I jump
onto Facebook Live to answer your parenting questions. Let's jump into today's. I've been
spending a lot of time trying to help my daughter understand and finish her homework. It ends
up taking up a lot of time every night. We both get frustrated with each other and then there's
no time left for anything she actually enjoys doing. The problem seems to be that she's just
too timid to ask more questions in class. I think she probably is worried she's going to look
stupid in front of her friends. If she does, how do I get her to see it's the

00:01:04 Speaker 1
smart kids who ask the questions. Thank you very much for your question. We love your questions.
So I want to tip this question on its head a little bit. While I understand your concerns about
her not asking questions, I don't think that's the cause. This is my hunch. All I know is what
you said in the email, but my hunch is that's not the cause. I think that's the result. I think
there's something behind that. There's something underneath that causing her to not ask questions.
So it's not about getting her to ask questions. What's behind that? So it could be any number
of things. And it's going to be up to you to kind of research this either with a therapist or there's
a lot. Let me just start with the possibilities. Number one, does she have any learning challenges?
Does she have any attention issues? Does she have any visual processing issues? All of which
can be assessed for and treated? Attention issues can be treated oftentimes with medication,
but not always learning any learning

00:02:00 Speaker 1
challenges. There are educational therapists who they focus on helping kids rebound and recover
and get on track to learn how to learn, be more effective at learning. Visual Processing there's
developmental optometrists that will lead your kid through visual processing skills and
drills and exercises to help align their eyes so they're processing things. So your kid may
have 2020 vision, but if the words and the letters are jumbled around or fuzzy or she can't really
connect with the words, doesn't matter if she has 2020 vision, that's where, like, a developmental
optometrist may step in. Also, it could be a lot of other things. Could be anxiety, could be traits
of OCD developing, could be some depression. Could be response to a past trauma that don't know.
Obviously, I'm just scratching the surface on some examples of many, but we wanted to find out
what's going on here. It's not just ask more questions. If you keep bullying her not bullying,
I'm sorry, that's not the right word. But pushing

00:02:59 Speaker 1
or pressuring her to ask questions, she's not going to do it. She already knows she should do
that. So what's behind it? My other concern is that lack of self esteem. So if she's doing homework
all day, every day, so from 08:00 A.m., she's at school till, I don't know, 11:00 when she goes
to bed, depending on what time her bed is, she's going to school and not doing fun, not connecting
with her friends. That's a problem that's eating at her low her self esteem. So every adolescent
there is has that ongoing narrative in their head of going, I'm bad, I'm wrong, I'm stupid, I'm
ugly, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And that doesn't get changed
by just doing homework. So also, if you guys are arguing all the time about this, her identity
is I'm stupid, I can't do anything, I'm worthless. And so we want to start changing that narrative
in her head. You can do that through therapy. You can get her place where all right, we're going
to do 2 hours of homework a night.

00:03:58 Speaker 1
After 2 hours, if you're not done, you're not done. Then we're going to go hang out. We're going
to go play basketball in front yard. We're going to go do art. We're going to do something fun
where we are engaging and we're enjoying each other. Regardless if the math assignment didn't
get done. I also encourage you and your daughter to talk with her teachers. How much time should
these things be taking the homework, how long should be taking? What would help your daughter
be more comfortable in class asking questions? Is it the teacher? Is the students? Again, if
it's her own self esteem, it may be that involving a therapist for her to talk and start uncovering
what's going on there to explore. That may help her start developing a stronger self esteem
as well. There's a lot of different angles to approach this, and so which is the right one? I don't
know. Really depends on your daughter and your family. But here are just some of the options
to consider. Thank you again for your questions.

00:04:48 Speaker 1
If you have more questions, you can always email us at tips on
My name is Kent Toussaint with Teen Therapy Center and the nonprofit Child and Counseling. And
I'll see you next Wednesday at noon on Facebook Live. Bye bye, guys.

Self Confidence In The Classroom

Are you worried that your teen’s lack of self confidence is setting them back in the classroom? If so, the first thing you’ll want to do is try to figure out what’s behind any lack of self confidence and address that. If you keep pressuring her to ask questions without helping her with the cause it will most likely backfire.

Some questions to ask yourself: Is it possible that your teen has attention issues? Does she have any learning challenges or visual processing issues? You’ll want to explore these questions thoroughly. Once you’ve learned more you can decide if the help of a professional is necessary.

Put A Time Limit On It

In the meantime, we suggest timeboxing the homework! Leave enough time afterward to do something fun that she enjoys doing. If you keep the narrative on homework, and her struggle, it’s only going to affect her self esteem, and you can avoid that by de-emphasizing the importance of homework to begin with.

Self confidence is a topic that comes up in many families, and we talk about it in this Tips on Teens:

“I’ve been spending a lot of time trying to help my daughter understand and finish her homework. It ends up taking up a lot of time every night. We both get frustrated with each other, and then there’s no time left for anything she actually enjoys doing. The problem seems to be that she’s just too timid to ask more questions in class. I think she probably is worried she’s going to look stupid in front of her friends if she does. How do I get her to see it’s the smart kids who do ask the questions?”

Clinical Director Kent Toussaint answers your parenting questions every Wednesday at 12:00pm in our weekly segment Tips On Teens on Facebook Live. Have questions about parenting kids and teens? Send them to: We love to hear from you!

Head on over to our Facebook page every Wednesday at 12:00pm to watch LIVE!  Check out our page here –

If you have more questions or would like more information, please contact our Clinical Director, Kent Toussaint at 818.697.8555.