Saturday, September 17, 2011
Bully Prevention Begins With Building Children's Self Esteem
Bully Prevention Specialist John Nottingham Says Teaching Kids How To Stop A Bully Begins With Building a Kid's Confidence
You can tell a child to walk away from a fight all day and they will still get into fights or be bullied. You can hope your child has the social skills to properly handle a bully or you can take specific steps to equip them with the correct bully prevention skills.
Social Intelligence is Built on Confidence
The difference between someone who successfully avoids being the target for bullying and those who are not is often social intelligence. Social intelligence is easy for some children and difficult for others. In my experience the underlying factor in all socially skilled children is the confidence factor.
Self Esteem and Confidence in Children Helps Prevent Bullying
Children with higher self esteem and solid confidence have a foundation from which to build. They see themselves as worthy of defending. After all, if you do not think much of yourself, then you won't see much reason to stand up to a bully. It takes a lot of courage to risk social ostracization, ridicule and even physical harm. Without a strong self concept, high self esteem and functional confidence, a child stands little chance in school, the playground or street. Before long, the negative experiences of being picked on can ad up and reinforce negative feelings towards one's self.
Taking Responsibility Helps Prevent Bullying
Preparing children for such social battles is the responsibility of the parent. Teachers, coaches and other responsible adults can reinforce and support these goals, but the primary source of education should come from the parents. Children model what they see and repeat what they experience in the microcosm of a family.
Lead By Example for Bullying Prevention
Children notice and mentally record how their parents handle conflicts-especially when handling aggression and power-imbalances like bullying behavior. They notice if we manipulate, deceive, confront, or avoid to deal with others. Depending on the child's personality and experiences, they choose to follow or not follow in our footsteps.
Building Strong Relationships Helps Prevent Being Targeted for Bullying
Often, children do exactly what they have see their parents do. This is why it is so important to have a strong relationship with children and be mindful that our actions are always teaching - positive or negatively. Ask yourself, based on how you last handled a social encounter, how might your child react to a bully?
Listening Builds Children's Self-Esteem
How well parents listen and take an active part in teaching their children how to develop problem solving and coping skills is key to effective bullying prevention. Coupled with a parents knowledge of their child's personality and social strengths, taking time to role play can really enhance the child's ability to effectively handle bullying behavior at school or elsewhere. Role playing builds confidence. Confidence significantly improves a child's chances for successfully dealing with a bully.
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