We can help our children to build confidence to deal with bullying and it will benefit them for the rest of their lives.
Confidence is one of those character traits that is built differently in every child. It grows with the child as they make mistakes and learn from them. A child who is experiencing being a bully or being bullied can really benefit from building there confidence.
Confidence is about feeling certain.
Like when a surgeon starts an operation. He has studied, he has practiced and learned from mistakes and he feels certain/confidant that he will be able to perform the surgery succesfully.
The Dr did not start out feeling confident. He had to build up his certainty about his skills and his certainty about the skills of those helping him with the surgery.
Confidence has two sides. There is self confidence and there is confidence in others.
Self-confidence means your child knows who they are. They know their strengths and weaknesses. They understand you can make mistakes and learn from them. This allows them to take on new challenges and situations while limiting fear and self doubt.
The other side of confidence is confidence in others and trusting they will do what they say they will do. This is where Mom and Dad come in letting your child know you have their back, you love them (no matter what) and you will be there to help if needed.
We need to help our child understand in life all things work together for the best. I know with bullying it may not seem to be for the good, at least not in this moment, but if bullying provides the opportunity for them to learn confidence which will not only stop the bullying but also provide them with a valuable life skill...then they can appreciate all is for the best.
Confidence allows them to feel certain that they will be ok when others try to bully them. No matter what the bully can say, text or do they understand this is just a blip in time and they have more important things to do than be slowed down by a bully.
Confidence for the bully allows them to feel certain they will be ok without resorting to bullying. Feeling confident in themselves to meet their needs in an appropriate way.
As Parents we can help our children build confidence to assist the bullied child and encourage the bully to behave differently. Interesting enough the action steps are the same for both children.
1) Understand that whether they win or lose, succeed or fail they are worthwhile. Parents can help by building self esteem. A bully cannot take away their worthiness unless they let them. A bully who understands his worth will not be so willing to try and take away someone elses.
2) Support your child and encourage them to embrace opportunities for new experiences and challenges by keeping an open mind and being willing to learn. They need to understand that success may not be immediate but they can make little changes and do better next time.
3) Encourage your child to think positively and if fears come like in the case of bullying they can feel them but not let them control what they do. It is ok to be afraid but you must not let it stop you.
4) Get them to pay attention to what they are doing with out judging. They do not need to accept the bullies taunts. Instead they identify ways to build on their strengths and weaknesses and find a better way making small improvements as they grow.
5) Help them avoid criticizing themselves harshly for making a mistake. Encourage them to keep trying and build on their success instead of accepting failure. Encourage them to take responsibility for the mistake, make amends and correct what they can and move forward.They do not have to accept the bullies criticism it is just their opinion which only counts if they let it.
"Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent." Marilyn vos Savant.
Confidence is built by the child as he experiences life. We as parents can only help guide and support them to be able to build their own confidence.
You will know your child has confidence when they are able to try new things, make mistakes, learn from them and try again without giving up or getting frustrated.
I know that bullying can take its toll. I understand it is not easy. However, a confident child is less likely to be targeted and more able to cope if they do get bullied.
The same goes for the bully who is less likely to target others realizing everyone makes mistakes, everyone has weaknesses and everyone has worth.