Last week, we talked about the prevalence of bullying both in our school and online, and we discussed how we as parents can spot the signs of bullying. Today, let’s talk about how to build your child’s self confidence and self-esteem.
- Positive Reinforcement! Positive Reinforcement! Positive Reinforcement! What are your child’s strengths? What does he/she like doing? Praise him/her at each opportunity.
- Celebrate success! When your child tries something for the first time or works hard at a task, give them a hug, congratulate him/her or offer a favorite snack.
- Are there activities that you and your child enjoy but seldom get the chance to do? Take advantage of those “special” opportunities.
- Set aside a quiet time with your child each day. Remove yourself from the hustle and bustle of the kitchen, housework, schoolwork and laundry to talk to your child about his/her day.
If you have reason to believe that your child has been bullied, I would suggest that you first contact your child’s teacher and set up an appointment to discuss your concerns. You may find that a teacher can calm your fears. If the teacher also has some concerns, contacting the school principal will be the next step. It is important that you as the parent remain calm throughout these discussions. I recognize that this is not easy to do since your child is involved can be a sensitive issue. However, a composed advocate is the best advocate.
If you are fortunate and do not have concerns about bullying, it’s still essential to promote your child’s self-esteem at every opportunity. Stay informed about prevention programs in your school. Your child will be ready to learn if there is a safe social climate in the school. It can make all the difference in the world.