At some point in our lives we all feel as if we do not belong. I’m 5’4”. Can you imagine how I would feel around the Harlem Globetrotters? Can you imagine how you would feel in southern Chicago if you grew up on the beaches of California. The point is, we all have situations in our lives where we just do not fit in. That’s really nothing new.
But if you were 12 and had just enrolled in a different school in a different city or state. You are probably not going to feel comfortable for the first few weeks or even months. Now imagine for some reason that you may or may not even know about the mean girls started picking on you. They started bullying you just because you were new or different from them in some way. Your confidence is already lagging a little bit from the change to a new school. You don’t need anyone trying to make it even harder when all you want is to “ fit in”. Just be one of the guys. Your not looking to stand out just yet. This is perfectly normal for almost all kids. The need to belong is instinctual.
The following is an excerpt from a speech that I give to groups of parents.
It’s no big secret that bullies look for other kids that seem to have low esteem. This type of person is far less likely to stand up to them or to fight back. This type of person probably does not have a lot friends that would come to their defense. So they are an inviting target.
It is up to use as their parent to do everything we can to help our child to develop a sense of True Self-Confidence.
This type of self-confidence is the number one weapon against being targeted by bullies. A child with true self confidence is extremely hard to bully because they are just not afraid. They know what their capabilities are and they are not going to allow the bully to tear them.
They are also the ones that do well in school. They are not afraid to take on new projects just because they might not have ever done it before. This would obviously lead them to a wider range of knowledge and experience. This in turn just helps their self-confidence even more.
The best time to start building their confidence is when they are young. Two years old is NOT to young. Of course whatever they are doing has to be age appropriate. The older they get the more complex the task should be that they are experimenting with. I think it goes without saying that they are not going to succeed at everything they try. This is part of the learning curve. They now know what they cannot do. But it might also help to teach them something new that they can do.
At one point in my life I had been fired more times than I can even remember. But I now know that there are certain things that I cannot do. But it also taught me that I am an above average writer. OK, average writer. But the bottom line is that I now know that I CAN write. All of this combined helped my self-confidence to increase to a level where I am no longer afraid of life.