Ha_Mo asks:

How to help my 7 years old son to build his confidence, self-esteem and assertiveness?

My son who is now 7 is very well mannered and simply very nice, caring, sensitive to other kids and even adults and giving boy, we have always encourage those behaviors.  But I started to see him being bullied, stepped over and all he does is cry or complaint about it to us, he doesn't want to go to summer camp, and sometimes he refuse to go to his best friend's home if there will be other kids.  he even started to have anxiety attacks when other kids pick on him.  One mistake I'll admit, would be he may be have been babied little too much.  He is also the only child. Any ideas or suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks
In Topics: Self esteem and identity, Bullying and teasing
> 60 days ago



Boys Town National Hotline
Sep 5, 2012
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What the Expert Says:

We are so sorry to hear that your child is struggling so much with this.  It is hard to go through this sort of trouble with your peers at school.  We are glad that he cries and complains to you, actually.  Sometimes when this happens to kids, they will just internalize it all, which can also be emotionally unhealthy. Please be patient with him and always be ready to listen and provide support.  Even if you can't stop the problem or solve this issue, simply showing that you care and that you are trying makes a difference.  

One that that helps with situations like this is creating a time and place where your child does feel like they belong. This can be done through clubs, sports, church groups, or volunteer organizations.  If he can find a place where he can feel safe, comfortable and accepted, that could raise his confidence and always give him something to look forward to.

Also continue to try and foster good relationships with him and some of the other students at school.  Sometimes this can be effective if you can just get him hooked in with a couple of friends who can be there for him and stand up for him in their own way when things are getting hard.  Please bring up these issues with the counselor or teacher and try to find him some allies.  

If you he continues to deteriorate and stops functioning in a healthy way in school and at home, it may be good to get him to a child psychologist for evaluation.  

We wish you and your family well.  Please take care and remember that you can call the Boys Town National Hotline 24 hours a day at the number below, free of charge.  We are here to help, you are not alone!

Counselor, NZ

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Aug 22, 2012

Best Answer!

what's this?
from a fellow member
We dealt with a similar situation when my grandson was 3-4.  He's now 8. One thing that seemed to help was pointing out, repeatedly, that bullies lose interest in kids that don't cry.  Also, we enrolled the him in a martial arts class (aikido or tae kwon do are good) to help him build physical confidence.  They teach defensive, not offensive, responses and build strength and agility.
     Our guy is emotionally young for his age, so he is still a bit oversensitive, but he stopped crying and walks away from bullies now.
     Also, in the movie Paranorman, the main character and his friend are both especially good at understanding and ignoring bullies.  I used it as a refresher after we watched the film.

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