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How To Build Confidence In Your Child - Deterring Bullies

Sep 4, 2007
Child predators that look for child victims come in many forms. The more we understand the various different types of people that prey on kids the better we can stay one step in front of them and keep kids safe. Arming your child with tips and techniques to keep themselves safe from bullies is critical to your child's safety.

Bullies are a type of predator. This is the most common type of predator your child will likely encounter, too. Bullying is, sadly, a pervasive issue for kids in just about every school across the globe.

Bullies prey on children of roughly their own age group that they perceive as weak and submissive. Bullies themselves have terrible, inferior self images. Through a very complex series of internal thought patterns they create behaviors to bolster themselves by choosing victims they know will be submissive to them.

Since the reasons behind the bully's behavior can be so complex, real solutions focus on the "victims" behavior. Teach your child to be less of a victim. This is why we emphasize teaching kids to be confident. Confidence is a powerful deterrent to bullying.

If your child is not very confident, then first teach them to at least project self confidence. We do it every day in our kid's safety classes and you can do it at home, too.

We start and end every class by teaching the kids our 2 Safety Rules:

"I Will Always Do My Best!"
"I Will Always Say I Can!"

The kids repeat these themselves and so, have your child say them daily, too! Say these with them and do it really enthusiastically! It's a great first step.

Next, play our "Feel Good! Feel Bad!" game with your child. Ask them to remember a time when they were sad or ill. Show them how to walk around with their shoulders slumped, head down, shuffling around. Then ask them to remember a very exciting and happy time. Ask them to remember a special event and have them jump up and down and move around the room with their head up, shoulders back.

When your child understands, announce the start of the game! Offer a "win" reward at the end for them, like a cupcake or something, and play it with them for a few minutes. Say, "Feel Bad!" and slump around with them. Then yell, "Feel Good!" and bounce around with them smiling and walking tall.

This silly game can be the beginning of an awareness for your child of what it really feels like to feel good. If they can play this game, they can learn to project feeling good, confidence that is, even at times they do not feel like it.

What we also find in our classes is that some of the kids who are not confident, begin to like how the "Feel Good" part feels and slowly will begin to engage in good feelings themselves over time.

Keep in min there is something more, something deeper when your child is confident. We notice confident kids display certain structural changes, physical changes in their bodies that serve them better than kids that have poor self-images. Confident kids can control their physical movements a little bit better. At the same time, they can move more quickly and with finer control of those movements. We find confident kids can actually focus better mentally and for longer periods of time.

In other words, these kids are better equipped physically, mentally and emotionally to learn the actual safety techniques that could save them from sexual predators than kids that feel bad about themselves. Kids that hang their head, shuffle around, are tired or ill, cannot move with as much control or quickness or think as clearly as kids that are healthy and confident. A high degree of self confidence and a positive self image matter in good child safety.

And bullies? Well, they will be pervasive throughout life. The profile is the same: they look for weak victims. Confidence is the best victim deterrent.
About the Author
Joyce Jackson is a child safety expert in northern California. For her extensive website and information see Keeping Kids Safe and a free special report at STOP Predators COLD!
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