How To Build Confidence To Combat Bullying
Meet Jade; she is one of three amazing grandkids I have. You might wonder how the connection between the title “Confidence Combats Bullying?” and the image of her face submerged in water relates.
I have two “Jade stories” to share with you. Still, before I do, I want to emphasize the significance of building confidence in children, teens, and adults as a vital approach to preventing and addressing bullying.
Throughout the summer, Jade would constantly observe her older sister effortlessly swimming underwater. Inspired by her older sister, Jade would make numerous attempts also to put her head under the water. However, despite her best efforts, she would get her face within an inch or two from the water’s surface before retreating….until TODAY!
With the whole family encouraging her, she did it. When she lifted her face, she yelled, “I DID IT, I DID IT!”
This picture of a brief moment in her life may appear inconsequential to many, but for her, it was monumental. It reminds us of the immense value of supporting, cheering, and encouraging the younger generation. Not just our children but also friends, co-workers, or even strangers, regardless of age. There are many moments in our lives where there are opportunities to help one’s confidence if you look for them.
Where did I see her confidence on display in relation to bullying? The other day I was with her and her older sister at a park. Jade, who is almost five years of age, was on the swings. An older, much bigger boy came over and pushed her to take the swing from her. I stood back a few feet and watched. The moment he pushed her, she turned and, with fearlessness, said, “STOP,” with confidence many adults lack.
Immediately the boy fled, looking for his parent, and Jade continued swinging. I asked her what happened, and she said, “he tried to take the swing from me.” With a big smile, I said, “I am proud of you.”
My hope is she will grow up with confidence and empathy towards others. I want her to be there for herself and others struggling with confidence and self-assurance.