Build self-esteem. Aiding your child in feeling good about himself will discourage the other boys from picking on him (and will also stop your son from getting annoyed so easily). Talk to your child about what he is proud of and encourage him to pursue those interests. Get involved in chesed. Helping others will help develop his sense of self worth.
Create and strengthen relationships. Children will be less likely to take offense if they have secure friendships with several children in the class. This will help them have a buddy to turn to in order to express frustration (if need be) and the security to believe that maybe not everybody is out to get them. In order to help your child build relationships, set up one-on-one playdates with classmates your child recommends and help your child join clubs that he is interested in.
Don’t turn it into a bullying issue. Bullying is intentional and consistent demeaning or hurtful behavior. While bullying is an epidemic today, we have to be careful what behavior we label as bullying. If Binny stepped on Chaim’s foot by accident, there truly is no bullying involved. Intentionally? Well, that’s another story.
We send our children to school everyday hoping that they will gain an education. One very important part of that education is the ability to encounter frustrating behavior and move past it. After all, who doesn’t encounter frustration on a daily basis? If we teach our children how to handle disappointment and frustration, we are ultimately giving them a tool for life.Rifka Schonfeld
About the Author: An acclaimed educator and social skills specialist, Mrs. Rifka Schonfeld has served the Jewish community for close to thirty years. She founded and directs the widely acclaimed educational program, SOS, servicing all grade levels in secular as well as Hebrew studies. A kriah and reading specialist, she has given dynamic workshops and has set up reading labs in many schools. In addition, she offers evaluations G.E.D. preparation, social skills training and shidduch coaching, focusing on building self-esteem and self-awareness. She can be reached at 718-382-5437 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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