Children who are socially withdrawn, shy, and appear to
lack self-esteem are more likely than other children to be targets for
bullying. Children who appear confident and strong are
better able to discourage children from harassing them.
and other important adults in a child's life can use these suggestions to help
boost a child's self-esteem:
Encourage your child to participate in
extracurricular activities such as sports or drama, which can raise a child's
confidence and sense of mastery. Sports, in particular, also help build
strength, which can level the imbalance of physical power between children.
Some children may prefer individual sports (such as karate, gymnastics, and
swimming) over group sports (such as soccer or baseball). Drama classes can
help children project strength and confidence, even if they don't feel it at
Help children become involved socially with other children
through school, church, or community activities. This way, children will build
social skills and learn to be at ease with others. Children who have friends
and "hang out" with them at school are less likely to be targets for bullying
than lonely children who have no social support.
children to show them how to appear confident and how to handle encounters with
children who harass them. Help children learn to look people in the eye and to
speak with a strong voice—but not shout—when talking to would-be
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.