Building Confidence to Deal with Bullying
What solidified for me that I was on the right career path early on in my post secondary education and continues to motivate me today is the self confidence that children, and adults alike, leave with at the end of each of our sessions together. A safe space and a listening ear work wonders to not only help achieve the goals we target in our sessions together; it helps to bring out each person’s inner most self and little by little allows them to open up and trust themselves and their abilities.
Bullying Canada says on their website that “bullying happens when someone hurts or scares another person on purpose and the person being bullied has a hard time defending themselves. It is behaviour that makes the person being bullied feel afraid and uncomfortable.” According to the same source, the most common type of bullying is verbal bullying which includes anything from name calling to sarcasm, threatening and more. Bullying presents children with the difficult position of a power imbalance that they often are not able to navigate independently, especially for children who face communication difficulties.
Both SLPs and families of those children who are bullied, especially if due to a communication difficulty, can help their children feel more confident by:
To further help their children’s confidence, families can:
- Being patient
- Allowing plenty of time for the child to express themselves
- Being sensitive to the situation the child is struggling with or feels vulnerable in
- Praise them for discussing bullying as it can be incredibly hard for some children to talk about what may be happening
No one should be put in a position that stifles their self confidence, especially due to communication difficulties. If you have questions about how SLPs can help, please do not hesitate at all to contact us.
- Encourage their child to participate in an extracurricular activity they enjoy
- Help their child become socially involved with other children at their school, church, or community event so they build social skills and learn to be at ease with others
- Role play with your child to give them a chance to practice what they may say and how they may diffuse the situation
- Encourage them to find an adult who they can confide in and will help them at school (or where bullying takes place, if the parent isn’t able to attend)
Djurdjica Gacic is a Communicative Disorders Assistant and a strong advocate for client centered, functional, engaging and fun therapy that supports each person's social, emotional and life long communication needs. With over 10 years of experience, she enjoys supporting clients of all ages and abilities to achieve their goals and be successful in all of their endeavours!