The really big switch begins when an unhappy child suddenly stops looking miserable and instead smiles. This may happen when she hears a funny retort. Sometimes I ask, 'Why are you smiling?' Words that seemed so painful half an hour ago now elicit a smile. She says, 'That's funny'.
While you are helping your child learn bully-blocking skills, look for the smile. It is essential feedback. It shows that your child feels positive and can block the bully Let her know that she is smiling about blocking bullies!
Tell your child: The smile is the first sign of power. It's a sign that you can see your situation from another angle. You can see how the bullying game can change. You can shift your attitude from feeling stuck, helpless, hopeless and powerless, to understanding the value of learning assertive skills and taking away the bully's power. At the unconscious level the smile shows that you like being assertive and you sense that it won't be hard.
■ Trash faulty attitudes to change behaviour.
■ Get rid of bad habits: don't let your child make the bully happy.
■ Make the big switch from pain to power.
What to do
• Change your child's mindset to become positive.
• Identify feedback and use it to help your child protect himself.
• Activate your child's power.
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Although nobody gets a parenting manual or bible in the delivery room, it is our duty as parents to try to make our kids as well rounded, happy and confident as possible. It is a lot easier to bring up great kids than it is to try and fix problems caused by bad parenting, when our kids have become adults. Our children are all individuals - they are not our property but people in their own right.