02 Aug



Bullying is running rampant in our schools. Everyone knows this. Our kids are being subjected to insulting put-downs, hurtful words, and unkind behaviors. And, it’s not just by the other kids. Sometimes, in misguided attempts to correct less than perfect behavior, school teachers and officials can be at fault, too. Many times it’s just an attitude that comes across to the child that makes them feel like they are not acceptable in that person’s eyes; and, that can hurt them deeply. Many children have very sensitive natures and can detect a subtle “put down”. Another child might not even notice. But, over time, this wears down the sensitive one. He or she might become resistant to going to school and say that they hate school. One child I know came home crying one day, crouched in the corner and said, “I feel like a big blob of nothing.” That is heartbreaking! After discussing with his parent what happened, it turns out it was the teacher that made this child feel that way, not another child. In my mind, that is bullying.

Yes, the teachers need more help trying to teach a full classroom of 18 or more very different children, but there is NO EXCUSE for a child coming home and saying something like that. This experience was so traumatic for this particular child that he had to go into counseling and finally had to be homeschooled. Impatient, unkind teachers should NOT be teachers. If they can’t treat their students with love and understanding of their differences, then they should not be teaching. But, how can this be evaluated? Parents are afraid to speak up to the School Board for fear of backlash on their child. And, even if the Principal sits in on a few classes, is that teacher really going to show his or her “true colors” while being observed?

I don’t know what the answers are, but there sure are a lot of children being homeschooled these days. I wonder if this issue is part of the reason. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. But, I DO know that being that type of person that can put down a child is a person who has issues of their own. I believe when they were very young, they never learned to love themselves. It’s hard to show love and compassion to someone else if you don’t show it to yourself.

Your child may never feel bullied by a teacher or another child, but a dose of self-confidence never hurt anyone. We want our kids to be resilient and capable in the face of any situation even if they are not being bullied. We don’t want them to be boastful or “full of themselves”, but we do want them to be able to deal with the “real world” someday successfully.

In order to do that, kids need to learn at a very early age how to love themselves just the way they are.

Here are five ways for kids to gain self-acceptance and build their self-confidence. These little “tricks” can help to “bully-proof” your child against other kids and teachers, too. It may take some time and patience to get them through a rough spot; but, keep going over these things every so often so they don’t forget about them.

In addition, I have found that self-confidence is an elusive thing. One minute you have it, the next minute you don’t. So, when trying to help your kids get it, YOU have to have it, too! That’s why it’s so hard to teach it to someone else. Lots of adults never quite “GOT IT” to begin with.

But, kids’ minds are more open and less jaded than adults, most of the time; so, that can sometimes make the task easier to accomplish. When we tell them they can do something, they usually believe us. Not like in OUR minds that have built up a thousand different reasons why we CAN’T do something! The trick is for us to think like a child and start believing like they do. Then we can help them, and ourselves, to try new things and succeed at them.

It took me YEARS to decide to turn one of my stories into a published book. I wasn’t sure it was good enough. And, there were already so many books out there for kids about loving themselves. But, I remembered a special art teacher I had in college who said, “Nothing is original! Everything you do will always have something that has been done before. So what! Do it anyway. Your way might just be different enough to reach someone in a new way.”

So here are a few little things that have helped my family and me along the way:

  1. Tell your child to say, “I CAN HANDLE THIS!” whenever they come up against something that seems overwhelming. That should be their MOTTO. Take 2 or 3 DEEP BREATHS and repeat it over and over if necessary.
  2. If your child says they feel “invisible” sometimes and that they don’t get picked to be on a team or whatever, remind them that not everyone is good at sports or whatever it is they haven’t been chosen for. They might be better at acting or cooking or computers, or something else. Sit down with them and WRITE A LIST of 3 things they are good at. It can be something as simple as, “I’m a good listener.” Or, “I’m a good reader.” Let them know the world would be a really boring place if everyone was exactly the same!
  3. Teach them to say to themselves, “I LOVE MYSELF JUST THE WAY I AM! Tell them that every person has completely different and unique fingerprints. They might not know that! Each person is different and beautiful and special in his or her own way. They should say that nobody else is just like me, so that makes ME SPECIAL, too!”
  4. Have them read and maybe memorize my poem, “LOVE YOURSELF”:


Whether you’re thin or fat,

Purple or blue,


Because you’re YOU!

  1. Last but not least: Be sure your child knows that they should go to someone that loves and cares about them and TELL THEM about any bullying they are experiencing. Discuss what bullying is: (both physical and emotional bullying); and, that the way to protect themselves is to let someone know about it! They should not be afraid to ask for help – ever. Then it should be reported to the necessary people by the responsible adult. Bullies will not be stopped if they are allowed to get away with their behavior. Tell your child they will be helping everyone by reporting the bully to a responsible adult – someone they trust. Then other kids won’t have to put up with this person’s bullying either. He or she will be “helping by telling”.


PARENTS: It’s up to US to STOP BULLYING by empowering our kids with knowledge and the actions they need to take to protect themselves and others.


(If you are interested in a colorful picture book for kids 3 to 9 yrs old that helps them with their SELF-CONFIDENCE, you can buy my story that was made into a book: TIMMY TEACUP TRANSFORMS at amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com or timmyteacup.com.  Read how Timmy learns to love himself just the way he is! This book just won the PINNACLE BOOK ACHIEVEMENT AWARD 2018 for Best Children’s Picture Book!)

(Also, my new book is available at the same places listed above. It deals with the subject of BULLYING and is for kids about 4 to 10 yrs old. It is also a colorful picture book titled: TIMMY TEACUP’S TERRIFIC AND TERRIBLE TALE: A STORY ABOUT SCHOOL AND BULLYING. Help your kids find out about the different kinds of bullying and what to do and NOT do about it!)


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