Anonymous

Teen self confidence

My nephew is having severe self esteem problems. His “friends” abandon him moment they get to school after carpool and tease him. He is a wonderful young man. He has kind of distanced himself from the family. Being a victim of bullying I know how it is. Do any parents have suggestions on how to “handle” ( using that word loosely) a child with trust and esteem issues. My sister and brother in law are of course worried about him as am I.

  • anonymous mom
    Sep 26, 2018

    Ugh this is so tough and I’m sorry your family(and especially nephew) is dealing with this!! My husband and I have talked about what we will do and how we will handle this if our daughter is ever bullied. We’ve come to the conclusion that we would either help her get into private school (I know that it would be really expensive but honestly, we’d figure it out if necessary) or even move so she could go to a different public school. Unfortunately, I’ve yet to hear about a public school that has dealt with bullying in an appropriate way, but supposedly in some states if you can prove they’re not taking care of the issue the school has to pay tuition to send your child elsewhere. I have a feeling it would be next to impossible to prove it and there are probably almost no instances of schools actually having to do this. When it comes to confidence, I’m not sure where I read this or if it’s even accurate but my understanding is that when kids are young, they get their confidence from their parents. Meaning as children, if we have unconditional love and acceptance from our parents we will generally have good self confidence. However, as we grow into young adulthood and our pre teen and teenage years, that shifts somewhat and while it’s still super important to have that love and acceptance from our parents, your friends and peers also become very important in how you exhibit and feel confidence as well. When I was about 11-12, I experienced a traumatic life event that made me withdraw from my friend group for awhile. When that happened my friends at the time just didn’t know how to deal with it and they kind of abandoned me. Some of them were even just mean to me. I kind of drifted after that for a few years and was very lonely. I was never truly bullied but I had literally no friends and the time in my life was pretty dark. then a girl moved to my school and befriended me and I started to slowly get my confidence back. I’m not saying that’s how it always happens but that’s how it worked for me. I would ask yourself these Questions about your nephew...has he experienced a traumatic event that has caused him to “act” differently? Can he find a new group of friends to integrate with? Does he do activities either before or after school that will enable him to have exposure to new friends and people?? Overall the most important thing will be to keep giving him total love and acceptance at home and just be there to listen and encourage him to talk during this time. Sorry this reply is so long, I hope it’s somewhat helpful!!

  • Anonymous
    Sep 26, 2018

    I would get him involved in an activity whether it’s a new sport, youth group or Boy Scouts. Give him something new to focus on and with a different crowd. He will gain confidence by working on something new and make a new set of friends. If he really continues to withdraw have him see a counselor. Also depending on how bad the bullying is getting remove him from the school and have him go to a smaller school like a magnet school or private.

  • Maddy
    Sep 26, 2018

    Home school

  • Elle
    Sep 26, 2018

    Give him something that he can excel in that is 100% under his control and not dependent on others' social dynamics - particularly not the whims and caprices of fellow teenagers. For example, throwing him into groups where social acceptance is the key driver might be best to avoid at least for now. Groups that are proejct-oriented and focused not on him and his acceptance, but an activity where repetition brings success and the outcome benefits someone less fortunate might do the trick. I'm thinking something like Habitat for Humanity. At the end, he will have helped build a house! And a home for a family in need. He'll have developed skills and done a good deed that he can feel proud of himself for. And it's totally within his sphere of control. If tnat doesn't feel like a good fit for ahatever reason, maybe something like volunteering at a shelter in a small group setting. It's harder to feel badly about yourself when you're caring for someone who has it worse than you. Maybe he could even shadow the veterinarian or the vet tech as well for some professional experience.

  • Jennifer
    Sep 30, 2018

    Some times running from a problem follows you , so get him into self defense classes that can teach him to be more confident and self improvement I was that kid at his age and that’s where my parents put me .

  • Household6
    Sep 30, 2018

    Try geocaching. Builds confidence in solving “puzzles” to find things. After a while he’ll want to hide his own. Teach him about resisting being available every time a friend wants to hang out. “Thanks, but I have plans.”

  • Anonymous
    Sep 30, 2018

    Thank you for all the advice and suggestions you all are wonderful

  • Maya
    Mar 20

    Yoga, surfing, good food! Teaching him to go inward. Finding his breath and first his connection to himself. Then when he steps out to go to school, he isn't concerned about how his 'friends' will treat him. He will become open and receptive to a new vibration and attract the kind of people who are good natured and great to him. Through this He will learn how to make himself feel good so he can recognize when he's around energy that isn't he can step away and choose not to engage with that. If he doesn't find the good energy he's looking for around him he can begin to see the light within him and choose to positively spread it to his community. We are currently also blessed to be living in the digital age. He can start a YouTube channel. Sharing his interests, stories, experiences with the world. He can form a community there. He can film anytime people try to bully him. Put it online. Create a peace list. Come to the nice side. It's time to inspire change and show all beings a kinder way of life. We cannot hide from them from fear. Shine your light. Hope he is doing well now and has found his confidence. All growth takes time so no rush, all love and positivity!