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Books to help with assertiveness, avoiding bullying?

(49 Posts)
bookeater Mon 15-Nov-10 09:02:38

Dd (13) is suffering at the hands of Queen Bees at school.

She's quite quiet and reserved and tends to dissolve into tears if intimidated. She needs to toughen up a lot bit.

Any suggestions please for books that would help give her strategies and the confidence to stand up to them?

bookeater Mon 15-Nov-10 09:34:16


streakybacon Mon 15-Nov-10 09:46:56

Bullies, Bigmouths and So-Called Friends by J Alexander. I think you can get a girls' copy - the boys' one I have is mostly about situations boys might find themselves in so I guess the girls' one would have the same approach.

It's focuses on raising self-esteem, positive image, how to avoid difficult situations. Ds learned loads from it.

vess Mon 15-Nov-10 11:31:17

Don't know about books, but developing different interests and finding like-minded friends helps a lot.

bookeater Mon 15-Nov-10 11:38:13

Cheers - will look up that book, sounds great.

Any more ideas please?

BreastmilkDoesAFabLatte Mon 15-Nov-10 11:42:59

It shouldn't ever be the responsibility of the bullied child to learn not to be bullied. Instead, it should be the responsibility of the bullies to learn not to bully. And of the school to ensure that bullying is treated as unacceptable.

I was bullied like hell at school, and whenever I was told to "toughen up" I took this to imply that the bullying was my fault. Even now as an adult, whenever anyone is unkind or unfair to me I immediately blame myself.

So in my opinion, teaching a child to "toughen up" whilst seeking to build "confidence" or "assertiveness" in an utter oxymoron.

--Breastmilk meekly apologises to the OP and to eveyone else she will have just upset--

bookeater Mon 15-Nov-10 12:03:00

I take your point. The school are involved with ways to help my daughter spend time with children she is comfortable with.

On the other hand, school and adult life are full of people who behave badly, whether intentionally or not, and crying about it rather than having a strategy to deal with it, is not going to help.

I do think there are certain behaviours that children display that do make them more vulnerable to bullies and these can be addressed.

Thanks for your thoughts.

maninthemooncup Mon 15-Nov-10 12:05:21

Has she got any friends outside of school?

It won't stop the bullying or stop it hurting, but she might feel stronger in herself if she realises that she isn't just what they say she is.

I had a crap time at school but made some friends from a different town through an activity when I was about 14, and it made a BIG difference to my confidence, as I realised that not everyone would behave towards me like this small random sample of people that I was thrown together with at school.

You wouldn't expect to meet all your friends at your workplace, I think kids need more opportunities to meet friends than just school, though appreciate at 13 there are not neccessarily many of those opportunities about.

Couldn't agree more with the above post either, it's the responsibility of the other kids not to be mean little shits! I don't think OP is blaming her DD though, more that she wants her to cope with what's happening.

GetToFalkirk Mon 15-Nov-10 12:20:39

Totally agree that the bullies are the ones with the problem and they should be the ones to change. However, like anything in life, you cannot change other people you can only change your own behaviour.
Giving a child (or indeed adults) the tools to deal with bullies can only be of benefit. Gaining the confidence to stand up to them and using intelligence and wit to outsmart them is the way to deal with the problem. Some people need some guidance and help to do this.
Breastmilk - just saying that it's the bullies responsibilty is not very helpful at all is it?

BreastmilkDoesAFabLatte Mon 15-Nov-10 12:23:27

Why not?

neolara Mon 15-Nov-10 13:15:48

There's a book called "Queen Bees and Wannabes" which is great. It might give her a few ideas.

jamaisjedors Mon 15-Nov-10 13:18:32

Because there is very little the OP can do about the bullies behaviour?

I agree that there are things that children can learn to "fight back" a little.

DS1 is very gentle, kind, sensitive... and with a tendancy to pushed around.

Even his younger brother walks all over him.

We are currently trying to teach him how to deal with this so I was interested in this thread.

bookeater Mon 15-Nov-10 14:12:03

As I said in the thread title, it's about encouraging dd to be assertive in a postive not bullying way. Asserting her right to be treated with respect.

As adults perhaps we have learned how to do this through (bitter) experience. I'd like to help dd learn these lessons early.

Thank you neolara for the book recommmendation.

GnocchiGnocchiWhosThere Mon 15-Nov-10 14:32:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bookeater Mon 15-Nov-10 14:43:10

Yes, simple coping strategies would be very helpful.

I've googled assertiveness training courses but they all seem to be for people in the workplace and are £££.

I thought if I couldn't find one for children then I could do a course and relate the ideas back to dd. A book seems the only way to go.

maninthemooncup Mon 15-Nov-10 14:59:26

What about trying a martial art? I don't mean so that she physically defends herself, just that they are good for building confidence generally, and she may well learn assertiveness skills from them as well as keeping fit, having fun and meeting new friends...would she be interested?

Menagerie Mon 15-Nov-10 15:09:22

There's a good book from America called No more Stinking Thinking. It's actually for kids with mild depression, but it has lots of ways of replying to bullying in it, that prevent the bully from gaining more ground.

Breastmilk, it's awful that your experience left you feeling even more stranded. Sounds like you were told what to do, but not how to. I think well-placed guidance to help your child be assertive can nip bullying in the bud.

One of my sons isn't popular at school. Some kids tried very hard last year to bully him. They ran into two problems - one was me. I bawled one out in public because he was being such a sh*t and he's never dared since. But the thing that most put them off was that my DS is a solitary soul who really doesn't care if they like him or not. Their opinion means absolutely nothing to him, and he's happy to hang around with a small clique of other weirdos. They can't bully him much if he doesn't react.

Bookeater, if your daughter builds solid friendships in other places - outside school or with other girls not in the clique, and if you help her to really feel that the friendship of a manipulative little c*w is worthless and beneath her contempt, then she'll thrive in the end and it's a lesson that will help her throughout life.

bookeater Mon 15-Nov-10 15:16:24

Menagerie - am liking your robust attitude - which is what dd needs to adopt, at an appropriate level!

She does mix with a youth group but is reluctant to try other things without a buddy to go along with in the first place - chicken and egg situation.

Thanks for the book recommendation.

I can see where you're coming from, mooncup, but martial arts are not dd's cup of tea. We're going to investigate a canoeing course that she might like to do.

dittany Mon 15-Nov-10 15:40:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AbsofCroissant Mon 15-Nov-10 15:41:55

I think "Queen Bees and Wannabes" was turned into the film Mean Girls by Tina Fey. Maybe watch it together with her?

CeliaFate Mon 15-Nov-10 15:45:57

I bought this book for my daughter. It's American, but quite good!

CeliaFate Mon 15-Nov-10 16:19:18

I also found this site

bookeater Mon 15-Nov-10 17:17:53

Celia (great name), thanks for those.

Abs - will look out that film - great idea.

Dittany - the school are aware and are managing the situation. But I would like dd to develop skills that make her a less likely target in the first place, and enable her to nip problems in the bud before they escalate to where teachers have to intervene.

By the way, just to broaden the discussion, does anyone know of a bully who changed their bullying personality??

bookeater Mon 15-Nov-10 17:20:13

Will start a thread asking for tips for coaching dc in assertiveness.

dittany Mon 15-Nov-10 17:20:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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