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How can I teach my daughter how to stand up for herself?

My daughter is almost 6 and she is a sweet and loving little girl, but she doesn't know how to stand up to other kids at school. I recently found out that one of her classmates pulled her hair and she didn't do or say anything about it. The thing is, if something happens to her, she waits a while to tell me about it and I want her to tell me right away so that I can help her. I don't want to promote violence because that solves nothing, but I also don't want my child to let people treat her any kind of way either.

I was picked on a lot in my elementary years and I fought sometimes to defend myself, but I never picked fights with anyone. I told my daughter that if someone hits her, that she has a right to defend herself and hit the person back then tell them to not hit her anymore. I know that a lot of parents and teachers are against that, but I feel that if every time someone does something to my child, and all she does is tell the teacher without defending herself, then not only will she be labeled as a tattle-tell, but she will be picked on constantly. It doesn't happen often, but I still don't want her to allow people to treat her bad. I was never taught how to stand up for myself and I want to make sure that I teach my daughter how to stand up for herself in school.

What are some good ways for my daughter to assert herself and get respect?


Asked by browneyes27 at 6:12 AM on Jan. 28, 2011 in General Parenting

Level 16 (2,928 Credits)
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Answers (5)
  • Oh, poor kiddo. I understand how she feels - I was that way when I was little, too. My parents put me in Tae Kwon Do, and yes I learned how to defend myself (an important skill when someone started a playground fight - they didn't expect me to kick them in the face) but I HATED having to hit/kick anyone. I would even have nightmares about karate practice. I'm not sure what the right answer is. If you try karate classes, make sure she's enjoying them. It might help to also practice what to say/yell when someone picks on her. I've seen kids effectively yell off a bully. Role play at home and tell her exactly what to say so the response is automatic - some kids just freeze up when in a stressful situation, and she might just not be used to using a loud, angry voice (though I'm sure she does have a great loud, happy voice). And for the record, I agree with you: it's not acceptable to start a fight, but it is okay to finish it.

    Answer by Sebbiemama at 7:39 AM on Jan. 28, 2011

  • I've always heard Karate classes work wonders

    Answer by AllAboutKeeley at 6:27 AM on Jan. 28, 2011

  • Actually Karate classes helped my son a lot when he was little.

    Answer by elizabr at 6:51 AM on Jan. 28, 2011

  • I agree w/ all the above posters. Try a martial arts class. As much as they learn physical skills, they are also taught a lot about self-esteem, dealing with bullies, etc.

    Answer by sweetpotato418 at 8:25 AM on Jan. 28, 2011

  • I agree to make sure she likes it after a few times

    Answer by elizabr at 8:42 AM on Jan. 28, 2011

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