I struggled with having confidence growing up and in my early adulthood.  It did not help that I was teased for multiple reason when I was a kid and it did not help that my ex continuously cheated on me with women who were nothing like me.  In the past years, I have come into my own and have learned to love ALL OF ME and others have noticed my confidence within moments of meeting me.  I want for my daughter and my son to carry themselves in this same light.

This school year, my 11 year old daughter is a middle-schooler in Klein ISD.  She is getting good grades and making new friends but, three times she has come home and told me about incidents where another student(s) had a bit of a problem with her.

The first incident, she was sitting with her friends in the cafeteria and a boy demand she move from "his" seat.  There were no assigned seats and his items were not in or near the chair.  He made a scene, threatening to physically remove her himself. (If he laid one finger on my daughter, Klein ISD would not know how to handle me.) Eventually, my daughter stated he fussed off.  The first thing I asked my daughter was how she behaved when he was telling her to move.  She stated she continued to tell him no and went back to her conversation with her friends.  My concern here is why did this young man feel he "owned" a seat that was not specifically for him and why did he thought threatening someone would get his way?  What is he seeing at home???  Aggressive children usually learn from the aggression around them.

The second incident was when my daughter was on the school bus.  She was talking with her friends when a girl told her to shut up and when my daughter did not comply the girl began in antagonize her.  Again, I asked my daughter how she behaved when this girl was making a problem with her.  I told my daughter that many times an aggressive reaction to an aggressor does not solve the issue, it only escalates it.  I know my daughter and I know she has a bit of a smart mouth and I let her know that people with bad attitudes tend to always find themselves in the middle chaos so she needs to be mindful of what she says and how she says things to people; bullies have a hard time learning this.  But what was up with the other girl?  Was my daughter's conversation with her friends so intolerable that she had to rudely speak out?  Possible anger management issues?

The third time, she told me a few boys on the bus were making fun of her looks. Of each of the incidence, this is the one that really irritated me the most...A young boy grows to become a man and these knuckleheads may have been foolish towards my daughter a few times and have stopped but, it bothers me that they have not been taught the emotional damage it can do to a girl when you poke fun of her appearance.  She can become self-conscious and begin to develop low self-esteem further finding comfort from non-agreeable people or create behaviors that may be more damaging.  I will not allow this for my daughter.

I am not sending my daughter to argue with other people.  I am not sending her to figure out what other's issues are.  I am sending her to school to learn the fundamentals of problem solving, discipline, organization, and comprehension.  She will make an array of friends and will learn on her own the types of people who are good to be around.  As I continue to raise my daughter, I cannot control how others are being raised but, I can help her understand her emotions and how not to act irrationally putting herself in a compromising predicament and I can keep her from loosing her self-confidence.

Below, I posted affirmations on my daughter's bathroom mirror to continuously remind her she is an AWESOME kid and that she has every reason to love herself!  My daughter has a healthy amount of self-confidence already and I want her to continue with it.

And of course there is always "no room in the budget" for these types of lessons but, I would love to see schools offer classes that teach the youth to identify their inner person and learn how to not allow ill emotions dictate their reaction towards others.  It is important to teach kids to love themselves and accept those around them for who they are.  It is also important to help them identify certain conflicts within themselves.  We have all these "self-help" books and seminars for adults, why not provide these same ideals for children while they are beginning to plant their feet in life?  We underestimate the importance of self-awareness and in turn, we end up with people blaming others for their own problems because they do not know how to reevaluate themselves.
Sorry, my children will not fall victim to that.

- Love Raya


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