Teen boy sitting on floor with head in hands

Sometimes children can be taken advantage of by their peers. Other children may think they are a soft touch because they do not speak up or stand up for themselves,  so they get bossed around or made to do things that they may not be happy about.

For example, a classmate may take a pencil of theirs but they don’t object even if it is their only pencil and they don’t have another to use.   Or they have done their homework and a friend asks if they can copy theirs. Rather than object they say nothing and hand it over to be copied. Why do some children do this?

Why don’t children stand up for themselves?

  • They may really want to be liked and so give in to their peers.
  • They may not think it is a big deal.
  • They want to please others so do as they’re asked.
  • They don’t have the confidence to say no to people.
  • They may be scared of their peers and feel intimidated.
  • They just don’t know what to say to get out of the situation.

There are so many reasons why children don’t stand up for themselves.  Parents & carers need to give them the skills they need to feel and look confident. Discuss what they can say and then practise role playing with them so that the words become second nature and they don’t feel uncomfortable saying them.

Doing something against what they believe is a big deal for any child. They need to be able to get across that although they would like to help their friend, they cannot if they only have one pencil. Or they will help with homework but will not allow others to copy theirs.

Help build their self-esteem and realise that being helpful is a great trait to have and that they don’t need to worry about what their peers say back to them. If they are unkind then they are no friend of theirs.

Don’t allow your child to be a doormat and let others treat them badly. Teach your child to take a stand and speak up.

Has you child had to learn how to stand up for themselves? I’d love to hear your stories. Please leave a comment on this blog or via social media .

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