Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

Teaching Your Children to Be Strong and Confident Through Their Most Difficult Years

Many parents will agree that the preteen and teenage years are the hardest for kids while growing up. However, these are also some of the most valuable years for learning important life lessons. Since bullying also seems to target this age group more than others, kids need to develop strength and confidence when challenged on several fronts.


Kids often tease each other about how they look. From hair to weight, just about any feature is considered fair game for friends and bullies alike. Parents can remind their children that each of us is special and beautiful in our own way. They can also point out that health-oriented appliances, like dental braces and eyeglasses, not only facilitate bodily functions like eating and seeing but are either temporary, as with orthodontia, or can become an attractive asset when stylish eyeglass frames are chosen. Children’s self-image can strengthen when dealing with unexpected or unwanted adjustments to appearance.


Many kids are taunted about being too dumb or too smart at school. Some are labeled the teacher’s pet while others are called flunkies. Children who are quieter than others or less popular may be bullied due to not being part of a popular clique. It helps to remind kids that they can pick the friends they want to be around and don’t need a cluster around them at all times. Parents can help kids to rely on their inner strength and peace of mind despite teasing or cutting comments from others. Children who learn to rely on themselves instead of others’ opinions often develop strong character.

Socio-Economic Background

Children who grow up in low-income homes may be sadly obvious to others, due to the way they dress and their limited funds for school events or social activities. But kids can be taught that appearance is not their most important asset, nor should they be judged for not attending all the school and community social activities that other kids go to. Learning to be satisfied with what they have is a valuable character trait that will be helpful for the rest of their lives and help to prevent qualities like greed or materialism from taking root.

Beliefs and Values

Although people of all ages whose personal social beliefs or religious values become known are often targeted for criticism and condemnation, kids typically receive the brunt of such abuse because they are easy targets and less able to defend themselves. Children should be trained not to flaunt their beliefs before others, nor to feel ashamed of them, but to discreetly hold their values intact while respecting those of other people.

Kids who grow up with this training are likely to develop the confidence and strength they will need for a lifetime.

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Integrated Family Community Services is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Financial Accountability

IFCS’ Tax ID # 84-0579740