Coping with rejection and building confidence

Tuesday, July 20th 2004, 10:19 am
By: News On 6

It's the middle of summer, but some children are already thinking about school in the fall. And some are dreading it.

For young girls it can be especially tough to cope with rejection and build confidence, but some are learning the skills they need.

News on 6 reporter Emory Bryan has the story.

Mackenzie Land is a 9 year old 4th grader who has already learned some of the hard knocks of childhood. “Sometimes I get picked on because I'm short." That's why she's here - with about a dozen other girls in a class to build their self confidence before another school year starts.

The summer school course, at Union Public Schools, is designed to teach girls how to cope with taunts and teasing. "Some people pick on me because of my glasses; I give them the long cool look."

The course instructor is an elementary school counselor who says the problems can start early. The girls go through different situations and talk about how they should handle everything from being bullied to just being left out.

They are taught to respond with confidence - that's it's best to ignore it or dismiss it with humor - but that responding to bad behavior with anger usually only makes it worse. It's a lesson the girls say they can put to use - and that parents say may work for girls at an even younger age.

The class is not part of the regular curriculum - it's a summer enrichment class offered by the school.