October is National Bully Prevention Month. It is a time for us to wear blue in solidarity and to set aside time to really work on strategies and focus on tips to help our children ward off bullies whether it be in school, on the playground, sports field or school bus. We partnered with body language expert, Yana German and are sharing 5 tips to help with anti-bullying.
These strategies will empower your children to know that they can change the course and deal with potential bullying situations just by changing their body language. We need to give them more than the old "sticks and stones may break my bones..." adage.
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5 Tips To Help with Anti-Bullying
- Posture: One of the most important tips is to keep an open posture. “Parents should always encourage their kids to stand up straight with their head and chin up,” says Yana. “Having great posture will instantly boost your confidence. Pulling your shoulders back and opening your chest is one quick fix that works wonders. Not only does it make you taller it boosts your inner confidence,” explains German.
- Eye Contact: When a student is talking to another child he/she should always look them in the eye. Maintaining good eye contact relays your confidence in a non-verbal manner. This is a strategy that can easily be practiced over the dinner table, while discussing your day or during the bedtime routine.
- Smile: Bullies tend to target those with low self-esteem, or children that seem shy or vulnerable. “Smiling serves as your barrier towards any negativity, and bullies rarely target children who seem to be happy, calm and radiate good energy,” adds German.
- Be Larger Than Life: use your body to take up as much physical space around you as you are able. Spread your arms, open your hips, widen your stance. Taking up more physical space than usual makes you feel more powerful and increases confidence.
- Arms Down: Crossing your arms is a big sign that you are on the defensive. To appear open, ready to make new friends and ready to join a group, remind your children to keep his/her arms down by his side. (Resting hands in his pockets is always an alternative.) This sends a message that their heart is open and ready to receive
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