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In general, going back to school is an exciting time in a child’s life. However, there are a lot of students who deal with severe anxiety and stress when a new school year comes around. One of those reasons is due to bullying. With October being National Bullying Prevention month, we are excited to share some tips from body language and image expert, Yana German, who was also bullied as a child when she immigrated to the U.S as a teen. The bullying got to the point where German had to drop out of school for a year in order to get her confidence back and continue her education. Today, German is a mother to two daughters and shares her body language tips to ward off bullies. Read on to learn more about how to help your child have a  bully-free school year…

tips to fighting off bullies yana german

1) Keep an open 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. 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.

 Smiling serves as your barrier towards any negativity, and bullies rarely target children who seem to be happy, calm and radiate good energy. 

2). Look at a bully.

When a student is talking to another child he/she should always look them in the eye. Nothing gives away your fear more than not looking at the person you are speaking to. Looking someone in the eye and maintaining that contact for as long as you can is a great non-verbal way of expressing your confidence.

3) Smile.

When someone is bullied it’s really hard, if not impossible to respond with empathy. Shy and vulnerable kids are usually easy targets for bullies. That’s why it’s really important to smile. Smiling serves as your barrier towards any negativity, and bullies rarely target children who seem to be happy, calm and radiate good energy. When a student rarely smiles, it can be a warning sign of low self-esteem.

4) Take up more space.

When we are feeling self-conscious, we naturally tend to become smaller. We want to shrink away into the room so that nobody notices us. This means we may hunch over, hide in a corner and cross our arms and legs until we almost disappear. The best way to gain confidence is to physically take up more space than usual. If you are standing, take a wider stance than usual, put your arms on your hips. If you are sitting with a desk in front of you, use your arms on the desk to take up space.This will make you feel more powerful and instantly give you more confidence.

5) Relax your arms and open up your shoulders.

When a child or teen crosses his/her arms, it sends out a defensive signal that they want to be left alone. He can put his hands in his pockets if he feels awkward holding his arms by his side. What’s important is that he keeps his torso open. When the child’s arms at their side and they face the other child heart to heart it shows others he’d like to make new friends.

6) Engage with your kids.

As a teenager, I was bullied at school. So I know how challenging it is for the parents to address this. It is always best to react positively and evaluate the situation. Don’t ever tell your children to just ignore it. Encourage them to speak up. Instead of trying to focus on fixing the bullying, work with them on building self-confidence. It breaks every parent’s heart when their child is being hurt, however, try to control your anger when you talk to children about it and instead offer them comfort. If you’re upset when you talk about, your child is less likely to talk to you about it ever again.  

7) Look for signs.

You can tell someone is being bullied when they carry their head low and don’t appear to be active or motivated in life. Many kids/teens will refrain from showing off their skills or true potential so as to be invisible and not attract any attention. If you ask them what’s wrong, they will normally not say anything and if they do speak, they deny everything and just say things are “okay.”

Students who are being bullied also tend to be less social, when they do talk about school they will give very short answers to describe their day.  These students also seem hypersensitive when you talk about personal matters because they don’t like to appear weak or defeated. Even the way they walk changes, students will tend to drag their feet when they walk. Boys will typically keep their hands in their pockets and girls will become very emotional when getting dressed as they are more self-conscious about what others will say or think about her.

If someone in your family is being bullied or you want more information, check out Yana German for more information.









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