First impressions

Most kids judge each other in the first four seconds! (Dogs take even less time.) This is the survival instinct in action. As the bully will judge you very quickly, you need to look confident to block him - even if you don't feel confident. Imagine that it's the same as getting dressed to play sport or go to a party: nobody wants to see a nervous footballer or a frightened party-goer.

Instant confidence

Most of the kids I've tried this exercise with have lots of fun with it.

Give your child a nursery rhyme or a simple story. Ask him to read or recite it. Watch how he looks, stands, moves and sounds. He will probably behave like melted chocolate. Then give these instructions:

'Imagine you are the most confident person in the whole world! How would you look and stand? How would you move your body? How would you sound and behave?'

Can you see a difference in his behaviour?

'Now I want you to repeat the same nursery rhyme/story as though you were the most confident kid in the whole wide world.' (If you don't want to say 'the most confident kid in the world', ask him to imagine describing something incredible to a television camera.)

Most children stand up suddenly, head high, eyes up, shoulders straightened, voice stronger - and they look much more confident. Then, when they finish the nursery rhyme,they slump backto their previous posture, like limp celery!

Most children know how to look confident. Now say, 'I know you can do it, now do it around bullies.'

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Parenting Teens Special Report

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