Introduction: Using good posture is not just good for your health, it also helps you NOT become a target for a potential bully.
Generally speaking, bullies are looking for easy targets. They are looking for someone who lacks self-confidence and is easily intimidated. Does your child have good posture? If so, great. If not, it is almost like your child is drawing a target on the enlarged surface of his or her back inviting a bully to hit or kick or push. Having bad posture is an indicator of low self-esteem.
Children learn to drown out the voices of their parents and teachers when they hear continual reminders to sit up straight. Teaching children to use good posture in order to not be a slumped-over senior citizen someday or as a way to avoid eventually getting osteoporosis are not strong enough motivators as there is no way for your child to see immediate results. On the other hand, teaching them to sit and stand up straight so they do not attract bullying-type behavior from others is a worthy enough motivation to exert that extra effort.
Ask your child to observe the kids in the school who appear to never be bullied. Most likely, those kids walk around with a straight back as they approach their life feeling strong and confident. Help your child to practice walking and sitting in such a way that they appear strong and confident as well.
Perhaps you could purchase a full-length mirror that you can place at one end of a room. Ask your child to walk toward that mirror slumped over. Then have your child walk toward that mirror walking with a straight posture. Try doing the same exercise yourself. Then compare. Which method of walking and standing made each of you look most attractive and most confident? Which method made each of you appear least attractive and lacking in confidence? Notice that walking slumped-over makes the stomach pooch out, giving the appearance that you are heavier than you are. If the bullying-type behavior has anything to do with your child being overweight, teach him or her that using good posture makes people look less heavy.
At least once a week, have an on-going discussion with your child about how well he or she managed to use good posture as they sit and stand. If your posture is less than perfect, share with your child how much you tried to do the same. Compare notes. Does your child now have success stories to share about not being picked on as much by a bully? Share success stories of your own.
What we can learn from alpha, beta, and omega wolves
Perhaps it might be helpful to watch a documentary about wolf packs. Naturalists at Bays Mountain Park in Kingsport, Tennessee, explain that every wolf has a rank. The highest-ranked wolves are called the Alpha Wolves. Next in rank comes the Beta Wolves. The lowest-ranked wolves are the Omega or “Scapegoat” or Cinderella Wolves.
As the author of Wolf Country.net states, one of the ways that wolves display dominance is by standing up tall. The lower-ranked wolves demonstrate their submissive qualities by lowering their whole body. The more “arch” or slump to their back, the more submissive that wolf is perceived to be. So, perhaps you and your family can make a game of playing like you are a wolf pack. Give your child the opportunity to practice behavior more conducive to being, at the very least, a Beta Wolf. Better yet, have him or her practice the behavior and stance of being an Alpha Wolf. Teach your child to recognize that slumping invites other people to view him or her as the lowest-ranked person in the group, just like the Omega Wolf is the lowest-ranked wolf in the pack.
A fun activity for parent and child
To further reinforce the importance of using good posture, play these two songs about bullies. Learn the songs and sing them together. Practice the skills indicated in the songs to make your child much more bully-proof. Here’s the links:
1. Click this link for “Anti-Bullying song for kids #1: My Bully Buster Song” on rootshed.com
2. Click this link for Another Bully Buster Song on YouTube. (Song is embedded within this article.)
Now that your child knows that using good posture can help him or her achieve a happier life now and in the long run, it may feel like a worthier activity to practice and perfect.
Please note: This article was originally posted in 2009 under the former publishing tool. When it was discovered that it had some missing links and videos, etc., I edited it and re-published it as you see above.
Return to Hub page for “Avoid Bullying with these 12 tips”
- Wolf Country.net – The Wolf Pack
Wolf Park.org – Frequently Asked Questions About Wolves
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