The Body Language of Bullying: How to Help Kids (and Adults) "Stand Up" for Themselves by Erica Hornthal

The Body Language of Bullying: How to Help Kids (and Adults) "Stand Up" for Themselves

Schools are back in session. Unfortunately, for some, that means back to being bullied. According to statistics on

  • More than 3.2 million students are victims of bullying each year.
  • Approximately 160,000 teens skip school every day because of bullying.
  • Seventeen percent of American students report being bullied two to three times a month or more within a school semester. 

This is not OK! Do you know what signs to look for in your child that might make them more susceptible to bullying? (By the way, this also applies to adults because bullying is not reserved for children or schools.) Here are the body language signs of bullying to look for:

  • Lack of eye contact.
  • Stooped posture.
  • Disappearing belly button (cannot see torso due to hunched posture).

If you notice these signs in your children or yourself, try these three movement suggestions:

  • Make appropriate eye contact.
  • Practice taking up space by stretching out.
  • Embody your confidence. Put confidence in your body and practice accessing it daily. 

Bullying occurs due to an imbalance of power. There are many ways that we can embrace our power through body language. Never underestimate your ability to change your mood through movement.

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Elisa Schmitz
Excellent tip, Erica Hornthal . You’re so right about the body language, and yet I’m sure most of us don’t think to look for that as a sign of bullying. The way we carry ourselves has a lot of impact and says so much. Thank you for this!
We all need to stand up to bullies even if we’re scared

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