GREENSBORO, NC -- Back to school means back to the homework and attitudes and cliques and hopefully not., but this is about the time the bully stories start.
How can you, as a parent or teacher, tell if something is going on with your child even when they don't want to tell you? Watch their body language! Body language expert Blanca Cobb with Truth Blazer is here to help us break down some behavior that could make the school year a little easier.
Let's start with the biggie for parents. What should they be watching for to tell if something may be going on with the child that the kid doesn't want to talk about?
When it comes to their body language, it's knowing their base line. Knowing what the child is normally like, watch for deviations. If they're normally calm, but get fidgety or busy or anxious, that's a red flag. Cobb said, there's also word choice. if a child starts dropping personal pronouns, like I, they're not taking responsibility, and a parent may want to investigate further. Cobb also says parents should pay attention to tenses. If you ask you child about an event that happened, the story should always be in past tense. If they start using present tense and future tense, they're making something up, and parents need to investigate further.
Teachers can make students feel welcome without saying it and without necessarily touching students. In fact, Cobb says the biggest thing teachers can do is smile! Never underestimate the power of a smile! She also say teachers should use open body language to be more inviting.
Making new friends can be difficult for kids. Blanca suggests paying attention to people's feet. If they turn their feet toward you, you're being accepted into the conversation. If they only turn half their body, now may not be the time to join the conversation. It may not mean they don't like you, but they may be having a private conversation. You also want to try to be in visual center of the group to be the focus and join the conversation.
That's definitely something you're going to want to share with the teachers, parents... and even students in your life.