Were You the Sensitive Child In Your Family?

Were You the Sensitive Child In Your Family?

sensitive childIf you were the sensitive child in your family,  or if you had especially challenging experiences in childhood, then you understand completely what sensitive children are going through today. You would make an excellent Family Coach if you like to support others. Some ACPI family coaches have a unique sense of family dynamics because of growing up as sensitive child.

Your temperament and experience are strong reasons that you could be the family coach helping other sensitive children. 

Of the four core temperaments, two temperament types include the trait of sensitivity to the environment: the Nurturer/Supporter and the Observant Thinker.

The Supporter Is A Sensitive Child

The Nurturer-Supporter are heart-oriented children and natural helpers.

Supporter children see most people as nice and could have a blind spot in that regard.  As children of heart, they give people the benefit of the doubt. As a sensitive child, they don’t understand the Bullying child. Yet, the bully might choose the sensitive child as a target.

Another temperament trait is empathy. So the empathic child is easily overwhelmed by emotional negativity, spankings, anger and the hurt that others feel.

Environments that nurture this sensitive-child are calmer emotionally, and support family qualities of togetherness, playfulness, closeness, compassion, conversation, or sharing. The Family Coach can mentor, suggest, and plan these activities for the family.

How to Support the Nurturing Sensitive Child

  1. Cite the talents of being a sensitive child, which could be in creative areas of music or art, or in the heart-oriented talents of intuition, writing, and being involved in school plays, or personal activities that encourage self-expression like writing in a journal.
  2. Encourage the strength of the trait sensitivity in honoring the child’s knowing. A sensitive child of nurturing temperament has a unique ability to “read” people. The knowing is an empathic sense of their feeling, interests, or even how best to communicate with another.
  3. Personal connectedness is a way to help a supporter child feel safe. Whether a child feels most connected to one parent, a sibling, A Family friend, or a teacher, the intent of the mentor or connection os to be there for the child and help process the overwhelm of negative environments. A Family Coach can serve this role. Moreover, the connection serves as a safety net to encourage a child to understand the blind spots that he  or she may encounter as a sensitive child.

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Find Your Passion Skills Set

Find Your Passion Skills Set

Practicality Versus Passion

coachingparents.com/coaching-special-needs-2/">Coachingparents.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/37127919_s.jpg">core temperamentOur passion skills set is best recalled from enjoyable Childrens-emotional-intelligence/">childhood moments. Do you remember moments in your childhood that felt freeing and fun? One that I remember was bike riding on a Saturday afternoon. The freedom to explore and wind around different neighborhoods cleared my mind and rejuvenated my body. The passion skills set of exploring neighborhoods and enjoying the outdoors is now my walking daily to clear my head and get a fresh perspective on business or a project.

Such childhood memories that we’re passionate about aren’t really the most practical things to do when we grow up and become “responsible.” So we often put off when more pressing “responsible” concerns arise like taking the kids to extracurricular activities.

Truths About Passion Skills Set

If your passion feels obscure or far away, you may not think that the practical skills are worth exploring. However they are, and if you identify with even one of these three reasons, then do explore how to make your passion skills set practical.

  1. Fifty percent of our motivation to pursue a passion stems from our core temperament(s). From temperaments comes what we value, and our innate drive keeps pushing us toward using our strengths and putting talents to use. If you don’t use your innate talents, you don’t lose them.  Quite the contrary happens. They rise up and get in your face!
  2. Thus you cannot squash your passion. It keeps nudging you, reminding you, trying to motivate you to a course of action.
  3. You will always feel out of sync when not aligned with values and using passion skills set.  The best examples I can provide are the men and women who have pursued the careers of their parents or went for what they “thought” was the right thing, only to be disappointed later.

The solution to staying motivated is to bring your passion skills set into practical living and practical projects.  It is possible to find the practical skills behind your passion. My passion has always been writing, and eventually in my adult years, I followed these steps to embrace my passion. If I didn’t, it hounded me.

Writing Short Stories

 Let’ start with the more common one. There are many secret writers, who love to create poetry or prose, but we all know that most authors don’t end up on the best seller list. In fact, most writers never make a dime from their writings. They write and narrate because they are feel the calling to do so. They enjoy writing because it motivates them and makes them happy. They are using their core strengths, which is a natural thing to do. The are building a skill set and making it better each time

The Creative Magic Sparks

When someone is following a normal talent or motivation or nudge, a spark of magic happens, and the door of creativity opens. Ideas pour into the writer’s mind. A strange character for the novel introduces herself. The ending of the story took a new turn and recreated a new ending.

Like the old writer’s joke says: How can I start writing?

Answer: Sit down and start start writing. In the literal sense, when you practice your passion, even for fun and just for yourself, you are honing the creative skills.

Here are more steps to discover these skills.

  1. Take an objective look at what you do as a writer.

When you sit down to write something, take a moment and jot down all of the things that you’re doing or are about to do. For example:

  • Create a story
  • Organize the idea
  • Create characters
  • Research/describe the setting of the story
  • Commit to a project from start to finish
  1. Research the job descriptions of writer. Do a web search for “writer job description.” This will give you some great insight into the skills built through writing.
  • Make a list of the skills you find in a few of the job
  • Go through the list and pull out skills that you feel apply best to you and add them to the first
  1. Research writers’ websites and look at the services they provide to give you some insight into skills you hadn’t considered. Add them to your list.

Now you ave created a real-life practical skills list for a passion that motivates your path. If you decide to take the next steps, they are mix, mingle, and learn.

  • Writers are often solitary souls who need a writer’s group for support. Join one or start one.
  •  Go to writing events and talk to other writers who love what they do as much as you do.  There are conferences, festivals and networking events for a wide variety of topics.
  • Find local writing events by doing a web search. Not only will you learn about the skills that you have developed, you might meet some cool new writing friends to support you in following your passion..

You can use these same steps to find passion skills sets in any area, and start using them to follow the natural course of your motivating strengths.

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Discover Your Life Purpose

Discover Your Life Purpose

Discover Your Life Purpose

“Let yourself be silently drawn by the pull of what you really love.”  coachingparents.com/coaching-special-needs-2/">Coach4u.com/Personal-Life-Coach-Benefits.htm" target="_blank">Steve Mitten

If you’re like most people, you might not have figured out what you’re supposed to do with your life. What is your purpose? What is a life purpose anyway?

What Is Purpose?

For our uses, we’re going to define the purpose of your life as something that you love to do that also has aChildrens-Emotional-intelligence/">behaviors-of-people-who-positively-impact-the-world/" target="_blank"> great impact on the world. It’s that sweet spot where you’re having a great time and doing something wonderful for as many people as possible.

Discover Your Life Purpose

There are several ways you can attempt to discover the purpose of your life:

  1. Describe your ideal day. Project yourself several years into the future and imagine that your life is essentially perfect. What would your life look like? Are you working? What type of work are you doing? What do you do all day?
  2. Who is in your life? Now that you know what the end looks like, what can you do today to take the first step in that direction?
    1. Try austerity. Go camping in a remote place. Leave the food at home, but bring plenty of water. Limit your sleep and just sit with yourself. When you’re miserable, bored, lonely, and tired, sometimes the answers become obvious.
    2. Volunteer. Find an organization in your community that interests you. Doing something worthwhile can be a good way to discover your purpose. Even if you come up short, at least you’ll have done something important.
  3. Assume you can do the impossible. When anything is possible, what would you do? Take action to bring your dreams to life.
  4. Write. Perhaps the most effective way to discover your life’s purpose is to spend an hour writing. At the top of your paper write, “My life’s purpose.” Now spend the next 60 minutes writing whatever pops into your mind. When you find something that stirs strong positive feelings within you, you’re probably on the right track.
  5. Investigate a new hobby. We all have at least one activity we’ve been putting off until a more convenient time. Doing something new exposes you to new ideas and thoughts. Now is the time to jump in and get started. You might be surprised what you discover.
  6. Do something that terrifies you. Skydiving? Public speaking? You might find your life’s purpose during the process of conquering this fear. This can be challenging and it might take some time, but get started today.
  7. Spend a day being totally inspired. From the time you wake up until the time you go to bed, attempt to spend every moment inspired. The right books, music, and movies can help you maintain an inspired mental state. You’ll believe you can do anything. What would you do?
  8. Ask yourself what you would do if you had $10 million. How would you spend your time? What would your life look like? Can you figure out a way to make a living doing one of the activities you would be willing to do for free if you had the time?

Keep trying the above tips until you’ve found something that really excites you. When you find your life purpose, there will be no doubt. Avoid spending all of your life thinking and planning. Get busy living. Finding your life’s purpose will make life exciting and meaningful!

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Family Coach Offers 4 Reflective Questions for Listening Well

Family Coach Offers 4 Reflective Questions for Listening Well

coachingparents.com/coaching-special-needs-2/">Coachingparents.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/3078527271_0ffb649934_Parent-listens.jpg" alt="Parent listens photo" width="400" /> Photo by loomingy1

A family coach shares her personal reflections on listening.

Sometimes it seems as if my world is spinning with ongoing communication. Clients  talk to me about their stories and concerns. Family members share their wants and needs with me. Friends call me and ask for help because I  am a nurturer and supporter. Yet, my patience can wear thin if I lose focus on being present and living in the moment for those with whom Im communicating and helping.

Although it can be tough at times, I listen well as A Family coach. I want to hear what those around me have to say. And when I have a clear understanding of what others want from me, I am more patient with them. It might sound crazy, but it works. A coach listens. A mom listens. A dad listens.

So how do I ensure that this family coach is  listening?

I stop what I am doing when others speak to me. I look them in the eye while they are talking, and I verbally respond to them in order to assure them that I hear them.

My goal is to show others that I understand what they want from me while demonstrating a kind patience.

With this, my patience will grow. I interact as I strengthen my listening skills. The better I listen, the more patience I acquire.

Family Coach Offers Self-Reflection Questions:

The following questions are reminders. When I am overwhelmed, and one calls on my nurturing skills for their support and conversation, listening brings me to the present. I focus solely on my client, child, or family. My heart is for them as I feel their emotional tone and hear their words or questions.

1. How well do I listen to others? Do I see the connection between listening and Children" href="http://www.livestrong.com/article/513492-how-to-not-lose-patience-with-children/" target="_blank">patience?

2. In what types of situations do I find myself losing patience when dealing with others?

3. Is my ability to listen a factor?

4.. What steps can I take to ensure I listen well and show more patience?

If you would like to be a better listener like this family coach, you might also enjoy the Positive Psychology article:

Struggling to Listen

“Lunch-time was often a struggle for my mental capacities. Rarely did a day go by when my vibrant nine-year old, just back from school, failed to enlighten us with long and winding tales of girly social interactions. Rarely did I manage to follow them all the way through. In fact, I usually lost the story line somewhere in Act One.”  Read More  

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Empathic Children

Empathic Children

Coachingparents.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/16564985691_c849e700ef_empathy.jpg" alt="empathy photo" width="500" /> Photo by Lars Plougmann

Who are Empathic Children?

Empathic children feel their way through the world, and they have acute mental or emotional sensibilities. Mostly, they want to be responsive to other people’s feelings. Yet, at times, their sensitivity threshold is low. They are often told, “You are too sensitive,” rather than receiving support for this unique skill of emotional intelligence.

Can Children Learn Empathy?

Babies absorb the mental and emotional energy of the people around them. They don’t filter anything; they simply receive. As a child ages, this empathic tendency may increase into a beautiful gift of connection and sensitivity. Or, a child’s empathy could get out of control. Some children pick up the emotions, energy, or thoughts of others to the degree that it becomes overwhelming. The overwhelm causes disconnect and interrupts the development of their social and emotional life.

Because these children do not know how to set personal boundaries (or that they need to), they do not realize when they are in another person’s mental or emotional space, nor how invasive this can be. An empath is sensitive to the thoughts, emotions, highs and lows, and illnesses they sense around them. Empaths may get hunches, see mental pictures, or have a gut feeling that supplies hidden information about people and situations. They more sensitive children may also get a physical sensation in their body that lets them know where another person is afflicted or suffering.

Can Children Learn To Be Empathic?

For the majority of empathic children, they live their lives feeling connected to other people and simply “knowing” about about a person at a deep level. Not all children are empathic, as their core temperament make be action-oriented, and not feeling-oriented. That begs the question, can children learn empathy? Dr. Biglan believes so….

On the Nurture Blog by author and scientist Anthony Biglan, PhD

“…If children are able to notice and describe their own emotions and also able to take the perspective of another child, they may then be able to experience the emotions that another child is feeling. Suppose that Ryan sees Kaitlin is upset and learns that her mother didn’t put the treat in her lunch that she had expected: Ryan may then understand and even experience some of the emotion that Kaitlin is feeling.

“These experiences form the foundation for empathy—the ability to perceive and experience what another person is thinking or feeling. But by themselves, they do not guarantee the loving kindness that we need to build in our society. A child who perceived that another was upset about her lunch might use that as an occasion to tease the other child. To build the compassionate and caring society, we need to promote, teach, and richly reinforce such loving kindness.

“You might think that kind behavior that is praised or otherwise rewarded by adults doesn’t count as a genuine instance of compassion. But that is how these vital repertoires are built. Each time you appreciate a child’s kind behavior you have taken another step on the road to building the behaviors and values of compassion and caring.”  Read MoreRead More

Care for Empathic Children

Take extra care with empathic children for health, immune system strength, and the ability to develop resilience. They must build to be able to stand up for themselves or know when to withdraw. All Children Need a champion, and empathic children need an especially caring one.

Tender loving touch is important throughout one’s entire life, especially for the empath. In the developing embryo, a layer of cells called the ectoderm produces the skin and the nervous system. In this concrete physiological connection, touch provides “food” to the nervous system for the human to experience.

Purposeful, empathic touch to regulate and support an empathic child’s physiology tells the nervous system to be resilient and calm.

The Academy for Coaching Parents developed a course called Coaching Intuitive Parents and Intuitive Children, based on Dr. Goode’s book, Raising Intuitive Children. The course developed as a result of floods of parenting requests after Raising Intuitive Children hit the market. Dr. Goode received personal phone calls asking for parenting help, and it appeared that the need for Parenting Coaches for this are of concern was great.


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Family Coach Tip: A Communication Station

Family Coach Tip: A Communication Station

 Family coachingparents.com/coaching-special-needs-2/">Coach Tip Create Communication Station


When my Children were young, we had discussion about bullies at school or bombings they watched on the evening news with their Dad. Sometimes, the dinner table conversations became heated between the teenage son and his dad about bullies, war, and justice versus injustice. How are we supposed to talk about the local Bully in the school and discuss more global topics of war, suffering, and bombings. In the role of family coach, I posed this question to several parents, and the topic clarified that kids want a safe place to express their feelings. The second point was that a parent’s opinion may come across more adamant than intended during a heated dinner discussion. We came up with the idea of a Communication Station. Both parents and kids love the idea and make good use of it.

Family Coach Tip 1: Listen keenly! When offering a parental opinion, just offer it without the need to convince your child they must think as you do. 

Creating a communication station is a way to create a time and a place in your routine for children to communicate their concerns about war and terrorism.

How does it help?

This activity will help your children voice their concerns about war in a caring and comfortable environment. Children will have a regular opportu-nity to communicate and make decisions about how they will view the current world situation with your help, guidance, and support.

What do we do?

The purpose of this activity is to build a place and a time to discuss events and concerns related to the war and terrorism with your children on a regular basis. There are a couple of ways to do this. Choose the one that makes sense based on the needs of your family and your existing communication style. While some parents choose the few minutes before bed to have a heart-to-heart talk with their children, in this case it is best to choose a time well before bed to talk about war and terrorism issue This way children do not associate the time right before they go to sleep with a potentially upsetting discussion.

Family Coach Tip 2: Children reported to their parents that they had nightmares when discussing scary topics like war, bombing, and death before going to bed. My suggestions are to take a walk and talk at the sometime. The movement forward help parents and children release any pent up energy about the topics. 

Try one of these suggestions:

  • Get a shoebox or a small container with a lid and a note pad and a pen.

Ask children to write down their questions about war and terrorism as they think of them and then designate a time to go through the ques- tions and discuss them together.

  • Hold an informal talk one or more times a week with children and let them voice their opinions about war and terrorism so you can
  • Field questions and concerns about war and terrorism as they come.

In response to any question about war and terrorism, it is always important to provide children with the following information:

  • We are safe now.
  • I will always be here to help you and protect you and so will other family members (dad, uncle, aunt, grandparents).
  • We live in an area and a country that is mostly
  • There are people around who protect us (military, police, fire department, paramedics, ).

Family Coach Tip 3: If you can listen to your children’s concerns, let them know they are safe, and help them be part of solutions whenever possible, you will have done a lot to help them be more relaxed and have better coping skills.

Just the act of providing a place where they can discuss their fears and concerns is an excellent reassurance. After your discussion, encourage kids to move on to something else that interests them. Children Need to move into happy and pleasantly distracting activities after a discussion of their fears and concerns.

What’s next?

Continue to have weekly dialogues with children. Consider using this communication technique as one for any subject they want to discuss. Building communication is a life- long coping strategy that you help them acquire.




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Family Coach Tips for Kids and Electronics

Family Coach Tips for Kids and Electronics

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ACPI Family Coach Trainer, Sharon Egan, offers some excellent tips to reduce power struggles amongst kids and their attachments to those friendly electronic gadgets. 


Do you find yourself battling with your Children over the use of electronics?  Does it seem as though your children are on a “screened object” every time you turn around?  Have you tried talking, warning, yelling, threatening, punishing only to no avail? These following tips from Family Coach Trainer, Sharon, Egan, can help reduce and even eliminate power struggles with your little darlings over the gadgets we so fondly have a love/hate relationship with.

1-Get curious. Talk with your child about what interests him about the gadgets and games he appears to love so much. Make sure he is not immersing himself in electronics as a cover, an escape or as an avoidance tactic to something else that may be going on in his life.

2.  Be a positive role-model.  Set your own timer and stick to your limit (in front of your children)! Think of all the times you have said to yourself, “OMG, I can’t believe how much time I was just on the computer time really gets away when I am surfing the web, on Facebook, or doing e-mails.”  Remember- if time gets away from you, it also gets away from your child.

3. Spend time with your child. Unplug all devices, put down the “to-do lists” and “plug in” with your child when she may otherwise be drawn to electronics.  Connecting with your child with daily one on one time will result in greater cooperation in other areas in daily life and less time on devices.  (Hint-agree to an electronic free zone and time where child chooses something fun to do with you).

4. Determine a designated time limit with your child. Ask your child how he will honor the time limit. (Timers, that your child is in control of, are very useful). Although it is most advantageous for your child to develop internal self-control, it is helpful to ask him if he needs or would like your help in monitoring his usage.  If he gives you permission, the need for a power struggle is greatly reduced.  Careful!- nagging will back fire!  (If needed for academics, be flexible).

5. Keep your child’s computer use in an open area such as in the kitchen or family room .  Your child will find it much less interesting to spend so much time on the computer when you are present to monitor and supervise her use.

6Show interest in the types of electronics that your child is engaged in.  Talk and listen to your child about what she finds so enjoyable.  Play games with her or have your child teach you some new skills based on her interest.  You will be modeling and showing your child that you are open-minded and willing to try something new.  You may even discover what she is doing is actually okay and acceptable to you.

7. Acknowledge and Validate your child’s desire to be an active part of the digital era.  When your child feels you understand that technology is important to him and that it can be fun and even educational and that you are not trying to control him, he will feel understood and validated.  Simply being understood is often enough to diminish his need to be plugged in and engage in a power struggle.

8. Focus on other areas of your child’s strengths and interests.    Encourage your child to put more time into other areas they are interested in.  Show excitement and get creative with your child to find a balance with Alternative activities.  Support their interests in any way you are able to.

9. Give your child choices.  The more choices a child has throughout each day (that affects herself), the more in control she will feel over her life and the less she will feel the need to take control in other areas, such as with electronic usage.

10. Include your child in setting limits.  When a child has a say in the rules, he will be much more likely to follow through without a fight.  Make sure limits are fair and age-appropriate.   Enforce these limits consistently and with positive communication.


Copyright 2014 by What Now? Parent Coach Sharon Egan M.S., CPC




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Family Coach Tip for “Plugged-in but Disconnected”

Family Coach Tip for “Plugged-in but Disconnected”

ACPI Family Coach Trainer, Sharon Egan, offers some excellent tips about staying connected with your Children despite being plugged-in to electronic gadgets. 

by Sharon Egan, ACPI Trainer

What message are you sending to your children? Iphones, androids, Ipads, pc’s, macs, gaming devices, nanos, nooks and kindles.  Facebook, twitter, linked-in, instagram and pinterest.  We are surrounded by technology……it’s in our homes, our schools, our workplace, our cars, and in our pockets and purses.  We are more connected today than we have been at any other time …..or are we?  Yes, you may be connected to 1,000 friends (and counting) on Facebook and you may have a business distribution list that makes others envious…. but…what daily connections do you make with your most valuable asset, that of your children?

Family Coach Observations

Many parents are so plugged in that they are actually disconnected – disconnected to the needs of their children; to what is happening in their children’s lives and most importantly to the parent/child relationship that our children(and yes, our teens, too!) desperately yearn to have and need.

Research has shown that in order for a child to thrive (and be more willing to cooperate) in today’s globally connected world, it is critical that we first get down to basics to create and maintain a strong connection with the children in our lives right in our own backyard.

One of the most common parental complaints and frustrations that I hear is the lack of cooperation or “acting out” behavior parents feel they have to deal with on a daily basis.  As Pam Leo, author of Connection Parenting, so eloquently stated, “the level of cooperation parents get from their children is usually equal to the level of connection children feel with their parents.”

Family Coach Questions

As A Family coach, I ask these questions in our initial interview:

  1. How do you spend time with your children when you are at home?
  2. How do you interact with your children when you are driving in the car together?
  3. Do you or your children have electronic devices at the table when you eat?
  4. Do you or the children take electronic devices to bed before sleeping?

My heart broke when last week my husband and I went out to dinner. I observed that  7 out of 8 children, who were sitting nearby with their families, were consumed with texting or gaming.  There were no conversations, no laughter, no family interactions at all. As a family coach, I wanted to shout, Talk with your children. Appreciate them. Communicate and find out what they are thinking and feeling. Instead I saw a giant void, an absence of conversation.

Next time you are at the park with your children or driving in the car together, take a moment to reflect how you are spending your time with one another.  Choose to silence your devices.  Rather, choose to bee playful and swing, slide, and run with your child. Isn’t being together in play a very powerful message to your child that they are worthy of your love and attention.  Choosing to plug in while your children become lost in the background sends a very different message.  What message are you sending to your children?


©2013 Sharon Egan M.S., CPC

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Family Coach Tip:  Courage Against A Bully

Family Coach Tip: Courage Against A Bully

Family Coach Tip: Three Traits Needed Against A Bully

A child needs great courage to face a bully who targets people they can easily intimidate and threaten. The family coach can coach parents and Children together in how to face a bully with

  1. courage to speak up, step beyond the comfort zone and report any incident or ask for help
  2. composure to  walk or run away, get, help as soon as possible, or scream and yell if possible
  3. confidence to make new friends and learn new social skills to feel more successful in handling difficulties.

Coach For This Goal

The goal is for a child, who might be a bully’s target, to gain composure and feel secure in the face of threat. Telling his parents or a sibling about the bully, the threat, or how it happened is not common. You see what courage this takes when research shows that most children will not confide in A Family member, but they might confide in a family coach, who is the champion for each family member. A bully uses “force-physical or verbal violence-to repeatedly harm someone else.”  Every year several hundred thousand children skip school due to fear of a bully’s threats.

Use These Tools WIth Your Family Coach

A family coach, partnering with parents, can role play with a targeted child how to respond or adapt when faced with a situation where bullying can possibly result in a confrontation.

  1. Recognize the bully – one who is disrepectful; one who hurts or taunts animals, especially pets; lies a lot, likes and picks a fight, seems angry most of the time.
  2.  Assess the bullying situation by developing with the child three points to feel and see which would mean walk or run away NOW!
  3. Coach the child the art of trusting their gut instincts when sizing up the situation at hand.
  4. Role play with a family coach how to keep  a cool head by speaking in a monotone that shows complete indifference to the possible threat will help to deflect any immediate threat from the bully.
  5. Practice and role play responses that do not provoke or challenge a bully in any difficult situation would be for a confident child to feel comfortable asking for help and being able to one’s ground with an air of composure that belies the actual feeling of fear.  The masterful art of being afraid and holding the tension is excellent training, and helps any child, but could be a true saving grace of a targeted child. Doing this in front of a mirror would be ideal as the child will be able to gain confidence in actually seeing how positive the visual effects can be.




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