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Note: To learn much more, including how to practice, read the full article: Ten Kidpower Emotional Safety Skills For All Ages

1. Calm Down Power to get centered in your body. Push your palms together. Take a breath. Straighten Your Back. Feel where your feet are. Focus on something peaceful

2. Take the Power Out of Triggering Words by learning to not give enormous power to a set of sounds. Write words or phrases that upset you down. Say them out loud over and over, alternating with your favorite food, activity, or vacation spot.

3. The Emotional Safety Screen to help screen out insults or threats and take in useful information. Crisscross your fingers. Imagine your mind acting like a window screen that lets in fresh air and keeps out the bugs.

4. The Emotional Raincoat to protect your feelings in an emotional storm. Think about how a raincoat helps to keep your body warm and dry in a rainstorm. Now, imagine an emotional raincoat to help your mind and body stay calm and peaceful while someone is yelling at you.

5. That’s Not True’ Technique to set stop taking in hurtful words, especially if they mix facts with untruthful insults. Make a fence with your hands like this (hands with palms facing mostly down and slightly forward and away from your body like you are shining a flashlight on a path) to set a boundary and say, “That’s not true.”

6. Personal Trash Can to protect your feelings from hurtful words. Use your body to pretend to catch hurting words and throw them away instead of letting them into your heart or your head where they can get stuck for a really long time.

7. Adjust Your Emotional Distance to move away with your mind and heart from someone who is saying hurtful things or acting in emotionally hurtful ways. Imagine moving your body away physically as you move away emotionally.

8. Worry Wart Technique to help let go of worrying constantly about something. Ask someone else do the worrying for you for a day or longer. Delegate your worries to a rock or something else that is meaningful to you and ask it to worry for you.

9. Redirect With Love to de-escalate a conflict that is not resolvable at least at that moment. Express caring as you leave or redirect the behavior by changing the subject or suggesting something else to do.

10. Use Your Compassion to decide NOT to take it personally when someone says or does upsetting things. Assume someone can’t help their upsetting behavior so you can let go of being upset yourself while setting boundaries when you need to. Use the HeartPower Safety Signals.

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Published: April 13, 2020   |   Last Updated: January 22, 2021

Kidpower Founder and Executive Irene van der Zande is a master at teaching safety through stories and practices and at inspiring others to do the same. Her child protection and personal safety expertise has been featured by USA Today, CNN, Today Moms, the LA Times, and The Wall Street Journal. Publications include: cartoon-illustrated Kidpower Safety Comics and Kidpower Teaching Books curriculum; Bullying: What Adults Need to Know and Do to Keep Kids Safe; the Relationship Safety Skills Handbook for Teens and Adults; Earliest Teachable Moment: Personal Safety for Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers; The Kidpower Book for Caring Adults: Personal Safety, Self-Protection, Confidence, and Advocacy for Young People, and the Amazon Best Seller Doing Right by Our Kids: Protecting Child Safety at All Levels.

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