Everyone knew a shrugger when they were young. They seemed to be everywhere in my neighbourhood.
Shruggers are the kids who can shrug off the teasing and negative comments from peers and siblings.
My best friend Terry was an infuriating shrugger!
He used to shrug his shoulders whenever anyone teased him or tried to persuade him to their way of thinking.
‘Hey Terry, you’re a **&&&E@@!
‘Hey Terry, everyone says your……..*&&TR!”
“Hey Terry, I’m going to tell on you!’
His nonchalance used to drive everyone nuts!
So much so, that he was rarely targeted for teasing despite the fact that he wasn’t sporty, wasn’t cool and he was a late maturer, all of which back then (and is still the case now) put a boy in the “to be picked on” category.
The opposite to shrugging is wearing your heart on your sleeve, which only makes kids prime targets for teasing, and even bullying at school.
Socially savvy kids know that some negative peer comments directed at them need to be ignored. That’s quite a skill.
Interestingly, my boyhood mate Terry was the youngest of four brothers. I guess he would have perfected the art of shrugging out of sheer necessity. He couldn’t afford to be the sensitive type in that environment.
If you have a sensitive child who wears his or her heart on their sleeve, or child who reacts impulsively too taunts and witticisms alike, then it may be wise to introduce the art of shrugging into their repertoire of responses.
It can be infuriating but as my boyhood friend Terry discovered, it’s so darn effective.
You can find out more about shrugging as well as 40 other ideas to help you ways to raise kids to thrive in my book Teach your kids to Shrug
A word of warning! If you teach your kids to shrug you need to be prepared for them to use this shrugging technique against you when you direct some criticism or constructive criticism their way!