Anti-bully Strategies To Share With Your Kids
Posted: August 16, 2017
Summer is winding down and Back to School season is in full swing. Parents are anxiously getting their children prepared to return to school, while kids experience their own anxieties about making new friends, facing new peer pressures and unfortunately often having to deal with bullying, which these days often follows them home via social media.
In this article and video Mr. Beard (Owner of USA Karate & Krav Maga Centers, former Police Officer) discusses some anti bullying coping strategies to share with your child to help them avoid becoming a victim this upcoming school year.
Bullying is a hot topic; Most parents are aware of the eventuality that their child might face some bullying situations in schools or with their peers, however most parents also assume that if there were a problem the child would confide with them about the situation. Unfortunately this is rarely the case, as children who are being bullied statistically do not share this information with adults. Bullying has been around since the beginning of time, and is unlikely to end any time soon, so the best we can do is empower our children with the skills to not be a victim.
Skill #1: Don’t be a Victim
This is one of the first concepts we teach to our martial arts students; If you carry yourself like a victim, you are much more likely to be picked on. We teach some basic techniques about how to carry one’s self, look people in the eyes, and be in control of the situation. Many people mistakenly associate the Martial Arts with the act of “Fighting”. However Martial Arts is not about fighting, Martial Arts is about developing CONFIDENCE. When a child knows how to defend themselves, both verbally and physically, the result is increased confidence which usually help avoid both verbal and physical confrontations. Martial Arts Kids don’t become Victims.
Skill #2: Verbal Defense aka Bullies To Buddies
The verbal skills we teach in martial arts help defuse situations and avoid conflict. An example might be if a bully approaches a child teasing him with insults, the child is taught to ask questions and make comments to break the flow of the bully’s expected conversation.
The conversation might read something along the lines of:
Bully: “You are Fat! Do you know that your fat!?”
Victim: “Hey! Aren’t you that star basketball player?” or “Hey you are in my class! Which way is homeroom?”
We also teach our students how to turn around an insulting or negative comment and return it to the sender in the form of a compliment, for example:
Bully: “Hey that is one ugly shirt!”
Victim: “I know but you should see the shirt I just got for my birthday… talk about UGLY! BTW I really like YOUR shirt. Where did you get that?”
If you are wondering if this is something you can just teach your child and have it be effective, well sure it will help and you should tell them, however realize that if the child is not empowered with:
Skill #3: Confidence
If a child is not confident about defusing a bullying situation, the bully will sense this and possibly continue. Without Confidence, these strategies may be more difficult to apply. A the end of the article I’ll post info about our next Anti-Bully Workshop and I will include a link below to attend for free just for reading this article, I know your time is precious, but so is our children’s safety.
Skill #4: Self Esteem
How a child feels about himself will determine how likely to become victims they are. A child needs to be made aware of its potential, and knowledge is part of the martial arts journey. Knowledge empowers children to carry themselves with Confidence and the Self-Esteem needed to not believe the bully’s insults or comments, and also be prepared to react in the best way when a confrontation arises. Statistically bullying victims do not take their own lives because they were beat up by a bully, but more likely because they have been “Beat Down’ mentally by their abuser.
Self Esteem and Character Building are the real benefits of involving a child in the Martial Arts.
I hope you found this article informative! Hopefully it will give you the ability to evaluate your child’s overall confidence, self-esteem and verbal skills. If you detect that they may need some help in one of these areas, I would like to invite you to please click the link below and come and attend one of the FREE Back To School Workshops I’m running all month at USA Karate. It will be a great way for your child to make some friends and participate in a real martial arts class. When I took my first class, it changed my entire life, it could do the same for your child!
I would love to meet you and your child and personally help them kickstart the school year with confidence, focus, and ninja skills! _ Robby Beard