by David Bravo
Being a victim of bullying myself when I was young, I understand the effects bullying can have on a child’s life. All the motivation that a child has to succeed in school, sports, and any endeavor in life, comes from a child’s confidence and self-esteem. A bully robs a child of those very important attributes, and that can have a negative impact on the rest of their life.
Of all the memories I have of growing up, the times I was bullied remain some of the most vivid of all my memories. I can still tap into the emotions I felt in those moments. Lets first make sure we have a clear understanding of what bullying is and is not. If someone calls you a name, teases you about something, attempts to manipulate you for their benefit, or even puts their hands on you, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are getting bullied.
There are plenty of mean, selfish people in the world who do and say such things to people. Bullying is when someone, or a group of people, single one person or a group of people out, and routinely aggravate, belittle, humiliate, intimidate, abuse, etc. that person or group. Bullying is usually not a one-time, isolated incident. It typically continues for days, weeks, or even months, if not dealt with.
Bullies are often misrepresented as children with low self-esteem, or children who suffer from abuse at home. In fact these categories make up a very small percentage of the bullies who are out there. According to the book, “Bullies and Victims in Schools,” by Valerie E. Besag, 96% of children will be bullied at least once in their lifetime. Of those children, 46% will suffer poor grades or will abstain from extra-curricular activities because of the bullying.
I want to help you give your child the confidence, self-esteem, and knowledge needed to defend themselves against bullies. Teaching children self-respect and self-worth are where the help must start. Instill in children, a belief system whereby they can say “I am valuable and worth protecting.” Furthermore, 2% of those children will commit suicide because of constant harassment from classmates.
When those beliefs are instilled in children two things occur:
1. They will have the confidence to stand up for themselves when faced with abuse.
2. They will realize the value of respect and will be less likely to bully others.
HOW TO HANDLE A BULLY
This is an integral part of our philosophy at Premier Martial Arts. It is in understanding conflict that we can begin to overcome problems, and prevent it. If conflict should arise, we have the option of neutralizing it quickly and humanely. Over the years, we have devised this simple and effective program to resolve conflict and give the student a way to resolve a conflict peacefully and walk away with dignity. A great teacher taught me that the best way of self defense is to “have no enemies”. This is the basis for this guide.
MAKE FRIENDS. The person with the most friends always wins! If, through kindness and respect, diplomacy and charm, we set out to be the friendliest student at our school, we are less likely be bullied. As parents, we can help our children build these valuable social skills through modeling and role playing.
TELL EVERYONE you have a problem with this person, especially parents and teachers. If any trouble arises, everyone will know who created the problem. It is the responsibility of the SCHOOL to keep our children safe from bullying. Some schools claim to have a “ZERO TOLERANCE” policy. But many times this is just lip service. You can’t prevent bullying before it happens, and schools don’t expel every student who bullies others. However, if bullying is reported by your child, the school MUST take action immediately to address the situation. If it continues the bully must be removed from the school.
AVOID. Keep away from the bully. Don’t return harsh insults, or looks. Stay out of the same room and simply don’t listen to their comments. You can’t be bullied if the bully isn’t in your presence.
DRAW A LINE.Teach your child to create a safety cushion if someone bullies them or makes them feel scared. When someone is bullying you and you can’t get an adult involved, it’s best to take action as soon as you can. If someone calls you a name or puts their hands on you, tell them to stop. As you get older you will learn the importance of handling problems when they are small. Remember, it’s a lot easier to blow out a match then to put out a forest fire. Do not ignore problems. If your belly hurts, tell your mom, if you’re having trouble in school, ask the teacher for help right away and if a bully is picking on you, take action and tell them to stop. Bullies want to pick on easy victims who won’t stick up for themselves.
If the bully continues, then you will increase the volume of your voice and put on a more intense facial expression. Once again create space, and in a louder more confident voice say: “I said, don’t touch me!!!”Tell them: “I don’t want to fight, but I will protect myself!” Show confidence, get double arms distance in between you and them and put your hands up.
NEUTRALIZE. This means to run away, defend yourself and do whatever is necessary to keep yourself from being injured. No one has the right to hurt you. And no one has the right to put their hands on you in an aggressive manner. You DON’T have to wait for them to attack you before you take action, but BE CAREFUL!! If you don’t have the fighting skills to protect yourself, don’t fight. It will only lead to you taking a beating and getting further humiliated. Instead, get the training you need to protect yourself. While nobody has a right to hurt you in any way, YOU are responsible for your own personal safety and developing the skills necessary to protect yourself.
Premier Martial Arts
Offering the finest in family martial arts, our Personal Achievement Program focuses on human development. Our proven character building Black Belt Success System instills empowering life skills including:
* Self Esteem Building – promoting healthy attitudes and well being about oneself
* Focus Skills – promotes increased concentration and listening skills which improve grades
* Discipline & Respect – instills good habits at home & school
* Self Control – to focus energy in a positive manner
* Goal Setting & Achievement – to break through limitation
For seminars or information on classes where these strategies and more are taught, call Premier Martial Arts at: