Bullying is something that none of us ever want our children to go through, Unfortunately it is something that a lot of a children will experience at some point in their lives. A recent survey found that in 2016 1.5 million young people (50%) have been bullied within the past year and that 19% of these (145,800 young people) were bullied every day!
We know martial arts classes can give children the skills to be able to deal with bullying. It's important to understand that learning to deal with bullying is more than just learning a few Kung Fu moves. It involves strategy, skill, support and having the confidence to be able to stand up for themselves.
I've written these tips in a way that you'll be able to share with your child.
1) Don't be a target!
Bullies usually target people who are shy and unconfident because they know these people are less likely to stand up to them. If you appear confident you will be less of a target!
Learning to be confident is a skill that takes time to master. If you don't practice it you'll never learn it!
Here are some simple things to practice that can help build your confidence:
Walk with your head held high.
Look people in the eye when you talk to them.
When working in groups work with people you don't know.
Come to Kung Fu!
2) Get your parents support!
Sometimes when dealing with bullying we have to defend ourselves physically. Quite often teachers mistake self-defence for fighting and you may get into trouble. Always be polite to your teachers and tell them clearly your side of the story.
Make sure you've discussed with your parents or guardians exactly what they will allow you to do if bullied, because they are the ones your school will contact. Discuss strategies, what to say to teachers and be sure that your parents will back you up.
3) Record and report everything!
Keep a diary that records everything that’s said and done - by both bullies and teachers. Photograph any damage or harm that they do to you. Get your parents to see the head teacher and record their response in writing. If that doesn't resolve the situation escalate it to the school governors, then go to the education department and your local Councillors and MP.
NEVER give into bullying, not from kids or even teachers, be determined and keep going. NOBODY has the right to abuse you or make you suffer!
4) The Self-Defence procedure
There is a procedure you should go through when responding to bullying. Firstly, tell whoever it is clearly and calmly to leave you alone and walk away if it is safe to do so. If they try to push or grab you block their hands, tell them again to leave you alone and try to walk away. Should they try to hit or hurt you, now you have no choice but to defend yourself. Report everything that happens to a teacher and your parents. Using this procedure you can show that you clearly tried to avoid any conflict.
5) Build your anti-bullying team!
You're not alone. Your friends, your family and your teachers are all on your side. Here are some ways you can make use of the super team of people you have around you:
If you are hurt from someone bullying you, DO NOT hold it in. Tell a friend and your parents so they can help you and make you feel better.
Report all bullying incidents to school staff.
Make a pact with friends to not bully others and to look out for each other.
Make a plan with your parents. Discuss how you should protect yourself and what to do if you get bullied.
Be a positive person by encouraging & supporting others at school and online.
We're here to help!
If you ever have anything concerns about bullying please don't hesitate to contact us. We're always happy to give any advice or help you and your child handle bullying. If you are not a member of The Rochford Martial Arts Academy you are always more than welcome to pop along for a free taster session.