Bullying is so terrible at any age. I’m sure at some stage in everyone’s lives we have all been bullied to some extent or another.
At a minimal level being bullied makes us feel upset, sad, alone, angry, at it’s highest extent it can make people feel isolated and cause serious mental health problems (including suicide).
We can be bullied as adults (workplace etc) but children are of course the most vulnerable. There are many different forms of bullying, verbal, physical, cyber, all of which can have similar effects. It is up to us as parents and instructors to ensure we act as a trusted adult. Encourage any children you know to come and talk to you at any time, of course including your own children. Ensure they are aware they can talk to you about anything, at any time.
If children learn to talk about it, they can be helped to stop the bullying, rather than matters escalating. Every situation is different so it is impossible to cover off every aspect of advice / guidance that you can give. These would be some of the main points to teach / instill into our children:-
- As outlined above – ALWAYS talk to an adult.
- If it is in school – approach the head teacher. ALL schools have anti-bullying policies in place and they must under guidelines take action to stop bullying.
- If it is out of school, the school the bully attends can still be approached as their polices cover students even when out of school hours.
- Teach your child to have confidence even when they do not feel confident. Shoulders back, chin up high and show no reaction to any verbal taunting. Bullies thrive on reactions as it drives up their own importance / self esteem.
- If this does not work, practice with them a totally unexpected reaction of thanking the bully when they say something bad and smiling at them. They have no idea how to react to this.
- If it is physical, or approach is too close and inside their personal space – teach them to use their voice – step back with their right leg (so they are creating space), put their left hand out with palm to the aggressor (hand up in a “stop” sign) and shout NO as loud as they can. This will get attention and also very clearly show they want the person to stop.
- If they then carrying on coming towards them and touch the hand that is out when they have clearly said NO, this is when a strike can be used (reverse punch / cross to the stomach).
The nature of bullies is to “pick on” someone who has a perceived weakness, who reacts to them and gets upset. Whilst it is very hard, the above will evidence the confidence needed to stop the bullies.
All this week at the academy we will be supporting the national anti bullying campaign “Change Starts with us”. We will be wearing odd socks on our hands and having matt chats explaining the above and encouraging the children to talk. We may not be able to stop all bullies, but we can do everything we can to reduce them and protect the ones we love. Martial arts is a great way of helping with the above and here at Chuldow we do a lot of work on all these factors.
Also this week we are raising money for Children In Need via our kicking challenge (1,000 kicks for the week) trying to raise £300 for the charity. We also have our CIT Discovery afternoon (3-7) where you can find out more about what it takes to become an instructor, our Mini Tournament is on Sunday 17th.
Family evening is on the 23rd November, Kick boxing Black Belt gradings 23rd November, Karate Black Belt gradings 24th November, Black Friday pre-sale 21st November 10/7, coloured belt gradings in December, end of year parties…….. plus lots of other things to be announced.
Have a great week everyone