School is in session, and a question we are often asked at West Coast Martial Arts Academy is, “How can I keep my kids safe from bullies”?
Bullying is very common and can start as early as preschool.
Many parents dismiss early bullying as “kids being kids,” but it can progress from these young ages into grade school and then into their teen years. If bullies are not corrected early on, they will continue to develop this awful behavior.
Bullies are often youths who feel they don’t have any control in their lives. While many children share this feeling, not so many try to compensate for it as bullies do. Bullies will try to control, manipulate and even make your child feel hurt, mentally and physically.
This gives them a sense of power they don’t feel elsewhere. But there is a victim in this desire for dominance, and this is unacceptable for any child to have to deal with!
If you want to keep your kids safe from bullies, you can’t try to protect them every minute of their lives. You will not always be around to watch over them. So the better path to take is to train your children to be confident.
Bullies don’t always feel superior to the kids they are bullying, until they’ve established a dominance.
They will do small things as a test to see if your child will allow it, or stand up for themselves. Simple name-calling or light aggressive physical contact are how bullying starts.
If your child does not have the confidence to stand their ground, the bullying will continue and each day it will become harder for your child to make the bullying stop.
Developing your child’s confidence will be very useful when it comes to dealing with bullies at school, in the neighborhood or at any social event. One great method of developing confidence is teaching your kids to be assertive when they are being tested by bullies.
For example, if a bully calls your child by an insulting or teasing name, how would your child react? Try it out at home and see what happens. You can use silly names to work with your child, but the point is to get your kids to learn to respond sternly and say, “Don’t call me that, that is not my name.” This will show the bully that your child is not “easy prey.”
When it comes to being pushed around physically, its best to stop the behavior before it progresses as well. Bullies will sometimes try to shove their target, or bump them or even trip them. If this occurs, your child should know to address the situation sternly and immediately! Your child should instinctively say, “Keep your hands off me,” or “Stop trying to hurt me.” This lets the bully know that your kid is not going to submissively allow this kind of behavior. And by reacting immediately, the bully will know your child isn’t a pushover and will not be bullied!
Self-confidence is a major roadblock for bullies! Having your child train with West Coast Martial Arts Academy builds this confidence. That is why we teach our students to stand tall, look people in the eye and speak with confidence. WCMAA kids are not only confident in verbally defending themselves, but they also learn how to physically defend themselves if a bully situation escalates. Martial Arts training goes much farther in character development than most people realize.
West Coast Martial Arts Academy Kids Karate classes teach our students that they are in control of their lives. They know they have the ability to protect themselves from bullies when mom and dad are not around.
West Coast Martial Arts Academy kids are confident! If a bully tests your child, you too can be confident that they will stop bullying before it even starts!
West Coast Martial Arts Academy is at 451 Encinitas Blvd. Call (760) 942-5425 or visit online at wcmaasd.com.