November 12th to 16th is anti Bully week. At Impact Self Defence, we’re committed to empowering our students and children of our community, in this article we’re covering some tips to equip your child with additional tactics to avoid confrontation and improve their confidence. We teach these coping strategies in our self-defence classes and our students find them very helpful.
Children this time of the year have to deal with many stressful new situations such as new classmates, new teachers, new schools, and the last thing we want for them is to also have to deal with any bullying situations that may take place.
ANTI BULLY TIP #1: TEACH YOUR CHILD THE IMPORTANCE OF PRESENCE
The very first skill we will discuss is teaching your child how important their presence is. It can make a difference on being singled out as a possible victim as opposed to projecting an image of confidence, which results in being less vulnerable.
What do we mean when we say “Presence”?
By “Presence” we mean the way your child carries themselves & their appearance.
As parents, it is our responsibility to make sure our children are wearing clothes that are appropriate for school, and that is not going to be the target for other kids to be picked on. Now then, I’m not suggesting buying brand name clothes or spending above your means, but if your child insists on not wearing an item of clothing to school because he/she doesn’t think “it’s cool” or says “it’s ugly”, perhaps have an open mind about why he/she may be communicating this to you and don’t insist on forcing him or her to wear it.
Another important factor in your child’s presence is the way they carry themselves and how they interact with their peers and adults. One of the factors we put a lot of emphasis on in our self-defence classes is teaching children how to properly make eye contact. When being spoken to or while speaking to their peers and adults, we always want them to make eye contact with the person they are communicating with. Even when just simply walking the corridors at school, we teach our students not have their head down but to walk in an upright position looking straight ahead because it is a known fact that bullies look for kids that are carrying themselves as potential victims and target them to be picked on.
ANTI BULLY TIP #2: AVOID BULLIES & CONFRONTATIONS
Our second tip might seem like an obvious one and yet goes against people’s general perception of martial arts and self-defence; It’s simply avoidance of bullies and of situations that might create a confrontation. We instruct our students to walk away from bullies, go a different route to avoid them, whatever it takes to not have to engage them. People often think martial arts and self defence is all about fighting, this is definitely not the case; it is about teaching confidence. Yes, there are obvious benefits to knowing how to defend yourself if the situation escalates, but the ability to do so results in initial confidence that is needed to get out of the situation involving a bully. Bullies don’t pick on confident children.
ANTI BULLY TIP #3: TEACH YOUR CHILD VERBAL SKILLS
The third skill we teach our students is verbal skills and is a fundamental concept! Unfortunately, bullies have always existed and will continue to exist, however, knowing how your child can communicate with someone picking on them without becoming a victim or escalating the situation into confrontation is very important. Bullies may initiate the relationship by picking on your child’s clothes, weight or anything they see as a vulnerability.
We teach our martial arts self defence students 3 sets of verbal skills among others:
- How to use humour to deflect the insult;
- How to change subject when being picked on;
- How to make friends with the person picking on you (Turn a bully into a friend).
ANTI BULLY TIP #4: IF ASSAULTED, COMMUNICATE VISUALLY THAT YOU ARE BEING ATTACKED
In the unfortunate situation your child is caught up in a physical confrontation, your child will need to know how to defend themselves. Taking self-defence classes will give them these skills, however, we also teach some blocking stances that communicate visually to any adults or teachers watching that they are not initiating the fight, but rather just trying to defend themselves. This will send a signal that your child is not looking for trouble, while also defending themselves from an assault.
We hope you enjoyed these four quick tips to empower your child against bullies.
- Teach your child the importance of presence;
- Avoid bullies & confrontations;
- Teach your child verbal skills;
- If assaulted, communicate visually that you are being attacked while using simple blocks.
Just telling your child to ask bullies to leave them alone is far easier said than done, especially when confronted by a bigger kid. Martial arts self-defence classes BULLY PROOF kids by giving them the skills to deal with tough situations.
We hope you found these tips helpful! For more information please look around our website, and if you want your child to not only learn confidence and self-defence but also to learn respect for adults and the focus skills that result in better grades, please take advantage of our Free offer:
Give your child the gift of life skills! Remember… We teach the same values you teach at home!
We hope you found this article most informative and hope to see you in class!
For more information regarding anti bully week check out anti-bullyingalliance.org