Sure, you call the school and talk to the principal but nothing happens…they don’t do anything because most of the time the bullying happens in what I call “Shark Infested Waters” which are the bathrooms, the hallways, the lunchroom or at recess when teachers can’t see and hear everything and it is basically your child’s word against the other kids word.
Of course you don’t want your child’s first response to every kid that makes fun of him or her to punch that kid in the face. The First thing we want your child to do is try to talk themselves out of bad situations.
If they are being verbally bullied they should try and avoid those “shark infested waters” we talked about earlier but if they try that and it still doesn’t work, there are different ways they can handle verbal bullying….one of the easiest is just to ignore it….agree with it….or walk away.
But, if someone touches your child the rules change because touching can turn into pushing and if your child gets pushed hard, or when they aren’t expecting it, they may fall and hit their head on the floor, door knob, curb, locker or on the corner of a desk and crack their head open.
Not only has your child now been bullied, but they got hurt making it 1,000 times worse.
If the bullying turns physical…..I have a simple five step visual I teach kids.
I point to my open hand and one finger at a time I close my hand into a fist and I say..tell them to stop, tell the teacher, tell your parents, tell the principal….now you tell them with your fist.
At some point in order to make the bullying stop your child has to take a stand for themselves and sometimes that means getting into a fight….even if they lose the fight everyone in the school will know that if they mess with your child they will get hit and in school that is powerful.
But for most kids they are too scared to stand up for themselves because they don’t want to get in trouble.
It doesn’t matter if your child is defending themselves or they hit first, they are getting suspended no matter what and the most important thing is for them to know you will back them up if they have to defend themselves.
When it comes to self defense and teaching your child to defend themselves it comes down to CONFIDENCE in themselves.
I am talking about the type of CONFIDENCE that comes from knowing that they know how to defend themselves.
One of the most important aspects of developing confidence is Sparring.
Sparring is applying what you learn in class against a training partner that is fighting back in a controlled environment that builds Courage, Composure and Confidence which I call the the 3 C’s of Sparring.
Courage is learning to stand their ground and to take a hit, Composure is not turning away scared or when they get hit and Confidence is to attack back.
Even though we can never completely duplicate what your child will go through mentally and physically with everything that is happening in a high stress situation when defending themselves because there is something called the “Adrenal Response” which occurs in a self defense situation and that causes tunnel vision, auditory exclusion, shakey knees and butterflies in the stomach….BUT with sparring we can get pretty close.
At Sentosa, we teach sparring in a safe step-by-step manner that builds confidence. They learn getting hit is not as bad as they think it will be and they are tougher than they realize.
Lots of martial arts schools teach “Point Sparring” which is a type of tag. Basically, you get in touch with a target area and get out. This type of sparring WILL get your child hurt if they try to use it to defend themselves.
Why do I say that?
Because the type of stance most martial arts schools teach you are turned sideways with their hands down and anyone who knows how to punch will destroy your child.
Also, most martial arts schools don’t train with power. Most of the time they practice forms in the air or they punch and kick in their air. They hardly ever hit targets with full speed and power and if they do it is not frequent enough.
At Sentosa students practice hitting pads and bags with full power all the time. How can your child know how to defend themselves if they have never been hit or know how to hit with power?
Check out the kids in the video. They are not running around with their hands down, they keep their hands up, they are composed, they hit with intention, they counter back right away and they have control.
If push comes to shove, these kids WILL defend themselves.
If you want your chid to learn how to defend themselves get started at Sentosa Martial Arts.
We specialize in working with beginners and kids that are being bullied.
Just click on this link to register for one of our new student specials