Many say that bullying is part of going to school. It should not be. Bullying is extremely harmful to the target as it degrades the kid’s confidence and makes the school seem like a scary place instead of a fun educational setting. It can also be harmful to the bully him/herself, as this instills wrong notions over power, authority and respect. As a parent, you would never want your kid to be a target of bullying. To help ensuring that, teach your kid some of these practical anti-bullying strategies:
The Right Body Language
Studies have shown that people who exhibited calmness, awareness and confidence in their body language are less prone to bullying, whether in school, office, or any other setting. Your child will be less likely to be picked on if he/she would walk calmly and confidently, keeping his/her head up, back straight, and having that cool aura that trouble makers don’t want to mess with. Just make sure that your kid doesn’t cross the border to the overly aggressive or assertive side, as this one can also attract bullies to pick on.
Teach your child that the best self-defense strategy is target denial. This means being out of the picture. Walking away from the scene where bullies are starting to gang up on you is the best way to defend yourself. Leave with awareness and confidence while saying something neutral like, “See you later!”.
Now there are some situations when your child just cannot leave the situation, such as when the bully is threatening or following him/her. At home, practice a possible scenario. Pretend like you’re the bully and gently poke your child in the back. Have him/her practice standing up tall, putting his/her hands up in front of his body, and saying, “Stop!”, in a clear but assertive tone. Never allow him/her to sound whiney, as this would only trigger more bullying. Make sure that you praise your child for his/her efforts even though he/she may not get it right the first time; he/she would, eventually with practice.
If the problem is getting out of hand, make sure that you teach your kid how to get help. The problem with many bullying victims is that they hesitate or are afraid to do this. Bullies assault their victims even more knowing that they are not going to tell. Break the silence and make sure that your kid brings this problem to the teacher or principal.
The primary objective of enrolling your kid in a self-defense class is so he/she would have the confidence to go out into the world and face those bullies without fear. This would make him/her less of a target. This doesn’t mean he/she needs to use the violent skills. You have to make it clear that walking away and asking for an adult’s help are still the primary steps to take in bullying situations. Self-defense should only be used as a last resort. Test your kid’s ability to discern the right situation to use it by giving him/her hypothetical situations.