3 Tips to Help Your Child with Bullies This School Year
A new school year has the potential to bring many exciting experiences for your child: the chance to make new friends, to learn new things, and to participate in new activities. Unfortunately, it could also mean attracting unwanted attention from a bully. Below are the top three tips from our coaches for how to deal with a bully:
1) De-escalate the situation.
One of the best ways to de-escalate a potential bullying situation is by questioning the bully’s motives. Tell your child to ask the bully why he or she is giving your child such a hard time (especially if your child doesn’t know this kid and hasn’t done anything to invite hostile behavior). Encourage creative solutions, if the bully wants your child’s lunch money, your child can offer to share some of his or her lunch with them. Often times bullies lash out because they think they’re not as well off as other kids and they know no other way of expressing their feelings or asking for help.
2) Control the distance.
Unless there is an immediate danger to your child, running away is not always the best course of action. It may lead to a chase, merely delaying an eventual confrontation. However, since the first priority is always self-defense and self-preservation, let your child know that he or she should stay out of striking distance while they attempt to reason with the bully. But, remember, in any potentially dangerous situation, always have the hands up and chin down, ready with a defensive posture should the bully decide to attack.
3) Get loud and firm.
When a bully is harassing your child, he or she should firmly and loudly tell the bully to stop. This will signal to the bully that your child will stand their ground and won’t be an easy target. This should also gain the attention of someone close by, such as an adult, teacher, police officer, etc. who should then intervene to diffuse the situation.
There is also the other side of the bullying situation to consider. Most bullies are not bad children; simply misunderstood or lacking in proper attention. If you know children with a tendency toward bullying, remind them what it feels like to try something scary for the first time, such as the first day of sparring. Helping a child stay in touch with those feelings of fear or insecurity will foster greater empathy for the fear and pain he or she may inflict on others.
At Evolve we have a great BullyProof children’s program that helps kids learn to protect themselves and gain confidence. As our students become more proficient in the martial arts, we help them understand the power they are being gifted and how the use and misuse of this power reflects on them and their character, as well as the character of those who are associated or related to them, like friends, family members, and instructors. After all, as Uncle Ben instructed Peter Parker, “With great power comes great responsibility.”
If you are interested in learning more about our BullyProof program, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope you found this blog helpful, and we wish all the best for your children in this new school year!