Bullying In America
In the last few months we have seen a rise in bullying incidents across America. Children are dying because too much of our adult population have turned a blind eye. When a child and/or parents communicate issues to appropriate school personnel, they are being shrugged off or ignored. Bullying has become an epidemic in America. There are millions of children bullied every day. And based off of recent events, it is no wonder that most of these children will never tell anyone. Children fear that no one will believe them, no one will sincerely care, and many adults will not listen at all. Unfortunately, some individuals say it is part of growing up. But, when is it not? Bullying starts at a young age and the lesson of how to deal with bullies must start at home. And even more important is how do we teach children not to bully? Being bullied has caused children to commit suicide and if you don’t think this is important to stop, then you are part of the problem! Anyone can be a bully. Now is the time to teach your children NOT to Bully! It is up to school staff, friends, neighbors, and especially, parents! And, since we cannot possibly stop every bully in the United States, we must learn to handle the situations correctly and hopefully without fatalities. Also, should children suffer the consequences of fighting back? I don’t believe they should, as long as it isn’t with guns. But, children need to stand up for themselves, especially when others will not.
Bullying can be defined in different ways. Everyone has their own ideas and experiences. I define bullying as, “a pattern of harmful and aggressive behavior aimed at injuring and/or controlling others”. Bullying can start with the smallest act. It can be cutting in line or refusing someone a seat at the cafeteria table. This is what I call Progressive Bullying. And it can even come from the closest of friends. There are many types of bullying and different avenues to do so. They include: Cyber, Physical, and Verbal.
Helping students to understand why peers bully is hard to do, but we want our kids to start with positive re-enforcement of themselves and why they are important. Positive re-enforcement begins with learning how to believe in themselves, even when the bully is dragging the child’s self-esteem across the ground. By building confidence and self-esteem, students can learn and understand how to handle bullies and possibly gain control of the situation. Self-defense techniques and defense strategies are important in this area of development. Here are some rules that you can start with which may help:
1- Don’t Bully Back --But Don’t Back Down
2- Use words before fists
3- Use Controlled Breathing to remain calm & focused
4- Don’t put your hands on him unless it is absolutely necessary
5- Don’t be aggressive--be assertive & confident
6- Tell a trusted adult as soon as possible
Bullying prevention classes can help teach your child to stand up to bullies. To learn more about how to handle bullies you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
By Deborah White RA, MBA, BA
(Black Belt-Self-defense Coach/Instructor/Prevention Specialist)
Author of: Predator Prevention Guide, Be Bully Proof, & Women’s Real-life Self-Defense
Self-Defense Coach/Insructor/Prevention Specialist. RA, MBA. BA. Forty plus years in the martial arts. Chief Instructor at Pro Martial Arts. Teaching groups and priviate lessons. Author of Bullying Prevention, Predator Prevention, Women's Self-defense, and Karate books.