We know all too well through social media and stories in the news that bullying continues to be a major issue. Research shows that bullying peaks in the 5th, 6th and 7th grades, but can come about at virtually any time. As parents, when you ﬁnd out that your child is being bullied it is one of the most heartbreaking moments. You immediately start looking for solutions because all we want for our children is to feel loved, happy, safe, and protected. The good news is there are steps that you as a parent can take to stop your child from being bullied and avoid being bullied in the future.
There are a variety of ways to help your child deal with bullying and one of the most effective ways is to enroll them in martial arts. We believe no other industry is in a better position to do something about bullying than the martial arts industry.
Many parents associate martial arts with kicking, punching and ﬁghting, and while those are all elements of martial arts, it is much more than that. The skills they learn, particularly when it comes to preventing and stopping bullying, are powerful.
Learning self-control is one of the most important skills a child can learn. Martial arts help children learn how to develop self-control so they can make decisions and respond to stressful situations in a way that results in positive outcomes. It teaches them to think before acting, to avoid contact with bullies when possible and the discipline to control their body and emotions to help defuse a situation before it escalates. Bullies look to deliberately hurt people with their words and actions; If your child knows how to control their emotions and physical actions, they retain their power.
• Teaches them to think before acting
• How to avoid contact with bullies when possible
• Discipline to control their body and emotions to help defuse a situation before it escalates
More often than not bullies seek out shy, timid children as they are deemed easy targets. Bullying can erode a child’s conﬁdence, so developing this skill is an important step in preventing and stopping bullying. When a child is conﬁdent, they feel good about who they are and that conﬁdence is visible in their body language, their voice and how they carry themselves making them less likely of a target.
Martial arts helps develop conﬁdence in many ways, but one important aspect is that it’s taught in a group setting, which allows them to interact with students and instructors of various ages, skill levels, and backgrounds in a controlled environment. These interactions teach them the importance of socializing with others, speaking up, looking at people in the eye and carrying themselves conﬁdently. They are no longer the shy, timid, easy target that a bully is looking for.
• Feel good about who they are
• Visible in their body language
• Helps with social settings
• Comfortable looking people in the eye and speaking up
When a child has been bullied, it can take an emotional toll on them. They may start to feel like they are not important and ﬁnd it more difficult to make friends. Martial arts teaches them how to persevere despite difficulties, disappointment, and adversity. Running from problems does not make them go away, and we must learn how to tackle life’s challenges and keep going. The more they persevere, the more conﬁdent they become and the less likely they are to be bullied in the future.
• Overcome obstacles despite difficulties
• To be courageous and brave
• Improves conﬁdence
My kid is being bullied is a statement no parent wants to make, but through martial arts the conﬁdence in their physical and mental abilities will facilitate children standing up for themselves and stepping up to do what’s right when needed.
At Kovar’s we teach kids not only how to avoid or deal with their own bullying, but also the importance of being an Upstander, not a bystander, when they see bullying happening to others. Upstander takes action against bullying. A Bystander does nothing. If we all work together we can put a stop to bullying once and for all.