The Bully Season
By ERIC DAVIS
“Bullying is a basic human issue of power and control and usually the targets for bullying are the victims easiest to control.”
The season of the bully is upon us. By now your children have resettled into their classes, the New Year excitement is over, and the hard work has begun. What also has began in this season is the dramas of the new childhood crush and the infamous bully. But as parents what are the signs to watch out for and what can you do to help?
Bullies are a legitimate concern for kids in school today and they can affect kids in many areas including physically, socially, and the most dangerous psychologically. When it comes to dealing with kids about bullies there are some important bits of information that can help you determine whether or not your child is being bullied. Just remember children are not always the best communicators but here are a few tips when talking to your child. Ask specific questions like “what game did you play during recess” or “who did you sit with today at lunch” (never ask broad statements like “how did your day go”). My favorite question to ask a kid is “are there are any kids at school that like to be mean”. Then a follow up question “are they ever mean to you”. Remember kids don’t like to lie they just don’t know when it is ok to divulge information (tattle).
If you discover that your child is being bullied details matter, what is being done, how often, does the teacher know, does the teacher care, and what is the district’s policy are just a few things to know. Most parents feel slightly helpless when they find out there child is being bullied but there are many things you can do. First be pro-active in talking to the teachers, administration, other moms, and most important your own child. In most cases teachers are handling the issues or if not just need to have a heads up to stop the bullying.
The next tip of advice could be considered controversial but when you get down to the heart of bullying it’s the best advice. Bullying is a basic human issue of power and control and usually the targets for bullying are the victims easiest to control. Therefore, the best thing you can do for your child is encourage them to stand up for themselves by being confident as a person and giving them permission to defend themselves. Now this doesn’t necessarily mean physical. In fact first you should tell your child to stand up the bully with their words. At my school we teach the levels of escalation when dealing with bullies. 1) Tell the bully to leave you alone 2) tell a Teacher and an adult 3) protect yourself from getting hurt. Often times what children really need when handling these situations is just the knowledge their parents have their back and you trust their decisions.
Bullying is a dangerous thing with lifetime consequences. Be sure as a parent to not turn a blind eye and if you need help seek a professional. I am bias of course and believe some of the best people who know how to deal with these situations are martial arts instructors. This is because the origins of the martial arts were actually developed to deal with bullies (thugs and thieves). Also many martial arts instructors began their career in the martial arts because of being bullied. So if you feel like you need some support don’t hesitate to ask.
For more information Contact 3T Martial Arts (719) 358-6627 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Sensei Eric Davis