STOP BULLYING NOW!
Bullying is definitely not a new phenomenon; many of us have had either first hand experience or at least observed both the psychological and physical aspects of bullying. Because of our experience of course we want to save our children from the same troubles that we experienced as children or even as adults.
Yi's Karate of Cherry Hill is ready to contribute its professional expertise to help you, your child and our community stop the bullying or prevent it before it starts.
Is The Problem Worse Than Ever?
Is Bullying On The Rise?
It seems that every day we hear or read something about bullying, and because its prominence has risen in recent years it’s easy to get the feeling that bullying is on the increase. Is it?
The last several years have brought a number of high profile bullying and cyber-bullying cases to the attention of the media. The severity of the incidents has generated speculation that the prevalence of victimization between children and teens has increased.
Despite the media frenzy around events such as school shootings, suicides, and filmed beatings on YouTube, there is no definitive evidence that bullying is on the rise. More research studies that consider rates of bullying over time are needed.
So whether or not the problem is increasing is hard to say, but the greater exposure is both welcome and necessary because bullying will never be eradicated until we understand why people bully and how to counteract it, in a positive manner.
What Is Bullying?
Bullying is a conscious, willful, deliberate, hostile and repeated behavior by one or more people, which is intended to harm others. It can be a direct attack -- teasing, taunting, threatening, stalking, name-calling, hitting, making threats, coercion, and stealing -- or more subtle through malicious gossiping, spreading rumors, and intentional exclusion. Both result in victims becoming socially rejected and isolated.
Boys tend to use physical intimidation or threats, regardless of the gender of their victims. Bullying by girls is more often verbal, usually with another girl as the target. Cyber-bullying by both boys and girls -- in online chat rooms, e-mail, text-messaging, etc -- is increasing.
Bullying is a common experience for many children and teens.Whether the bullying is direct or indirect, the key component of bullying is physical or psychological intimidation that occurs repeatedly over time to create an ongoing pattern of harassment and abuse.
People who engage in bullying behaviors seem to have a need to feel powerful and in control. They appear to derive satisfaction from inflicting injury and suffering on others, seem to have little empathy for their victims, and often defend their actions by saying that their victims provoked them in some way.
People who regularly display bullying behaviors are generally defiant or oppositional toward adults, anti-social, and apt to break school rules.
Bullies appear to have little anxiety and to possess strong self-esteem. There is little evidence to support the contention that bullies victimize others because they feel bad about themselves.
Chronic bullies seem to continue their behaviors into adulthood, negatively influencing their ability to develop and maintain positive relationships, and can experience legal or criminal troubles as adults.
Many people believe that everybody dislikes the class bully. But in truth, the research shows that many bullies have high status in the classroom and lots of friends.
Who Gets Bullied?
Victims of bullying may be anxious, insecure, and cautious and suffer from low self-esteem, rarely defending themselves or retaliating when confronted by students who bully them. They may lack social skills and friends and thus are often already socially isolated.
Victims of bullies often fear school and consider it to be an unsafe and unhappy place. Victims will often stay home 'sick' rather than go to school or travel on the school bus.
Victims experience real suffering that can interfere with their social and emotional development, as well as their school performance. Some victims of bullying have committed or attempted suicide rather than continue to endure such harassment and abuse. Other victims have taken out their anger and frustration in violence. Most of the young people who have caused school-related violent deaths have been victims of bullying. Experts, pointing to such tragic events as Columbine, agree that bullying can lead to serious violence, including murder and suicide.
Warning Signs of Bullying
If your child is being bullied, he or she may remain quiet out of fear, shame or embarrassment. Be on the lookout for these warning signs:
What To Do If Your Child Is Being Bullied
- Damaged or missing clothing or other personal belongings
- Unexplained bruises or other injuries
- Few friends or close contacts
- Reluctance to go to school or ride the school bus
- Poor school performance
- Headaches, stomachaches or other physical complaints
- Trouble sleeping or eating
If you suspect that your child is being bullied, take the situation seriously:
- Encourage your child to share his or her concerns. Remain calm, listen in a loving manner and support your child's feelings. Express understanding and concern. You might say, "I understand you're having a rough time. Let's work together to deal with this." Remind your child that he or she isn't to blame for being bullied.
- Learn as much as you can about the situation. Ask your child to describe how and when the bullying occurs and who is involved. Ask if other children or adults have witnessed any bullying incidents. Find out what your child may have done to try to stop the bullying.
- Teach your child how to respond to the bullying. Don't promote retaliation or fighting back against a bully. Instead, encourage your child to maintain his or her composure. He or she might say, "I want you to stop now," and then simply walk away. Suggest sticking with a friend or group of friends while on the bus, in the cafeteria or wherever the bullying seems to happen. Remind your child that he or she can ask teachers or other school officials for help.
- Contact school officials. Talk to your child's teacher, the school counselor and the school principal. If your child has been physically attacked or otherwise threatened with harm, talk to school officials immediately to determine if the police should be involved. Don't contact the bully's parents yourself. You might also want to encourage school officials to address bullying — including cyber-bullying — as part of the curriculum.
- Follow up. Keep in contact with school officials. If the bullying seems to continue, be persistent.
- Boost your child's self-confidence. Help your child get involved in activities that can raise self-esteem, such as karate, sports, music or art. Encourage your child to build friendships and develop his or her social skills.
- Know when to seek professional help. Consider professional or school counseling for your child if his or her fear or anxiety becomes overwhelming.
If your child is being bullied, remember that early intervention can help prevent lasting problems — such as depression, anxiety and low self-esteem. Don't leave your child to handle it alone. Your child needs your support now more than ever.
Martial Arts: The Number One Way to Combat Bullying
As parents, we do everything we can to protect our children from harm and to provide them with the skills they need to be healthy, successful adults. The problem is, we are not with them all the time. What our kids do at school is sometimes a mystery to us. Are they polite to their teachers? Do they participate in class? Are they bullying other kids? Are they being bullied? There is something you can do to help get them on track to be successful in school and to avoid the bully-trap - even when you're not around: Enroll them in a martial arts class.
Martial arts schools provide an excellent foundation for children on both sides of the bullying fence. For the bully martial arts training will boost their self worth and instill a sense of empathy. It will guide their actions in a positive direction because a quality martial arts school simply will not permit anything akin to bullying. For the child that is being bullied it will instill confidence and teach them the skills – both mental and physical – that will help them avoid, or react to situations where they could be bullied. It might even instill a sense of empathy for the bully allowing children to react in a much different manner.
Bullies often have sense of superiority over others and their environments and lack impulse control. Often time, bullies don't know how to manage their anger so they take it out on people they deem weaker than themselves. Many times, bullies are being, or have been, bullied at some point in their lives as well. Martial arts help solve these problems.
Martial arts can also help kids who are being bullied. Bullies thrive on attacking, both physically or emotionally, people that they see as weak. Kids who are bullied often have, generally as a result of the bullying, low confidence levels, inability to concentrate on school work, lack of focus and high stress levels which make them look even weaker. Martial arts help solve these problems too by building in the student confidence, self-esteem, focus, concentration, physical strength and the ability to physically and mentally defend themselves.
The many benefits of martial arts for children are a great way to combat bullying, but as you read on, you'll see that the benefits extend way past bullying and will help your children succeed in other areas of their lives as well:
Concentration and Focus. Training martial arts is not a mindless activity. It requires complete concentration and focus at all times during training. The best part about this needed concentration, however, is that it carries over into all parts of your children's lives. You'll notice (and your children's teachers will probably also notice) that they will be able to focus more on their school work and they might even have more successful grades.
Confidence and Control. Martial arts will help your children get in tune with their minds and bodies. This will help kids better understand themselves, their actions and their options. They know that they don't need to lose their temper to handle stressful situations and they'll also know that they have the ability to physically defend themselves if needed. All of this knowledge will increase their confidence and over all demeanor making them appear (and be) stronger individuals and less likely to be a victim of a bully. It will also help prevent them from bullying others because they will be more aware of themselves and those around them.
Stress Reduction. You probably already know that physical exercise is a great stress reliever for you. Do you also know that it works for your children as well? Any type of exercise such as jogging or playing sports can relieve the physical stress that your children feel from daily life - and it may be more than you'd expect. Training martial arts goes one step further, however. It will also help your children relieve their emotional stress because martial arts requires them to concentrate on their training, not dwell on their problems.
Respect. If you send your children to the right school, their martial arts instructors will both command and deserve respect from all of their students. They will also be able to instill in your children that all people deserve respect, especially adults.
If you have a child that is being bullied or if you suspect that your child might have become a bully, enrolling them in a quality martial arts school, like Yi's Karate of Cherry Hill, with a comprehensive curriculum taught by qualified instructors might be the best thing you could do for your child. We invite you to come and visit our facility located at
- Self-defense training prepares children for confrontation, as it teaches them how to avoid confrontation.
- Martial arts replaces a bullied child’s insecurity and low self-esteem with confidence and a greater self worth.
- Martial arts channels a bully’s aggressiveness and anger into healthful physical activity, discipline and a positive attitude.
- Martial arts helps to create the child who will become the educated, well-employed and socially conscious adult.
- Martial arts gives your child the skills and attitude to help "break free from bullying."
- Martial arts training will prepare your child to live a full and satisfying life, despite many of society’s ills.
- Martial arts helps to reduce a child’s fear of the harmful elements in the world, while providing them with the physical, intellectual and spiritual skills to conquer their fears.
Part of our duty as martial arts instructors is to help our students become positive role models throughout their lives. Part of your duty as a parent is to provide your child with the opportunities and skills that martial arts teaches, so you know they are as prepared as possible to live successfully, even as violence continues to be a deeply ingrained trait of the human character.
Yi's Karate of Cherry Hill is ready to contribute its professional expertise to help you, your child and our community stop the bullying before it starts. That has been part of the curriculum of our martial arts school for years because martial arts training is part of the solution.
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