According to Stopbullying.gov, 49% of children in grades 4 to 12 reported being bullied by other students at school. Most bullying takes place when parents aren’t there to watch their children like at school or on the school bus, which is why it’s critical to inform your child on how to defuse situations with bullies and protect themselves.
Below are some tips from Krav Maga Worldwide, a global leader in personal defense, on how to teach children to safely deal with bullies.
- It starts at home. It’s important to teach children while they are young about respect and treating others how they would want to be treated. There are a lot of different personalities, style choices and backgrounds that children will be exposed to when they start school and it can be easy for them to laugh at something they aren't used to.
- Have open conversations. Have nightly discussions with your child about their day and if anything is happening that is making them feel uncomfortable. Keeping the communication open lets them know that it’s okay to speak up if something does happen.
- Speak up. Kid are often taught not to tattle on someone, but bullying is never okay. Talk to your child about the importance of speaking up and doing the right thing if they notice someone being bullied or they are being bullied themselves. Instruct them to tell a trusted teacher or school worker about what they witnessed.
- Be the bigger person. Most of the time bullies just want to get a reaction out of the person they are tormenting. Teach your child to walk away from situations that can easily escalate.
- Basic skills. Sign your child up for intro self-defense classes specifically for kids and dealing with situations that can arise for their age group. These classes often teach children body language and verbal skills that can help deter bullies as well physical skills. Unfortunately, there is a very real possibility that a child may be in a situation that they can’t diffuse or walk away from. Having a foundation of physical skills is vital for the child to be able to protect themselves when push literally comes to shove.
Krav Maga Worldwide was founded in 1997 to promote Krav Maga throughout the United States and around the world. Krav Maga Worldwide offers the highest caliber of instruction to thousands of people, supporting the company’s core commitment to improving and saving lives. Krav Maga Worldwide continues to develop, promote and implement self-defense and fitness programs.
The above article appeared in Pittsburgh Parent