With school starting, it’s an extremely busy time of the year. The arrival of a new school year also comes with new stressors (and relief) for families. Coordinating drop-offs, pick-ups, and generally developing your family’s new routine always takes some time to get used to. Children are also adjusting to new schedules, a new school, and slowly, but surely, falling back into the rhythm of the school year.
Every parent hopes for smooth interactions between their kids and their classmates and anticipates new, budding friendships and prompt solutions from teachers and caregivers should things go wrong. Sadly, reality often doesn’t match these high hopes, leaving parents frustrated, confused, and angry, while children remain vulnerable to being bullied in the place where they spend most of their time during the school year.
BULLYING: THE REALITY
Bullying is a staggering problem in the U.S., where nearly 50% of children report experiencing it at least once during their school years. Despite of this sobering number, there are no federally mandated anti-bullying classes nor mandatory school staff training to combat this serious epidemic.
Fortunately, more schools are beginning to recognize the need for changes in the approach to bullying and implementing anti-bullying classes, and encouraging conversation between the school and the parents to find new methods to make school a more welcoming, positive experience for all children.
While this is a positive step, parents sometimes wonder whether or not they could do something more, prepare their children better, or help them to develop various coping mechanisms that could not only aid them against bullying but give them important life skills for decades to come.
MARTIAL ARTS CLASSES: YOUR BEST BET AGAINST BULLYING
Statistics show that children who participate in martial arts fare much better in school and life in general. It is important to stress, however, that these classes do not teach nor encourage the use of violence under any circumstances, and this also means that bullied children are trained to use self-defense only as an absolute last resort to stop bullying in case of physical attack. While it is a crucial life skill to have, physical force can never be the proper solution to schoolyard conflicts. Parents also need to discuss with their children the circumstances where a physical response is appropriate.
Classes not only teach students how to deal with bullies, but they also focus on teaching valuable personal skills.
The following list includes the most outstanding advantages your child could experience as a result of taking these extracurricular classes this school year.
These classes teach excellent socialization skills: from the first moment to the last; they promote interacting in an equally polite and respectful way with teachers and other students. Being able to implement these newly acquired interpersonal skills in a school setting, and your child may become a positive example to others about using positive communication skills to stop bullying or come to the aid of another child who is being bullied.
It is extremely important for your child to learn that while conflicts are a part of life, violence and harming others are not. That under no circumstances it is acceptable to hurt others, physically or otherwise. Martial Arts classes teach children to be more resilient and to react in a way that diffuses the situation instead of escalating it any further.
It is generally true: children that display a healthy dose of self-confidence are less likely to be targeted by bullies. Instructors strive to help kids to feel more positive about their abilities: by teaching them to bravely face their fears, allowing them to master their skills through role-playing challenging situations, and by letting them feel accomplished every time they overcome self-doubt. As a result, they become more ready each day to handle difficult tasks in school, with peers, and virtually in all areas of life.
Developing self-discipline increases one’s ability to accomplish goals. By building new routines and skills, martial arts classes can help your child to aim high, remain persistent, and never give up on their dreams, regardless of what difficulties come their way. This is an incredibly important skill to have when dealing with negative classmates who may make fun of your child and not see the benefit of hard work.
A slightly different skill from discipline, focus helps a child to remain calm in stressful situations by controlling their breathing and pausing before reacting so that they respond appropriately. By helping them develop critical thinking skills, many children will increase their academic performance and respond to challenges in a healthy and balanced way.
Another important skill students learn through martial arts training is to be patient. In our modern world, we are conditioned to expect immediate results and instant gratification. The reality is that the most successful people have learned to relax, work hard to master the basics, and know that at the appropriate time, they will be rewarded for their effort. In martial arts classes, this reward is their next rank.
This list is by no means comprehensive, but it provides some insight into the vast benefits martial arts classes can offer your child to avoid being bullied.
If your child is being bullied, the most important thing you can do is to support them and together come up with a plan to address the bullying.
If you’d like more information on specific strategies you can use to address bullying behavior, call us at 804-739-2715 or email us at [email protected].
If you would like to learn more about the US Government’s Anti Bullying Campaign online, please visit http://www.StopBullying.gov
Our goal at Resilient Martial Arts is to assist you and your family in any way that we can to reduce the physical, mental, emotional, and social stressors you are facing.
It takes a village to raise a child, and we would be honored to be a part of your incredible life’s journey!
To apply for our program and schedule your child’s free trial, click the button below:
RESILIENT MARTIAL ARTS
6911 Chital Drive
Midlothian, VA 23112
Email: [email protected]
About the Author
Eric Rangel-Ribeiro is the proud owner alongside Joshua Fracker, Bernard Robinson, and Barbara Robinson of Resilient Martial Arts in Midlothian, Virginia. With a background in traditional Martial Arts, Psychology, and Child Development, Eric is an active advocate for today’s youth. His passion for supporting and nurturing students of all abilities and ages resonates through all he does as a parent and business owner.