Bullying has become an epidemic in recent years. Yes, there have
always been bullies, and yes, those bullies have always caused serious
and lasting damage to their victims; however, bullying in the 21st
century has changed – and not for the better.
According to Pacer’s National Bullying Prevention Center, one in four
students has reported that they were bullied during the school year and
14.8% of high school students in the United States have reported that
they were bullied online.
The consequences of bullying can be devastating. Victims are more
likely to experience a decrease in their academic performance, anxiety,
depression, and behavioral problems.
Being that bullying is such a rampant problem in the United States,
children need to be presented with methods that will teach them how to
combat being the victim of the name calling, teasing, and harassment
that are associated with bullying behavior.
How can kids avoid becoming the victim of a bully? Here are some tips
that can be highly effective.
Typically, bullies tend to prey on those who appear to lack confidence
and who are unsure of themselves. If a bully sees that someone is
lacking confidence, he or she is more likely to target that individual and
harass that person.
Being confident is one of the most effective ways to avoid being bullied.
Kids need to have inner confidence, and they need to be able to project
that confidence outward. Parents can help build their children’s
confidence by building them up and supporting them. When children
know that they are valued, they automatically have confidence. Kids can
exude their inner confidence by standing tall, making eye contact, being
friendly and taking pride in their appearance.
Gain the Support of Friends
One or two great friends is worth more than 100 fair-weather friends.
This is especially true if someone wants to avoid being bullied.
Kids should pick their friends wisely, and should gather their support.
Remaining in contact with those friends – walking down the school halls
with them, sitting with them on the bus, or eating with them in the
cafeteria – will prevent a bully from targeting a child. Typically, bullies
tend to take aim at children who are ‘loners.’ Support from friends is a
highly powerful force against bullies.
Stand Up for Yourself
If a bully does start to attack, a child should not only know that it is OK
to stand up for him- or herself, but that standing up must be done.
If a child encounters someone who is saying or doing hurtful things, that
child should exert his or her inner confidence, stand tall, look the bully in
the eye and tell him or her to stop it. Once the child tells the bully to
stop, he or she should walk away and move on. Letting the bully see
that he or she has impacted the victim will only make him or her feel
successful, which will make him or her want to try again.
Kids have the power to stop bullies, and martial arts help them find that
power. By following these tips, children can avoid being the victim of
such cruel behavior and avoid the lasting consequences of bullying.