Did you know I was bullied as a kid. I even remember his name and he targeted me from 6th – 8th grade. It was mostly name calling and messing with my stuff but that kind of thing can really mess with you as an adolescent; especially when you don’t have the coping skills to deal with it.
A few years ago I teamed up with other instructors across the country on this project called Bullyproof! It started out as a series of books with each instructors take on the problem of bullying and what to do about it. I am featured in volume 2. CLICK HERE if you would like to download a copy of my chapter.
I have been a martial arts instructor for over 20 years. My goal with our martial arts training is to equip my young students with these tools so that, along with their martial skills, they can learn to deal with bullying in a way that empowers them!
But here is the thing, are you ready…
BULLYING IS NOT THE PROBLEM!
We cannot stop bullying. Why? Because we can not control what someone else does. We can only control how we react to it. Eleanor Roosevelt quoted, “No one can make us feel inferior without our permission.” Bullying has been around forever and as long as someone thinks they can have power over someone else there will ALWAYS be bullying.
So, what do we do?
First we have to understand what bullying is and what it is not. Many kids and parents cry “Bullying” at the first sign of conflict with their child when that is not what it is at all. This can lead to false accusations and bad rapport all around. So let’s take a look at the difference between bullying and “bothering”…
Bothering – This is irritating or annoying behavior that is not necessarily meant to be mean. It doesn’t happen all the time and usually does not make the person feel bad about themselves. It’s like when your brother or sister annoys you or “put down” jokes between friends.
Bullying – This is chronically mean behavior for the purpose of emotionally hurting someone else to establish power over that person. There are several types of bullying that I will get into in later posts but for now understand it has 3 elements…
-it is ongoing
-it is about power
One of the battle tactics in Sun Tzu’s The Art of War is to “know your enemy”.
Once we know what bullying is we are better able to recognize it when it is happening and deal with it appropriately.
SIDE NOTE: We are not talking about physical violence here…that is assault. The same goes for taking your things…that is theft. BOTH are crimes and should be reported immediately and every time they happen. All occurrences of bullying behavior and how it is being handled by parents/teachers, etc. should be documented and reported. Keep a record at home so you have proof of what is going on and what is being done about it.
Yours for safe, confident kids;
4420 S Noland Rd Ste B
Independence, MO 64055