By Karl Romain
As parents prepare to send their children to summer camp they should also be prepare them for the possibility of being bullied. And when you look at the statistics they show a very real possibility of that happening.
In writing my book, ‘A Parent’s Guide to Bullying Prevention’ I discovered one in four children has been or will be a victim of bullying.
One out of 5 kids admit to being bullied – or being a bully.
On average almost 300-thousand children each month are physically attacked by a bully.
In fact, every 7 minutes, a child is bullied on a school playground. More than 85% of those cases occur without any intervention.
As a martial arts instructor for more than 25 years, I’ve actually seen an increase in the number of children who are bullied. That’s why parents often ask me, how can they help their child deal with bullies.
One of the best ways to help your child with bullies is to instill in them self-confidence. Here are 3 important steps to start the process.
- Discuss Bullying: Create an open line of communication with your child. Help them to feel comfortable about discussing bullying. Listen to what they have to say and continue to ask questions until you have the whole story. Try not to lecture them but instead share, in a story format, your experiences. This will help them to understand how they feel. Then discuss methods of overcoming the challenges they face.
- Role-Play: When practicing martial arts we basically role-play various self-defense scenarios. We have found that if practiced enough in an actual situation the student automatically responds in that way based on how often that response is practiced. Role-playing bullying scenarios can be a great way to help your child practice his or her response and instill self-confidence. Kids naturally feel more self-confident when they know how to handle different situations.
- Enroll your Child in a Martial Arts Program: The training at most self-defense academies does not promote violence; however having knowledge of self-defense is useful in building your child’s self-confidence. Your child should understand when it would be appropriate to use self-defense. This is a discussion we encourage all parents to have with their children. To ensure some level of safety when confronted by a bully, self-defense techniques should be practiced until they are performed automatically when threatened.
Karl Romain is a highly sought-after Certified Master Trainer and Coach whose clients come from all walks of life, from business executives, pro-athletes, coaches, entrepreneurs, and couples seeking growth in their relationships. He’s also authored two books including ‘The Self-Confidence Factor: A Parents Guide to Bully Prevention’. He is regularly seen on network TV including Doctor Oz, Oprah and elsewhere.