Bullies Everywhere, beware…

Sensei Post in Articles of Interest, For Kids, Self-Defense

My son is five years old and despite his being larger then his classmates has already encountered the classic bully. Being an innocent five year old he is unsure how to handle the situation. I must admit that like most I had a few bully encounters in my younger years, but he can hardly picture me little much less being bullied. Today in my feeds for this blog, I found this article: Boosting self-confidence a good way to teach children to thwart bullies. The article is really a pitch for what appears to be a decent program (that isn’t a review…yet) and they outline the different steps they teach the children. From the article I agree with their four ‘steps’ suggestions except they make a classic mistake in their final thinking. Their four ‘step’ suggestions are not complete, they leave you hanging with a general statement of “If a child has tried all of these things and the bully still hasn’t stopped, then the child should ask for help“. This is the ideal solution in a perfect world, it is hardly realistic. This advice will work for most cases of bullying but then again that doesn’t help all of the children/adults, does it?

I would make the following addition to the four steps suggested, fight back. Yes, physically fight, I know this is not a politically correct thing to say but then again I’m far from politically correct. Fight, why do we enroll our children in the Martial Arts is not so they will be better equip to handle themselves, with confidence and justice. My son told me he was afraid to fight back because he didn’t want to get in trouble. This is a very understandable comment from a five year old. Then I reminded him that some times we have to do things that may get us in trouble to do the right thing. Standing up for yourself is never a bad thing, but it will sometimes get you in trouble. I asked if the Bully had gotten in trouble for his behavior, he had not. So much for that fourth step! My son isn’t ready to stand up for himself and I told him that was o.k., there is no shame in that. I explained that it can be frightening, especially when you are a good boy. Ultimately I’m not too worried about it; my son will eventually stand up for himself. He will face the same fear I faced as a boy and with my tutelage he will only stand up for justice and peace, never for personal satisfaction or power. After all that is why we dedicate ourselves to the Martial Arts, it is the ultimate pursuit of peace and justice; the art of not fighting unless there are no other available avenues. So please when helping your students with a Bully situation; don’t forget to mention the all important ‘fifth step’, fight back. Remember, No One has the right to touch your person and despite the claim, help is not always readily available.

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