Senior Master Paul Leitzke of Confidence Martial Arts is sad to find out that almost 10% of school age children are the victims of a bully. Bullying is most common by the second grade and occurs throughout life. Bullying can be both physical and verbal, and can range from mild teasing to pushing and hitting. Bullying is even done quite often on the internet. The team of instructors at Confidence ATA Martial Arts in Wilmington and New Hanover County in North Carolina is striving to make a difference by building strong leaders in the community through Martial Arts and Krav Maga. It concerns Paul Leitzke that children are being victimized by their peers. Being a victim of a bully can lead to a child avoiding school and developing anxiety about attending class.
Confidence ATA Martial Arts has an Anti-Bullying Karate for Kids Program and encourages parents to enroll their children
Research and various case studies show us that victims of bullies are usually stereotyped as being loners, passive, quiet, sensitive, anxious, and with low self-esteem they are often smaller and/or weaker than the other children of the same age and they may even come from an overprotective home. Being a victim of a bully can cause your child to feel insecure, lower their self-confidence and have feelings of low self-worth and poor self-esteem. This may ultimately lead to depression and/or violence, either against themselves or against the bully. “Awareness is the key for parents, watching for changes in attitude, behavior and daily actions” states Sr. Master Instructor, Paul Leitzke. Unfortunately, victims of bullies often do not seek help or confide in anyone about the bullying, either because of shame or embarrassment or fear that it will be worse if the bully finds out. It is important to look for signs in your children. One of these signs could be, school avoidance behaviors, especially chronic nonspecific complaints, such as headaches or stomachaches, or they may have trouble sleeping. Also, if your child seems afraid or anxious about going to school, has a change in his/her personality or his/her behavior, or a change in his/her grades, you should consider that he/she may be a victim of a bully at school. Confidence ATA Martial Arts teaches students and the youth within the community “LIFE SKILLS” that will change a child’s life and teach them…”Don’t Be A Target” and Don’t Be A Victim” in life. “Quality Life Skills such as; Self-Respect, Self-Esteem, Self-Confidence and enhanced social skills offer our students the ability to manage these concerns” states, Wilmington Martial Arts Master Instructor. If you suspect that your child may be a victim of a bully, you can ask them if they are being teased at school, or ask more open-ended questions, such as “What do you like to do at recess?” or “Who do you sit with at lunch?” Be open and listen to your child and most of all utilize your instinct as a parent. Children are most often bullied at school, usually on the playground or at lunchtime when children are more likely to have minimal supervision, or it may occur in the hallways between classes or on the school bus. In any situation, the better supervised children are, the less likely that bullying will occur. Role playing on how to deal with verbal and physical bullying is taught in classes at Confidence Martial Arts in Wilmington, NC. Children who are bullies may have problems with low self-esteem, but newer theories argue that bullies are driven more by a desire to have power over others and to be “in control” because they have poor self-esteem and that they have little empathy for their victims. They may also be aggressive, bossy, controlling, have a low level of self control, and have difficulty making friends. Bullies are also more likely to develop criminal behaviors as adults. Characteristics such as these are not accepted or healthy in any community.Wilmington Martial Arts teaches how to strategically recognize, manage and deal with such improper behavior. While this may help you understand why a bully acts the way they do, this doesn’t necessarily help your child deal with the problem when it occurs. Confidence Martial Arts offers classes that deal directly with these concerns. Things that you should avoid include teaching your child to fight back, since they may get hurt and it may also get him/her in trouble at school. We need to teach our children to be assertive and to show self-confidence at all times. Interact socially, and become a user of quality life skills that will protect them from becoming a victim. Parents often turn to enrolling their children in a martial arts program, and while this can be helpful to build their self-esteem and help them be more assertive, the goal of taking the classes should not be so that he/she can fight back but to instill confidence and enhance their self-esteem. Confidence Martial Arts teaches two levels of Anti-Bullying, Level I is “Safe Defense” through quality life skills they learn the … “Don’t Be A Target” program. First and foremost they need to demonstrate and hold themselves in a manner that is not one that bullies see as a target. Second, they learn “Self Defense” through verbal practice and physical drills and skills students become aware of how a bully may attack them as an individual. It may also help to talk with school officials about the problem (so that they can better supervise your child, observe the bully and intervene when necessary) and teach your child not to respond too strongly to the bully (either by crying or giving in to demands), because the bully is more likely to continue bullying your child if he/she knows that they will get a response. Schedule a meeting between the parents of the children involved and school officials so everyone is aware and the potential and harmful threat may be dealt with. Confidence Martial Arts can teach your child to walk away (but while staying calm and not running), tell the bully to stop and leave him/her alone, or to use humor and come up with a good comeback when a bully teases him/her. It can also help if your child has high self-esteem and if he/she has some strong friendships, so that he/she is less of a target. Teaching your child to make eye contact with others (especially the bully) and to talk with a strong voice may also help. Role playing situations where he/she is bullied may be helpful in teaching how to respond. It is also important for the bully to understand that bullying is not acceptable and will not be tolerated. If the bullying behavior or other aggressive behaviors persist, then he/she may need to speak with a trusted adult like a family member, friend or even their martial arts instructor as a mentor. No one should ever become a Target or Victim in life. CMA takes bullying serious and stands to protect the youth within the community. STAND UP & STAND PROUD! Please call 910-399-1950 or visit our website: www.confidencemartialarts.com. Wilmington ATA Martial Arts offers a 3 Day Anti-Bullying Confidence Course to help children understand the consequences of bullying and being bullied.