Approximately one in every three students in the U.S. cities being bullied at least once in the course of the school year. Unfortunately, only a small percentage of students who get bullied in school report it. Anyone who has experienced bullying can tell you that it can be devastating. Several studies have demonstrated that students who experience it tend to have a greater risk of anxiety, depression, poor performance in academics, as well as poor sleep hygiene.
Addressing the Problem
In recent years, the problem has garnered substantial attention from the media, educators, medical professionals, parents, and lawmakers. An increasing number of schools have set up measures to prevent and discourage it. Additionally, students are increasingly being instructed to stop being bystanders and step up to assist those who are victims, while victims are often motivated to stand up to the challenge.
Many educators and mental health professionals have suggested that teaching kids martial arts is an effective way of empowering children to stand up against bullying. To most parents with no knowledge of what martial sports entail, it can seem like a perilous and violent activity for kids. Nonetheless, parents that sign up their kids in these programs find that their children reap countless benefits. Besides preventing sedentary lifestyles and getting children to be fit, these training programs can help kids to learn other valuable lessons, chief among them being building the confidence and ability to deal with bullies.
Regardless of the kind of techniques you try, it is important to start by creating a clear line of communication with your child. For starters, you want your kid to feel comfortable to discuss his/her experiences with you. Try to begin by listening to what your child has to say. You can then proceed to ask questions about particular incidents until you get to understand the full picture. You may also share your personal experiences when you were in school. This will help your child to understand that you also know what they are going through and how it feels. You can then proceed to try ways to address the situation. These are some effective interventions.
• Role Play
Roleplaying some of the common threatening situations with your kid will teach them how to react to physical confrontations. Martial sports such as King Fu, Taekwondo, and Karate are not any different since when practicing, you are merely role-playing different self-defense scenarios.
• Taking to the Mat
It is important to understand that enrolling your kid in these programs does not mean promoting or glorifying violence. Instead, having that skill and knowledge will help your kid feel more confident. Furthermore, in case you child finds that they are in a situation where they have to defend themselves, the mat practice will offer a certain degree of safety and confidence by enabling the child to perform some moves instinctively once under threat.
What are some of the Benefits to Martial Arts Training for Kids?
There are several ways in which the training can benefit your child beside preventing intimidation or dealing with bullies. Here are some of the obvious benefits martial sports can offer your child.
In the course of the program, the trainees get to progress through a series of ranks in order to earn titles. Children that enroll in these programs must show determination and commitment. Setting and accomplishing goals through determination and commitment is one of the valuable skills that your child will get to take away from any of the numerous programs.
Learning to Manage Disappointments in a Positive Way
Regardless of how dedicated your child is or how hardworking they are, there is always a possibility that they will be upset by a mistake in the course of training or a failure to advance. Instead of shielding the kid from such feelings, the training will offer the child an opportunity to gain a valuable learning experience. This will help the child to gain the strength necessary to cope with disappointment in a healthy way.
Restraint and Discipline
The fundamental principles of all martial sports programs place a significant emphasis on self-restraint and discipline. Willful, stubborn young ones that often have a difficult time dealing with controlling their impulses can benefit immensely under the coaching of an experienced trainer or instructor.
Improved Social Skills
In many cases, shy kids tend to be bullied a lot in school. Consequently, training can offer your child an opportunity to spend a couple of hours each week interacting with different people in a controlled environment. This usually helps kids who are shy to open up and build more self-assurance when dealing with other people, especially their peers.
Improved Communication Skills and Body Language
The stances involved in various training programs all exhibit confidence. During practice, your child will get to learn about the correct posture and eye contact to maintain when dealing with a potential threat. Additionally, the child will get to learn how to breathe in a manner that exudes composure and talk in an assertive tone that can help to deflect any potential threat. This does not mean that your child has to sound or look confrontational. Instead, the child will be in a better position to stand their own ground, while being able to communicate and develop a rapport with others.
In conclusion, enrolling your child in martial arts classes can benefit them immensely. Not only can it help your child to defend themselves from bullying, but it can also help to build other useful interpersonal skills. Enrolling your child in any of the many programs does not necessarily have to do with teaching your child to be violent or to react violently to confrontational situations. Instead, it has more to do with teaching your child how to cultivate discipline and composure that is necessary to deal with potentially threatening and confrontational situations. In a nutshell, these programs help to build an all-rounded individual who can fit in and cope with different situations.