How to help kids who are being bullied. Guide with 5 great tips for Parents in Preston.
Bullying affects over 1 million young people every year. In our martial arts centre we’ll often have parents and children contact us for support in our Preston classes, as parents do not know where else to turn.
Some parents have spoken with the school, but feel like the support they are getting is too slow or does not go far enough to address the problems.
Other parents are concerned that the bullying has had a devastating effect on their child’s confidence and self-esteem.
However you feel, there are some tactics, activities and organisations that can help if you have a child in Preston who is experiencing bullying.
What is bullying?
The Anti-Bullying Alliance defines bullying as:
“The repetitive, intentional hurting of one person or group by another person or group, where the relationship involves an imbalance of power. Bullying can be physical, verbal or psychological. It can happen face to-face or through cyberspace.”
Bullying can take many forms from hitting, shoving, taunting to psychological with offensive comments, stealing and hiding possessions. This list goes on and on sadly, but finding out the details from your child can be tricky. They may not want to talk about it.
But talking to them is the first step to being able to help. If they know what bullying is, you’re more likely to get information from them that will help you to resolve the problems.
Kids are usually afraid that if the parents find out the details, they’ll make it worse.
You can ask your child wha they think is possible to do and help. Or assure your child that any help provided, will be kept secret from other children in the class or school.
You may need to be explicit with the school that this is vital, when addressing the matter with them.
The important factor is to be very reassuring with your child. When they open up to you, reassure them that they have done the right thing in telling you.
Information that will help you to resolve the problem are the names of the child or children involved, where do the problems happen, what has happened, who witnessed the event. If your child has any injuries, it may help to have an official record of them through a drop in centre or GP, take a photo and record it yourself. If these injuries are serious, report it to the police.
If your child will not open up to you, they may talk with an older brother or sister if they have one. Or you can talk to them about the following tactics, so at least they have a plan which may help them. get closer to being done with the problem,
5 tactics to stay safe with Bullies. Tactic number 1.
Tactic 1, Fake your confidence until it becomes reality. Bullies will often look for people who are low in confidence or impulsive and easy to get a reaction from.
Your posture, how you stand, walk and talk can make a big difference.
Below is a great video that talks about different poses and how they make you feel. These are great tools for kids to have as they can adopt poses that make themselves feel better, look bigger and appear more confident to the bully.
2. Avoid the bullies!
Not always so easy to do if the bully is in the same class, school or group but its still a good tactic. If you can not get away, at least try not to looked fazed if the bully is bothering you and make your exit.
If you’re unlikely to see the bully again, running is a good plan. It’s not about being a chicken, it’s about keeping safe. If you think a fight is coming, getting out of there fast is still a smart plan.
3. Stay calm and Breath!
You can cool down by taking a deep breath. Stand up tall and use a confident voice when talking back to the bully. This is important as if you show you’re bothered. The bully may be more likely to continue.
4. Defend yourself with smart words!
Using smart words is a great way to deal with bullies, it’s simple. The problem is that it’s not easy to do if you are feeling scared or having problems with your confidence.
Agreeing with the bully, is probley the easiest of the smart word strategies. It’s not going to stop a bully but it may make it less fun to bother you. Let’s pretend the bully is making fun of your shoes:
“Maybe they are cheap, but they’re ok for now”
You can use the bully’s name, sometimes this can help:
“Jack, I consider you a friend and would never say that to you!”
Humour is a great tool, but you need to practise this one a lot:
“I am glad you noticed because that was the look I was going for.”
5. Defending yourself!
This is the last step for a good reason. Kids & Adults should try to avoid a physical confrontation but at the same time, no one has the right to harm you. If you think you are going to be harmed, can you get away? If you can not easily move to somewhere safer, step a leg back to build a strong base and raise your hands with your palms facing the aggressor. Use your strongest voice, like a lion let them know to “Stop picking on me, NOW!”
Let a responsible adult know what has happened as quickly as possible after any incident.
Help for Parents whose kids are being bullied in Preston.
Tell the class teacher what has been happening and what your child has done to stop it. You may want to obtain a copy of the school’s Anti-Bullying Policy or Behavioural Policy, and ask for clarity on how the school handles bullying incidents.
Keep notes of what you do, who you speek to, when you spoke with them and especially what they say they will do.
Hopefully this will quickly resolve the problem. But if you’re still unhappy with the response. You can also make an appointment to speak to the Headteacher or possibly the head of year.
Other Sources of help for problems with bullying in Preston
Here are a few useful resources that may assist you in resolving these problems:
Anti-Bullying Alliance. A coalition of organisations and individuals committed to stopping allforms of bullying between children and young people. Website with information and advice relating to all forms of bullying. www.anti-bullyingalliance.org.uk
Family Lives 24 hour helpline for parents and carers who have concerns about bullying. They also have an email facility. 0808 800 2222 www.familylives.org.uk
Childnet, Website with information and advice for parents and carers on how to keep your child safe online including how to make a report online. www.childnet.com
If you’re based in Preston and would like to try a martial arts class as a way to help with bullying. There are a lot of great taekwondo, MMA, BJJ and kickboxing academies in our town. You can also try a free lesson with West Coast Martial Arts by completing the online website form: https://www.kravclasses.com
What should you do if you get contacted that your child is bullying another?
If you’re a Preston Parent and get a call that accusing your child of bullying others. What should you do?
A number of years ago, I spoke with a parent who mentioned that a child in one of our classes in Preston was bullying their child.
We are definitely more Miyagi-Do than Cobra-Kai. So I was able to speak with the kids objectively without making any accusations, labels or assumptions and in this situation there was a productive outcome.
What I realised is that any child is capable of bullying behaviour.
So we started investing time within the classes talking about what bullying behaviour is and integrated this into the lessons, to help children understand the harm it causes and how to modify their behaviours to make more friends.
The point is that it’s possible your child may be bullying others, they may not realise that they are being bullies. There may be other factors involved to that are not obvious on the surface influencing this behaviour.
If you find that your child has been bullying others, it can be motivated by a number of factors.
There is a lot of power from peer groups at schools. Especially with social media, online gaming and social groups at school.
Talking with your child about being independent enough to stand strong against peer pressure can help. But often children are happy that someone else is being bullied and not them.
This fear is a very powerful motivator.
So below are a number of sources that may help if you are called by a school in Preston or the Lancashire county to speak about your child bullying.
If this does happen, please give the person on the phone time to speak and listen actively before rushing to defend your child. It’s so very important that you get the whole story, however it makes you feel. ‘Actively Listen’.
Get the facts and consider the contents of the video above plus the steps below.
1. YOU’RE NOT A BULLY
Being labelled a bully is not helpful, it’s a label and a behaviour. It does not have to be your childs true identity.
2. WHAT THE ‘FLIPPITY’ IS GOING ON, FIGURE OUT THE WHY?
Getting to the why is really difficult at times as kids may not want to speak about the issues or they are not able to clearly articulate how they feel or think.
The bullying can be a learned behaviour. A result of a competitive nature towards someone or something else. Insight is so valuable in being able to help here.
3. SEEK A RESOLUTION
Are you able to resolve the problem? Speaking with the school, groups such as childline on 0800 11 11 can help you with the support needed.
4. REPROGRAM THE STRESS
If stress is the cause, redirecting the energy or creating good habits can help. It’s one of the most powerful benefits of martial arts. It’s a powerful way to positively influence how people act through positive experiences, the boost to self-esteem and confidence.
If we can help here with our Preston Martial Arts Classes for Children. Please get in touch.
Contact west coast martial arts https://www.kravclasses.com/contact/
5. A PROBLEM SHARED
Who can you speak with about the problems. Getting some insight from a person who can be objective can be very helpful.
6. GIVE THEM A CHANCE
I’m making a big assumption here, but I think it’s easy for parents to be one extreme or the other. Either really strict on their child if they discover they are bullying or fully defend the child and deny the facts. My suggestion is give them a chance to learn. There’s lots of great books, tv shows about the subject and good ones open up conversations.
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid – “for all the family”
- Mean Girls – “for older kids!”
- Lord of the Flies – “1963 film version or the book”
Ways to learn empathy are important too, you can start small by caring for a pet to much more important roles in the household.
7 REINFORCE POSITIVE BEHAVIOUR
It’s important that you still acknowledge your child for doing good things. If you catch them showing consideration, empathy etc to others. Mark this great behaviour with a compliment, a nod… what ever works for your child.
It’s so easy to focus on the negative labels, behaviour but it’s important that your child also acknowledges when you’re proud of them too.
This is a powerful tool to help with seeing the changes you want for your child.