October is national bullying prevention month and we at American Top Team Fort Lauderdale want your children to benefit from the valuable lessons kids martial arts have taught us in regards to bullying.
Our view is that although bullying kids has received more media attention in recent years due to the rise in cyberbullying, bullying through social media, viral videos etcetera, it is not a new phenomenon. Of course we share the same view as most of you: that bullying kids is awful and should be eliminated; however, we don’t believe that is a realistic goal and instead of focusing on the bullies themselves, we prefer to focus on what we can do to strengthen potential bullying victims through kids martial arts.
What do we mean by strengthening potential victims? Obviously, knowing how to defend themselves through training kids martial arts makes your child a less likely victim, not only because they become a less appealing target, but also because your child will carry themselves with a newfound self-confidence that bullies can pick up on. That being said, we believe the true strength your child will gain is not physical, it is mental.
Many of us have encountered bullying mentalities well into adulthood; this is not just a schoolyard issue. They may come in the form of abusive bosses or authority figures that misuse their position of authority. After all, not all bullying is physical. This is where becoming mentally strong becomes a valuable life tool and one of the main benefits your child will gain through training kids martial arts.
In training Brazilian jiu jitsu, your child will gain confidence through their new acquisition of skills and physical prowess, but will also learn the lesson that it’s ok to lose, learn from your mistakes and get back on the proverbial horse. Through jiu jitsu, your child will constantly have their ego checked and as a result, they will develop thicker skin.
Often the best friends your child will make through jiu jitsu are their best training partners and the ones that challenge them the most in sparring; sometimes they win, sometimes they lose, but after each sparring session they shake hands, say good job and leave unaffected.
Children that have been overly coddled and protected become particularly vulnerable to the effects of bullying because they haven’t developed the tools to deal with this type of adversity. So, while training kids martial arts will make your child a less likely victim, it will also make your child less susceptible to the lasting mental effects of being bullied. This is why even training martial arts for a couple of years will give your child valuable coping skills that they can carry with them for the rest of their lives.
So, this is something we can do for your child to make them a less likely bullying victim, but there’s also much you can do at home. We recommend talking to your child every day about what they’ve experienced at school and if they tell you they’re being picked on, called names etcetera, explaining to them that often this has nothing to do with them personally; it’s a problem with the bully.
It’s usually a result of that child being bullied themself, sometimes by an older sibling or family member. Viewing the bully as a victim themselves, worthy of empathy will help your child not take their actions personally and be as affected by them. So, combating bullying is a team effort and we hope to see you and your child on the mats!
For any questions, contact us at (954) 463-0994.