SHIDO's Anti-Bullying program is designed to empower children with the skills and knowledge on how to deal with bullying and various self-defence situations. The first step is to help our Anti-Bullying students to become aware of the different types of bullying and other potential safety threats that they might encounter. We then teach them how to deal with these situations in an appropriate way without using excessive force. We teach our Anti-Bullying students how to appropriately respond to the level of the threat, instead of escalating the situation and causing unnecessary harm and complicating the situation. We always teach our Anti-Bullying students that we want to defend ourselves against bullying without becoming bullies ourselves. Our first approach is always to try and deal with the situation without escalating it into a physical altercation. However, if these attempts of de-escalating the situation are not effective and the threat still persists, we then teach them the necessary skills to take physical action and neutralize the threat without causing unnecessary harm.
We will prepare your child to defend themselves against bullies without turning them into one!
Conflict resolution skills
OUR RULES OF ENGAGEMENT
1. Physical fights must be avoided at all costs.
2. Defend yourself, if physically attacked.
Bullying comes in various forms, examples are physical, emotional, verbal, and psychological bullying. In our Anti-Bullying program, we help our students to deal with all forms of bullying. However, it's important to keep in mind that this process takes time. The concept of bullying is complicated and it's a deep topic that has many layers, especially when it comes to why a child is being bullied and what will make it stop. In most cases, an internal change must take place within the child that's being bullied. Creating this internal change is the main focus of our Anti-Bullying Program.
WHEN IS IT BULLYING?
Most children get teased by a sibling or a friend at some point in their life and it's usually not harmful when it's done in a playful, friendly, and mutual way. When this is the case, both children find it funny and it's not experienced as a painful or humiliating experience. But when teasing becomes hurtful, unkind, and constant, it then turns into bullying, and that is when it needs to stop.
Bullying can be described as intentionally tormenting another individual by using physical, verbal, emotional, or psychological means. It can range from hitting, shoving, name-calling, and mocking to forcefully taking someone's money and possessions. Some children bully by shunning others and spreading rumours about them, while others use social media or electronic messaging to taunt others or hurt their feelings.
Research shows that bullies begin with verbal harassment. In a way, this is how the bullies "test the waters" and see whether their target will take the role of the victim. How the "victim" responds to the first verbal aggression determines whether the bully continues to target this particular child. At its fundamental level, bullying is all about gaining power over another individual. If the bullying behaviour gives the bully what he or she is looking for, they will feel empowered because they have successfully pushed the other child's buttons. This is why we find it absolutely crucial to discuss this issue with our Anti-Bullying students and to empower them with the knowledge and skills that are needed to successfully stand up for themselves when a bully first "tests" them.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF BULLYING?
In many cases, a child feels shame and guilt when they are the victim of bullying. This can, unfortunately, result in them not telling their parents about the whole situation (there could of course be various other factors at play as well that can lead to them keeping quiet about the situation). This can make it hard to notice whether your child is being bullied or not, besides noticing the obvious physical signs like bumps and bruises.
But here are three common warning signs that parents should look out for:
The child starts to act differently, they may seem anxious, withdrawn, or overly emotional.
There are changes in their eating habits and sleep quality.
They are not doing the things that they usually enjoy, or when they do partake in it, it seems like they are not enjoying it as much as they did before.
CAN YOU BULLY-PROOF YOUR CHILD?
In short, the answer is unfortunately not. There are and always will be people who act out by hurting others and your child will unfortunately cross paths with these individuals. When interacting with each other, most children will want to get their way, especially when they are going through certain developmental stages. This means that they will sometimes abuse their power and try to get power over others. For this and many other reasons, it's not your goal to insulate and hide your child from the world, but rather to support and empower them by helping your child to develop the necessary awareness and skills that they can use to protect themselves when necessary. They need to develop their own personal power and confidence, and they need to feel that they can look for help if they are in over their head. If you always fight their battles for them and "wrap them in bubblewrap" in order to protect them, they don't develop their own sense of personal power and confidence, and this will lead to far greater issues later in their lives.
It's important to take bullying seriously as it can have lasting effects that can cause many other issues in other areas of a child's life...
HOW WILL SHIDO HELP?
Examples of what's covered in our Anti-Bullying classes:
How to deal with confrontations.
What to do when a situation escalates.
How to take control of a physical attack by neutralizing the threat and waiting for help.
If they are in danger and they are not able to neutralize the threat without causing injury, they will have the necessary Kickboxing and Grappling skills to use more force to try and stop the threat.