The most helpless feeling in the world is having a child who fears going to school because of bullying. Bullying has been around for generations, but things have evolved to a dangerous and surprisingly evil level with the help of social media.
A Yale University study claims victims of bullying are 7-9% more likely to consider suicide than those who are not bullied and studies out of Britain have shown that half of all suicides among youth are related to bullying, according to healthyplace.com.
There are ways to help your child gain the tools needed to combat this terrible form of abuse. One awesome way is by teaching them martial arts. These are the 5 reasons why children should learn martial arts.
1. Build confidence and self-awareness
Learning martial arts is a great way for your child to develop self-confidence. Confidence in a child is very important in human development. Confident children make confident adults. The journey of learning martial arts is much more than learning how to fight. It teaches a person about themselves.
According to physchologytoday.com, psychologists have found that kids behave like bullies because they are very "shame-prone." That means they are afraid their failures or shortcomings will be exposed.
Martial arts develop the mind as well as the body, so it helps the practitioner to find comfort in who they are.
This is vital for children to learn at an early age. “If children have a strong sense of self they are less likely to experience negative social interactions and more likely to have positive relationships and things like bullying may be reduced,” said Alma-Jane O'Donnell, a Child & Family Practitioner at Good Start Early Learning.
2. Learn self-defense skills
One main benefit to children learning martial arts is being able to defend themselves should the bullying turn physical. An incredibly terrifying feeling for a bullying victim is not knowing how to defend themselves if forced to do so. Having this knowledge will prepare the victim for a fight and provide tools to eliminate the threat quickly. This will reduce the likelihood of serious injury, and aid in escaping the situation as soon as possible
3. Gain the ability to assess threats
Knowing one can protect themselves is very important and can prevent an altercation altogether. Martial art students gain the ability to judge threats and identify when there’s real danger. It’s a valuable skill to be able to recognize when a bully is wolfing or actually ready for a fight.
Not to mention being able to recognize if there are a group of potential attackers. Knowing how to read a threat can be the difference between escaping the situation with a few bumps and bruises, being badly injured or even killed.
4. Learn how to walk away
In schools today, there is a lot of peer pressure. Peer pressure makes it very difficult for kids to think on their own and make the right decisions. This can be said for walking away from conflict also. Remember back in the day when the bully said he was going to beat someone up after school at 3 o’clock? It was all anyone could talk about until the end of the day.
The after-school bell rings and now the bully and victim are surrounded by a bunch of instigating kids ready to see a bloody battle. The most difficult thing at that moment is to simply walk away. With social media, it’s even more difficult.
The person who walked away is labeled a coward or punk making bullying more severe. To a child who is trained and self-aware, walking away becomes a lot easier. A child that understands they have the choice to engage or not is an empowering feeling.
5. Avoid being a target by radiating confidence and positive energy.
A child that is confident in themselves and understands conflict has a better chance of avoiding it. A major theme of most martial arts is the emphasis on discipline, avoiding conflict when possible, and focusing on positivity. These skills are essential to any child attending school these days.
Bullying in school causes more and more kids to become depressed, suffer long-term effects, and even commit suicide. Because of social media, the shame of bullying can now be shared all over the internet for the whole world to see, which compounds the issue.
Arming your child with the tools to navigate nasty social situations is our job as parents. Martial arts is not the only answer to a child being bullied, but it’s a great foundation. The knowledge gained from learning a martial art is something a child can carry with them for the rest of their lives.
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