I talk to parents all the time who know that bullying occurs in the schools but don’t think their child will be affected by it.
Honestly, it’s wishful thinking.
If only they knew what the recent statistics suggest.
According to the U.S. Department of Education:
– 8 out of 10 students report being bullied during their school days.
– 160,000 students miss school every day due to fear of being picked on or beaten up by a bully.
– Approximately 2 out of 10 students are scared throughout the school day.
– 58% have not told their parents about an online bullying incident.
– 56% of students have personally witnessed some type of bullying at school.
– 42% of students have bullied online; 1 in 4 had it happen more than once.
– 21% of students received mean or threatening e-mail or other messages.
I don’t know about you, but these numbers scare the heck out of me. And to make matters worse, I believe these statistics are way understated. Over the years I have talked to hundreds of children and many kids that were being bullied NEVER talked to their parents.
One, they were too embarrassed to admit they had a problem. This is particularly true when the Father in the house constantly tells his son to “man up” all the time. This is not a criticism of the man of the house, it’s just a common theme in many households. We want our children to stand up for themselves so we encourage them to “man up” and fight back. The problem with fighting is not only is it against the rules and the victim will be punished as along with the bully, but most of the time, the victim has no clue how to protect themselves.
The second most common reason children give why they don’t tell their parents that they are being bullied is because they reach a level of despair and honestly believe no one can help them.
I don’t know about you, but this makes me MAD as heck.
Over the years I have worked with hundreds of kids helping them identify the strategies to use against bullies that don’t involve fighting. I know what you are thinking. Yes, the martial arts can teach your child how to DEFEND themselves, but more importantly, the martial arts will help your child develop greater self esteem and confidence, and THAT is the #1 way to defeat the bully.
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Sensei Chris Feldt is the owner and chief instructor of Samurai Karate Studio, a leadership academy located in Northeast Columbia, South Carolina. His school teaches karate to children and adults ages 4 and up. SKS specializes in self-defense, anti-bullying, stranger danger and character and leadership development.
Mr. Feldt was an adjunct professor at the University of South Carolina for college credit in karate and self-defense.
Samurai Karate Studio has been recognized as a leader in martial arts instruction by being honored with the Best of Columbia Award for 5 consecutive years in a row.
Sensei Feldt has been a guest speaker in the Richland 2 School District covering school talks on stranger danger, anti-bullying strategies, kindness, and making good choices. He is available for both private and corporate self-defense seminars.