As kids navigate friendships and cliques, there's plenty parents can do to offer support. If your child seems upset, or suddenly spends time alone when usually very social, ask about it.
Here are some tips:
Talk about your own experiences. Share your own experiences of school — cliques have been around for a long time!
Help put rejection in perspective. Remind your child of times he or she has been angry with parents, friends, or siblings — and how quickly things can change.
Shed some light on social dynamics. Acknowledge that people are often judged by the way a person looks, acts, or dresses, but that often people act mean and put others down because they lack self-confidence and try to cover it up by maintaining control.
Find stories they can relate to. Many books, TV shows, and movies portray outsiders triumphing in the face of rejection and send strong messages about the importance of being true to your own nature and the value of being a good friend, even in the face of difficult social situations. For school-age kids, books like "Blubber" by Judy Blume illustrate how quickly cliques can change. Older kids and teens might relate to movies such as "Mean Girls," "Angus," "The Breakfast Club," and "Clueless."
Foster out-of-school friendships. Get kids involved in extracurricular activities (if they aren't already) — Martial Arts is a great choice. Martial Arts schools are Bully Proof Zones, kids treat each other with respect and kids are part of a positive team of role models.
You are invited to try a Beginner's Martial Arts Workshop, for self defense, fitness and fun. Call us to register for this week's FREE community workshop for kids!
So there's a lot to gain from regular physical activity, but how do you encourage kids to do it?
The three keys are:
When kids enjoy an activity, they want to do more of it. Practicing a skill — whether it's swimming or riding a tricycle or martial arts — improves their abilities and helps them feel accomplished, especially when the effort is noticed and praised. These good feelings often make kids want to continue the activity and even try others.
I have been involved with teaching martial arts to children for more than 40 years. Over those years I had the opportunity to teach thousands for kids and help other martial artists develop programs to inspire kids to train, develop positive beliefs, gain confidence and self esteem. I don't know of another sport or art that does these things as effective as martial arts. Classes are fun, kids get positive encouragement, learn to over come challenges, learn sportsmanship and goal setting. If you are looking for an activity with a purpose contact a martial arts school that specializes in kids classes. You and your child will be glad you did.
Author of The Silva Solution: Building Black Belts from the Inside Out
President of Black Belt Schools International
The Effects Of Bullying
Kids and teens are hesitant to talk about being bullied. Parents should watch for sudden changes in your child’s behavior.
Signs of Being Bullied
Signs can include:
Reluctance to go to school
Sudden drop in grades
Staying away from friends
Frequent complaints of headaches and/or stomach aches
Long-Term Effects of Bullying
Bullies create a constant fear in their victims. Some kids may:
Lose all self-esteem
Suffer from severe depression
Could turn to drug and alcohol use
Could start self harming
Some kids are so tormented that they use suicide as an alternative.
Kids and teens look to their parents for protection and advice. Many think bullying will toughen kids up or that it’s a right of passage. It used to be like that. Not anymore! Our kids are subjected to more than we ever were. It’s a different world today!
We cannot allow our children to hurt from these senseless acts of empowerment from other kids who have learned this behavior.
And remember – what is learned can be unlearned.
Martial Arts training is great for building confidence with competence. Check out our trial offer! Contact us for more information on how we can help your child!