But, is there something you can do to help kids prepare for potential bullying situations?
The answer is yes.
Protecting Kids Against Bullying One of the things that you should strongly consider is to teach kids to defend themselves when bullies are around. Teaching children basic skills to protect themselves against bullies and dangerous situations is very important as we all know the negative impact of bullying on the social, physical and mental well-being of kids.
Building self-confidence is critical if bullying is to be avoided. Tell kids to walk with confidence and look people in the eyes. A good self-esteem deters bullies so it is important for children to carry themselves with pride and confidence. They should also be assertive without being aggressive (yelling or hitting) and learn to speak in a strong voice not hesitating to scream if the situation calls for it (abductions or muggings).
Identify Dangerous Situations
Children must also learn to assess a situation and leave before it can end up in a fight. It means listening to their guts and reacting to what it tells them. Children should know that running away is not a cowardly act. That in fact, it takes a lot of bravery to walk away from something. With that in mind, they should always look for the way out even if they are cornered and to grab the exit opportunity as soon as available.
Be Mindful of Surroundings
Enhancing awareness of surroundings is also an important strategy in self-defense. Kids should avoid walking alone and if possible, go with a group or a couple of friends. Safety in numbers is key here. They should be alert at all times. Keeping headphones away or avoiding multitasking while walking (texting, video calls, watching movies) should be the norm.
To complement skills that you just taught children, enroll them in a self-defense class. It gives them exercise, improves their concentration & focus and equips them with self-defense strategies that might even save their lives in dangerous situations. What should be stressed is that avoiding a fight is the best recourse and walking away is a good idea. That said, there are basic techniques that can help kids defend themselves against an attacker such as how to use block jabs or ways to pry themselves loose when restrained. The bottom line is, preparing your kids against bullies and attacks can help prevent the devastating effects of bullying which can leave them scarred for life.