By Barbara Gilmour, NJ Mom Squad Team.

While driving through my community recently I saw numerous signs along major highways with the title “Bully Proof Your Kid.” They were advertising martial arts classes. Since I am a strong proponent of social skills training to combat bullying issues, these signs were a little unsettling. I had certainly heard that there were some advocating martial arts training as a way to help kids learn to handle bullying. But, the more I thought about it, the more red flags I saw.

Many kids who bully come from homes where they have been bullied. They are repeating behavior that is condoned there. In a lot of cases, the bullying a child does to someone weaker or defenseless, such as on the bus or when the teacher isn’t looking, is merely retaliation for what was done to them at home.
The schoolyard bully may be repeating behavior learned from kids in the neighborhood. But to teach a child to respond with aggressive behavior seems to do nothing to stop the bullying behavior. It only creates situations that can easily escalate into violence.

Certainly, we need to teach our children to stand up to kids who bully. And, we need to equip them with skills to diffuse a bullying situation. But we also need a more proactive approach, to prevent the bullying from happening. As our children learn skills that boost their confidence and self-esteem, they will be better able to reject bullying behavior.

Bully Proof for Your Kid

Cool Kind Kid(C) Cool Kind Kid