Bullying

8 Self Defence Tips For Secondary School Students

This advice may or may not work in your particular school. There are no guarantees. Just try out different ideas and see if they work for you. Discuss them with your parents.

  1. Look confident and happy even if you don’t feel that way. Bullies tend to pick on anyone who looks frightened and miserable.
  2. If possible, learn a martial art which will make you feel more confident and which will teach you how to deal with a violent attacker. Practise your running skills so you can get way fast without falling over.
  3. Keep out of the way of bullies but avoid deserted areas of the school
  4. Don’t react angrily if challenged by a bully. Youngsters love to see someone lose their cool. If you don’t react in an aggressive way, they may look for another victim.
  5. But don’t look anxious and frightened. Speak up for yourself clearly and definitely i.e. speak in an assertive way
  6. If someone tries to get you to do something you don’t want to do, just don’t do it. Say clearly that you won’t do it. You don’t have to please anyone by doing something you are not sure about
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  7. Tell your parents and teachers about any incidents when some one has tried to frighten or hurt you. Write down the day and time of the incidents and the names of any one involved or who saw what happened.
  8. Don’t expect trouble. Just believe and picture yourself having a really enjoyable day at school.You probably will.

Possible solutions to bullying in school

Accept that this problem is not an easy one to solve. It takes a lot of thought, time and effort to find the appropriate solution and parents, teachers and student and their classmates need to be involved.

There is no one solution and no one bullying situation. There are, for example, different types of bullying. Some bullies physically bully their victims. Some call them names which make the victim feel useless. Others make sure they are lonely and excluded from the company of other students. Others demand money and other favours. Some do all of the above. Each type of bullying needs to be taken into account.

Be aware that your child or student may either be a victim or a bully or neither. Know how to find out which. To solve a problem, you need to know that there is one. If you can see the problem clearly, you may well find that solutions are staring you in the face.

There are several obvious signs that a boy or girl are victims of bullying:

  • They are repeatedly teased in a nasty way. They are called names and are made fun of in an unfriendly manner.
  • They are pushed around, shoved, hit and kicked and are not able to defend themselves effectively.
  • They have their books and other belongings (including) money taken and thrown around.
  • They have bruises, cuts, scratches and torn clothing which do not have a satisfactory explanation
  • They do not have friends in class because they have low esteem and cannot believe that anyone would want to be their friend. They try to stay close to adults in breaks.
  • Their low self-esteem signals to others that they are worthless individuals who are easy targets and who are unlikely to retaliate if they are insulted or physically attacked.
  • They appear unhappy and tearful and are falling behind in their school work.
  • They are reluctant to go to school and may take longer routes to get there to avoid bullies on the way.

Three solutions emerge immediately from the above analysis of a victim:

  • They are shoved around because they cannot defend themselves effectively. Solution: Join a self-defence or martial arts class where the first thing they will learn is how to stand properly so that they cannot be shoved around. They will also learn how to evade or parry punches and kicks and how to retaliate if they have to.
  • They have few if any friends since they have low self-esteem and do not believe that any one would want to be friends with them. Solution: Find ways t build up their self-esteem e.g. explain how they may have accepted criticisms and name calling as true without questioning them; give them a chance to develop and eventually show off their talents.
  • They are seen as easy targets. Solution: Teach them how to change their body language to signal confidence e.g.  be relaxed but stand tall and walk tall and speak in a clear, assertive manner etc.

John Watson http://www.self-defence.org

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