Bullying – See Something, Say Something

If your child is being bullied, don’t ever give up. If you are being bullied and no one will listen keep talking, keep telling more and more people. Don’t think that it will go away because the behavior won’t until people are held responsible for their actions. If you see some one being bullied, stand up.

Don’t expect the school system to help. Often parents come to C.O.B.R.A. Bully Response Plan seminars upset and exhausted that the school would not reprimand students who where bullying their kids. It became a “my word against his/her”. Keep in mind, it’s not completely their fault because they don’t have a system to handle what would be considered assault or harassment as an adult.

Think about an adult who harasses or attacks another person and the legal steps required to prove quilt and punishment. Schools and their teachers have trouble determining how much authority they have to accuse and take action against another student without getting blamed for over stepping. That’s why the “How To Help Your Kid Deal With Bullies – Zero Tolerance Bully Response Action Plan” uses incident reports to show school authorities when, where and how attacks are taking place. You report the repetitive abuse and it makes it easier discuss solutions, for accusations to go up the chain in the school district, and should need be, to the police department. It’s like building a case!

Children are not born bullies. Childhood development starts with learning from their parents, care givers and siblings. School aged children are than introduced to peers and start to assimilate their behaviors and opinions. In a nut shell, they learn behavior from what happens to themselves or others. Another possibility for younger aged bullies is bad behavior gets them results they want, and it’s not corrected properly. With that in mind, it is not your responsibility to talk to the parents of the bully. You don’t know their story or problems and you won’t be able to provide the help they need. Let school authorities or the police handle that part. It would become more of a headache than help for you.

Zero Tolerance. Bullying often starts small. Like flicking your kid’s ear from the desk behind. Your child ignores it. The next day, the student is kicking his/her chair. Your child may not feel comfortable talking to you about it. They may want to handle it themselves or they could be embarrassed or feel bad. What ever the reason, it’s up to you to have open communication with your kids and look for changes in their behavior and demeanor. Because tomorrow, that student might escalate to pushing your son or daughter and punching them. That’s where zero tolerance comes into play. By taking action when it first starts you stop it from getting out of control and traumatizing your child. You keep asking how school was even if you get the same simple answer, ‘it’s fine’, every day.

Bulling, like all crimes, is a crime of opportunity. Eliminating opportunities can help you avoid 98% of bullying. Whether it’s in your neighborhood, on a sports team, at school or online, as parents and kids you can make choices to avoid “shark invested waters”. C.O.B.R.A suggests no child to have a smart phone, facebook account or any other online presence until 18 years old. These are places where strangers and bullies can attack your child. You can’t eliminate all the downtime your child has, so discuss it with them to minimize the danger. At school they should go to the safest place, by a teacher or principal’s office. The halls are where the sharks swim. Go straight to your classroom instead of waiting in shark invested waters.

Fighting back as a last resort. Learning proper child self-defense is different from taking martial arts. It’s not about punching and kicking bags. It about identifying the threat and taking action. Don’t tell your child to take the first punch. There’s no point. Often, schools have their own zero tolerance protocol, so any student involved, even a student saving another from a beat down can be punished. Also, telling a child to take a hit can be traumatizing and seriously puts your child at a disadvantage in a fist fight. When looking for a self-defense program consider your child’s strikes might be good enough against a school yard bully but not against a full-grown attacker. Kids are also soft targets, smaller, weaker, lighter than the average person so the ability to takedown or manipulate joints or anything like that won’t work. So, look for a program with child specific striking and anti-abduction techniques that can be used on bullies to adults.

Creator, Chris Sutton, of C.O.B.R.A. Selfdefense Program advice on finding a bully prevention program and what to look for.