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The Confidence Factor: A Parent's Guide to Bully Prevention

The Confidence Factor: A Parent's Guide to Bully Prevention

Table of Contents
About the Authors.. page 4 Preface.. page 7 Introduction.. page 11 Basic Self-Defense Techni 4! "onclusionpage #1


The Confidence Factor: A Parent's Guide to Bully Prevention


Dedication % Ac&no'ledg(ents
Sifu Romain dedicates this boo& to all the )icti(s of bull*ing and their fa(ilies. Sandra Klein dedicates this boo& to +a*e ,egincos- her dear friend- life coach- and business partner. Both authors 'ould li&e to offer a special than&s to the "a.uco( fa(il* for being a part of this boo&.

About the Authors


/orld "ha(pion and 0nited International 1ung 2u 3all of 2a(e inductee Sifu ,o(ain has been stud*ing and training in 1ung 2u for $4 *ears. 3is tele)ision appearances include4 Oprah- Dr. OzDisco)er* 3ealth "hannel- 5SP6- Good Day AB"-T9 6e's and 2o: 6ational 6e's. 6ot onl* is Sifu ,o(ain a /orld "ha(pion- but he also trained and (entored (an* students 'ho 'ent on to beco(e /orld "ha(pions. T'o of these children 'ent on to beco(e the *oungest e)er inductees into the the 0nited International 1ung 2u 3all of 2a(e. Sifu ,o(ains; clientele is )er* di)erse. 3is students range fro( as *oung as age 4 to age <=. Sifu has also trained (an* athletes and celebrities. In factA(ani Too(er of the 6e' >or& 8iants football tea( continues to train 'ith Sifu ,o(ain. BC !st "oo#- The

e$ %or#- 7S8 6et'or&s-

Sifu ,o(ain is al'a*s stri)ing to go be*ond his best. 3e is a /orld "ha(pion athlete- successful business (an- and a teacher at heart. 3e is continuall* finding 'a*s to inspire e)er*one he (eets to do their best. Sifu ,o(ain and his tea( ha)e created the Bull* Safe Progra(. It is a co(prehensi)e progra( designed to gi)e children- parents- and teachers the abilit* to deal 'ith the serious issue of bull*ing- using co((on sense and non-)iolent solutions. Bull* Safe teaches *our children to use their (ental self-defense before e)er considering ph*sical action- to &eep the( safe and a)oid potentiall* dangerous situations.


Sand* 1lein is a "ertified Professional "oach and 5nerg* ?eadership Inde:7aster Practitioner. She recei)ed her certificate fro( the prestigious Institute for Professional 5:cellence in "oaching @iP5"A. Sand* guides and e(po'ers people to create a life the* lo)e as a Thought "oach for Thought in 7otion in 7ontclair- 6e' +erse*. As a results dri)en

and action oriented professional- she helps clients to achie)e po'erful and (easurable life changing results that last. Throughout Sand*Bs 'ell-established career in the phar(aceutical industr*her 1= *ears of sales (anage(ent e:perience focused on de)eloping the latent talents and s&ills in the sales people she coached. Sand* has a passion for teaching and (a&ing a difference in peopleBs li)es.

I chose to 'rite this boo& because as a (artial arts instructor 'ith (ore than != *earsB e:perience- I ha)e noticed an increase in the nu(ber of children attending (* acade(* because the* are being bullied in school. Parents don;t al'a*s ha)e the resources or infor(ation necessar* to assist

their children. Parents are 'or&ing and stressed out and school teachers ha)e to deal 'ith o)ercro'ded class roo(s. 2rustration is gro'ing. 7ost of the children being bullied are not getting the assistance the* desperatel* need. /e hear that teen suicides and )iolence are on the rise. 3opefull*- this boo& can pro)ide so(e necessar* tools and ans'ers for parents- children- and educators ali&e. Bull*ing is at epide(ic proportions in our co((unities. Statistics sho' that4 1 out of 4 &ids is bullied. 1 out of C &ids ad(it to being a bull*- or doing so(e bull*ing. A dail* a)erage of 1#=-=== children (iss school because the* fear the* 'ill be bullied if the* attend classes. Dn a)erage- !<!-=== students are ph*sicall* attac&ed b* a bull* each (onth. 5)er* 7 (inutes- a child is bullied on a school pla*ground. 7ore than <CE of those instances occurring 'ithout an* inter)ention. The nu(bers are disturbing. In such cases of pla*ground bull*ing- peer inter)ention occurred in 11E of cases- 'hile adults inter)ened onl* 4E of the ti(eF I ha)e also noticed that parents 'ho 'ere bullied the(sel)es are see&ing the help and ans'ers that the* didn;t recei)e 'hen the* 'ere children. 7ost are still dealing 'ith the effects of bulling e)en as adults. /ithout

inter)ention- bull*ing can i(pact a )icti(Bs future life in (an* insidious 'a*s4 proble(s for(ing close relationships- proble(s 'ith asserting oneself- proble(s 'ith self-confidence and poorl* de)eloped tolerance for frustration. I ha)e seen ho' teaching such i(portant ?ife S&ills as co((unicationpublic spea&ing and rapport building ha)e i(pro)ed the confidence le)el of (* students. I can re(e(ber one student in particular 'ho 'as struggling 'ith not onl* being bullied- but also 'ith his abilit* to (a&e friends. This child had a lot of great ualities but 'as sh* and sociall* a'&'ard. 3is parents hoped that learning (artial arts 'ould (a&e a difference. It did on a ph*sical le)el- but it still 'asn;t uite enough to bring out the ualities in hi( that 'e all &ne' he had. This challenged (e to ta&e a closer loo& at 'hat I 'as doing. 7artial arts teach students (ore than .ust ho' to i(pro)e their ph*sical sta(ina- speed and coordination- and I 'anted to &no' 'h* it 'asn;t enough to bring this bo* out of his shell. As I continued to 'or& 'ith hi( I realiGed that he 'asn;t alone. Adults had so(e of the sa(e issues. That;s 'hen 'e changed our focus fro( being a blac& belt school to beco(ing a blac& belt leadership school. /e began teaching leadership s&ills in con.unction 'ith the (artial arts techni ues and philosoph* that 'e ha)e al'a*s used. /hen 'e anal*Ged the results of our ne' progra(s- 'e sa' a tre(endous i(pro)e(ent across

the board in the confidence le)el of our students. ThatBs 'hen I realiGed the true )alue of the confidence factor. This child- 'ithout e)er getting into a ph*sical altercation 'ith the bulliesnot onl* got the( to lea)e hi( alone- but uic&l* beca(e (uch (ore popular 'ith his peers. 3e 'ent on to &no' that he could handle hi(self in an* situation- and that&s real confidence. 3e learned that he could handle hi(self if things got ph*sical- but (ore i(portantl*- he learned to first use his )erbal s&ills as a tool to help hi( (a&e friends and defuse confrontations. This is 'h* I a( so co(pelled to share 'hat I ha)e learned through (* e:periences. I ha)e approached this sub.ect of bull*ing fro( the perspecti)e of both ?ife S&ills and 7artial Arts. Together- the* can de)elop the confidence factor in an* students that appl* the(sel)es. I hope *ou find the infor(ation useful and 'ill e:plore the techni ues contained 'ithin the follo'ing pages. I &no' that onl* b* i(ple(enting these techni ues can 'e trul* (a&e a difference in our co((unities e)er*'here. I feel this sub.ect is of gra)e i(portance to the future of our co((unities e)er*'here. I hope *ou find the infor(ation useful and 'ill i(ple(ent the techni ues contained on the follo'ing pages. I &no' onl* b* i(ple(enting these techni ues 'e can (a&e a difference e)er*'here.

In 'or&ing 'ith Sifu ,o(ain on this bull*ing pro.ect- I realiGed that there are (an* situations that could be a)oided si(pl* b* being a'are of *our surroundings. 2or e:a(ple- 'hen &ids are te:ting and not pa*ing attentionthe* (a* 'al& right into har(Bs 'a*. A'areness isnBt .ust about ph*sical a'areness. Thought a'areness is about being a'are of not onl* 'hat 'e are thin&ing- but 'hat 'e are pro.ecting to the 'orld. An e:a(ple of this is 'hen 'e are dressed up. /e feel good and 'e think 'e loo& good. /e are ha)ing positi)e thoughts and radiating

good energ*. The people and the 'orld around us help *ou to confir( that good feeling. >ou are 'al&ing do'n the street and *ou notice people ad(iring *ou. >ou 'al& into the office and co-'or&ers ta&e notice. The* are telling *ou ho' good *ou loo&. The sa(e can be true 'hen 'e are in a place of negati)e thoughts. It can lead us to not feeling good about oursel)es. /hen 'e are lac&ing self-confidence- or 'e donBt feel good about the 'a* 'e loo&- 'e pro.ect that negati)e energ* and the 'orld around us confir(s that bad feeling. >our self-tal& represents *our self-'al&. /hen *ou are confident and *our thoughts are positi)e- *ou usuall* ha)e better posture- *ou s(ile- and *ou (a&e e*e contact 'ith people. /hen *ou lac& self-confidence and *our thoughts are negati)e- *ou are (ost li&el* loo&ing do'n as *ou 'al&. >ou are a)oiding e*e contact 'ith others. >our bod* language is re)ealing a posture 'here *ou are slu(ped o)er and *our shoulders are rounded. 3o' (an* of us are trul* a'are of our thoughtsH 3o' a'are are 'e in the present (o(ent- the 6D/H Dur core thoughts lead to our core feelings and e(otions. This effects ho' 'e act and produces our end result. 3a)ing selfconfidence can (a&e a big i(pact of oneBs o)erall abilit* in life to acco(plish (an* things. As a Thought "oach- I specificall* 'or& on peopleBs thought patterns and ho' the* are pro.ecting their realit*.

5)en if so(eone has had a life-long pattern of self-defeating thoughts- that person has the po'er to change this. "onfidence and Strength begin 'ith the (ind. 3ere are three principles of thought energ*4 1. Thought to congruenc*4 >our thought I feeling J an action andKor a result. /hen *ou thin& positi)e- *ou feel good- and the result is a feeling of happiness. Thoughts are li&e a (agnet. Dur thoughts attract the feelingand the feeling attracts a result. /e literall* beco(e 'hat 'e thin& da* in and da* out. Things sho' up (ore fre uentl* and right on ti(e because 'e are creating good thoughts. >our thoughts are aligned. !. Thought-bloc&ing4 Bloc&ing out the thoughts that donBt ser)e *ou. In 7artial Arts- 'e protect oursel)es fro( un'anted attac&s b* using bloc&s. The concept of thought bloc&ing is si(ilar. >ou ha)e to protect *our (ind fro( un'anted thoughts. /e do this b* putting our attention on the results that 'e 'ant to achie)e. $. Shift *our thoughts- Shift *our energ*4 2irst- beco(e a'are of *our thoughts. Then- beco(e conscious of 'hat *ou are thin&ing. 6e:t- choose 'hat *ou 'ant and focus on that. >our ne' thoughts 'ill shift *our energ*. At Thought in 7otion- 'e call this a better feeling thought. /hen teaching the Thought 5nerg* "oncept to *our children- follo' these si(ple steps4

2irst- be a'are of 'hat the* are thin&ing b* listening closel* to 'hat *our child is sa*ing. Then- as& the( uestions to challenge their thin&ing )ersus lecturing the( or .ust (a&ing a state(ent. As&ing *our children uestions is a po'erful techni ue that enables the( to thin& through their o'n thoughts and indi)idual e:periences. The* process their thoughts- and it is through this process that the child can stop to thin& about their actions and conse uences in order to (a&e a better choice. 2inall*- teach the( ho' to use and appl* affir(ations. 2or e:a(ple- 'hen I obser)ed a blac& belt testing at Sifu ,o(ainBs acade(*- I noticed that during the training- the students 'ould sa* different affir(ations. ?aterSifu e:plained that the students also use the affir(ations outside the acade(* to o)erco(e different challenges. Such as4 LI feel good li&e a blac& belt shouldFL The energ* that resonates fro( this state(ent is so po'erful it (a* help increase their confidence in different situations. /riting out affir(ations can help a childBs self-estee(. >ou can ha)e the( 'rite out 'hat the* 'ant. LI ha)e the abilit* to acco(plish an* tas& I set (* (ind to 'ith ease.L Thin&ing Lit 'ill be eas*L 'ill help *ou to act upon that thought. So(eti(es- in order to help 'ith the thought- *ou ha)e to affir( the thought. /hen *ou see the affir(ation and *ou sa* it out loud *ou- the 'ords ha)e energ*. >ou start to feel it- belie)e it- and *ou start to li)e it. 6o' letBs appl* these concepts to bull*ing. 3a)e a discussion 'ith *our child. 3ere are so(e e:a(ples of uestions to unco)er 'hat the* belie)e about bull*ing4

/hat are their thoughts about bull*ingH 3a)e the* e)er seen an*one being bulliedH 3a)e the* been a b*stander- 'atching other people being bulliedH /hat do the* thin& the* should do 'hen that occursH /hat happenedH /ho 'as thereH /hat does a bull* loo& li&eH 3o' does a bull* beha)eH If he or she 'ere being bullied- 'ould the* tell *ouH /ould the* tal& to *ou about itH /ho do the* tal& to about itH Are their friends being bulliedH Dnce *ou disco)er 'hat *our child actuall* thin&s- shift the thoughts that are not congruent 'ith the results that *ou 'ould li&e for the(. ,e(e(ber'hen as&ing these leading uestions- be patient 'hen 'aiting for the child to respond. ?et the( thin& through *our uestions. ,ather than .u(ping in and helping the(- let the( 'or& through the process. This 'ill help the( i((ensel*. If *our child is being bullied as& the(4 /hat did the* feelH /hat did the* e:perienceH /hat 'ould the* li&e to see happen in the futureH 3o' do the* thin& the* can change thatH

/hat 'ould it loo& li&e to stand up for 'ho the* areH 3o' 'ould that (a&e the( feelH 3ere is a scenario if *our child is the one doing the bull*ing. ?etBs sa* that the child;s belief is that the first response is to stri&e out- to hit so(eone 'hen the* are upset. Instead of lecturing- start out 'ith uestions li&e4 @MA 3o' old are *ou no'H @AA 1= @MA 3o' old 'ill *ou be 1= *ears fro( no'H @AA != @MA /hat 'ould happen if *ou hit so(eone 'hen *ou are != *ears oldH @MA /hat &ind of trouble 'ould *ou get intoH @MA /ould that be good or badH @MA /hen should 'e learn to control oursel)es and our e(otionsH @MA If *ou learn that no' 'hen *ou are 1=- ho' 'ill it help *ou in the futureH Creatin! confidence throu!h thou!hts The pre(ise of this boo& is that confidence is the &e* ingredient in helping children to o)erco(e bull*ing issues. ?et;s loo& at ho' 'e can increase confidence through our belief s*ste( and personal e:perience. 5:perience is our best teacher in life. /e learn life;s lessons through both positi)e and negati)e e:periences- 'hich is a part of ho' 'e for( our belief

s*ste(s. The real uestion is- is *our belief s*ste( ser)ing *ouH 3o' do *ou &no'H >ou &no' that *our beliefs are ser)ing *ou 'hen *ou are happ* 'ith the results that are sho'ing up in *our life. /e choose 'hat 'e belie)e to be the best possible choice at that (o(ent. It is not until a belief is tested- that 'e trul* &no' 'hat 'e belie)e. Dnce the belief beco(es ce(ented in our (ind- 'e then ha)e a tre(endous a(ount of con)iction. /hen a thought beco(es a con)iction- it no' beco(es the strongest energ*. /hen confronted in a bull*ing situation- the bull* has the strongest energ*. Thoughts influence confidence- and the strongest thought 'ill deter(ine the outco(e of the situation. As a thought coach- I teach that confidence co(es fro( e:perience- con)iction- affir(ations- and belief s*ste(. Together- Sifu and I belie)e that the confidence factor can help (a&e a difference.
Bullying Basics

/hat is a bull*H A bully is a "erson #ho uses aggressi)e beha)ior to affect others$ This behavior can be "hysical and%or emotional abuse re"eatedly directed to#ards its victims$

Studies ha)e sho'n that bullies are (ade- not born. Therefore- 'hen detected at an earl* age- it is possible to train a child to control such i(pulses. This beha)ioral pattern causes a lot of proble(s for the one on the recei)ing end of the bull*ing. This distincti)e pattern of deliberatel* tr*ing to har( or hu(iliate others is the (ain characteristics of a bull*. These actions of inti(idation allo' the bull* to al'a*s be a position of po'er.

Basic bull*ing beha)ior (a* include )erbal or 'ritten abuse- e:clusion fro( acti)ities and social situations- as 'ell as ph*sical abuse. Bullies beha)e this 'a* to be percei)ed as popular- tough- or to get attention. Bull*ing can be classified into t'o categories4

1. Ph*sical aggression !. Social aggression 5:a(ples of ph*sical aggression include4 Sho)ing- po&ing- cho&ingpunching- &ic&ing- pulling hair- scratching- and biting. 5:a(ples of social aggression include4 Spreading gossip- refusing to socialiGe 'ith the )icti(- bull*ing other people 'ho 'ish to socialiGe 'ith the )icti(- criticiGing the )icti(;s race- religion- disabilit*- or se:ual preference. Characteristics of Bullies: ,esearch indicates that adults 'ho bull* ha)e a strong need to control. So(e bullies reflect the en)iron(ent of their ho(e- repeating 'hat the* learned fro( their parents. ,esearchers ha)e identified that the characteristics of a bull* include4 Muic&ness to anger- addiction to aggressi)e beha)iors- percei)ing othersB actions as hostile- and engaging in obsessi)e actions. Since bull*ing beha)ior has its origin in childhood- beha)ioral patterns beco(e (ore sophisticated as a bull* ages. School*ard pran&s and BroughhousingB can de)elop into (ore elaborate sche(es. Planned atte(pts to discredit the )icti(;s character- or less ob)ious *et e uall* forceful for(s of coercion- are possible.

Thin& of such atte(pts as social terroris(4 The bull* see&s absolute do(inance o)er his or her )icti( and 'ill use 'hate)er (eans are (ost con)enientNor e(otionall* gratif*ingNto gain it. Bullies (a* spread ru(ors designed to (a&e the target unpopular. The* (a* pla* ugl* pran&s to get a laugh and do e(otional or ph*sical da(age to the )icti(. The* (a* create elaborate sche(es to put the )icti(s in a hu(iliating position. ,e(e(ber the (o)ie CarrieH The gang of bullies that tor(ented the title character during the pro( scene is a perfect e:a(ple of the &inds of sche(es that bullies are capable of. /hiche)er (eans a bull* chooses to use- the ulti(ate goal is the sa(e4 To terroriGe the )icti(- and the )icti(Bs peers- into ac&no'ledging the bull*Bs Osuperiorit*.P In other 'ords- bullies hurt others to gain 'hat the* donBt ha)eNself-confidence. Df course- 'hen Carrie 'as released in the late 1Q7=s- bull*ing 'as li(ited to the school*ard and the bus route ho(e. Toda*- it is a 'hole ne' ballga(e4 Due to the popularit* of the Internet and Social net'or&ing sitesthe taunting and tor(enting continues e)en 'hen the )icti( co(es ho(e. In fact- according to I-Safe- an organiGation dedicated to Internet safet* education- 4!E of children ha)e been sub.ected to online bull*ing. Df those children- C<E ha)e not told their parents. 7ost bullies are )er* careful thin&ers. The* are sensiti)e to pic& on indi)iduals 'ho lac& asserti)eness and pro.ect fear. Bullies identif* the (ost suitable target before (a&ing their (o)e.

So(e bullies e)entuall* change their beha)ior as the* (ature. 3o'e)erso(e continue to be o)erl*-asserti)e and unable to rationaliGe things in a ci)il (anner- thus beco(ing a threat to societ*.

Teach Your Child to Speak To an Adult

"hildren 'ho are )icti(s of bull*ing 'ill usuall* &eep this infor(ation to the(sel)es for fear of repercussions. This is not ideal since 'e li)e in a societ* 'here b*standers usuall* don;t spea& up or stand up for the )icti(.

Parents should ta&e the initiati)e to encourage children to tell so(eone in charge- 'hen the* happen to be a )icti( or 'itness a bull*ing incident. 2ro( the child;s point of )ie'- this is easier said than done. Dccurrences of bull*ing al(ost al'a*s go undetected until so(ething de)astating happens to bring the incident to light. It;s )er* unco((on for the )icti( to tell on the bull* for fear of being ridiculed. Parents need to e(phasiGe that bull*ing in an* (anner is unacceptable. The best 'a* to get *our child to spea& up should the* encounter a bull*ing e:perience is to reassure the( through constant co((unication- support- and training. Parents should be a'are of their ho(e en)iron(ent and ho' this i(pacts their child;s confidence and abilit* to spea& up. /hen a child doesn;t feel safe- supported- or their opinions (atter- then it beco(es an acceptable standard of ho' the* are treated outside of the ho(e. Adults should be on the alert for children 'ho see( to ha)e the potential to be a bull*. 9icti(s are encouraged to tell on the bull* until the aggressi)e beha)ior is eli(inated altogether.

Solo Children Are Targets

"hildren 'ho are unable to get along 'ith others in a group 'ill e)entuall* be an ideal target for bullies. Parents should ta&e it upon the(sel)es to

teach children to participate in group acti)ities in order to de)elop social s&ills. These acti)ities 'ill be beneficial and foster togetherness. Solo acti)ities help de)elop a child;s independence. See&ing a balance bet'een solo and group acti)ities is i(portant to *our child;s de)elop(ent. Another &e* factor is teaching *our child ho' to (a&e friends. In (* acade(* 'e are )er* deliberate about teaching this )aluable s&ill. /hen a child learns ho' to interact 'ith others- the* auto(aticall* increase their confidence and are less li&el* to beco(e isolated. >ou can read (ore about teaching this s&ill to *our child in the chapter on confidence.

&ffects of bullyin! on those #ho are tar!eted

"hildren 'ho ha)e been the )icti(s of bull*ing can suffer fro( long ter( e(otional and beha)ioral issues. Bull*ing can cause depression- an:iet*and lo' self-estee(. Si!ns to loo' for: ?ac& of confidence 6ight(ares ?oss of appetite Depression ?osing lunch (one* 0ne:plained cuts or bruises Poor grades

Suicide: There is e)idence that bull*ing increases the ris& of suicide. It is esti(ated that bet'een 1C and !C children e)er* *ear co((it suicide because the* are being bullied. Suicide is the $rd leading cause of death a(ong *oung people- resulting in about 4-4== deaths per *ear. D)er 14E of high school students ha)e considered suicide- and al(ost 7E ha)e atte(pted it. 8irls bet'een the ages of 1=-14 *ear olds (a* be at e)en greater ris& of suicide. That ris& goes up e:ponentiall* 'hen the )icti( is taunted o)er se:ual orientation4 8a*- lesbian and transgender students are far (ore li&el* to be bullied into a suicide atte(pt. Bull*ing .ust isn;t 'hat it used to be. 1ids aren;t necessaril* an* crueler toda* than the* 'ere in ti(es pastNchildren ha)e al'a*s found a 'a* to taunt their peersNbut children toda* ha)e a greater accessibilit* to (ethods of reaching their peers after the school bell rings. 3o(e co(puters- cell phones- (obile ga(ing units li&e Son*Bs PSP- iPads and other such gadgets (ean that if a child is online- there is no escape fro( the taunting that &ids in decades past could a)oid b*- sa*- ta&ing a different route ho(e fro( school. The bullies can reach the( on 2aceboo&- T'itter7*Space- ,eddit and an* nu(ber of other social net'or&ing sites. And 'hen the bull*ing isnBt .ust public- but internationally public on the /orld /ide /eb- the ris& of suicide beco(es greater than e)er.

Preventing Suicide of Bullied Youth

3o' do *ou help a child in distress regain a health* e(otional balance and peace of (indH It isnBt necessaril* eas*- but it is achie)able and (ust be done if *our child is going to thri)e into adulthood. If *ou belie)e that a child *ou &no' is in i((inent danger of co((itting suicide- it is )ital to see& i((ediate professional help. A ps*chiatristclinical therapist- counselor or other (ental health professional can gi)e *ou i((ediate access to tools that can at the )er* least relie)e the urgenc* of the )icti(Bs e(otional pain. 3o'e)er- (edication and counseling are onl* a fe' of the tools a)ailable to *ou. 7ost i(portantl*- *ou ha)e *our o'n understanding of the childBs personalit* and e(otional needs- 'hich (eans that *ou ha)e the po'er to help *our child understand that his or her self-'orth has nothing to do 'ith other peopleBs opinions. Parents and caregi)ers can onl* acti)el* pre)ent suicide atte(pts if the* &no' that their child is in e(otional tur(oil. Belo' are se)eral signs to 'atch for. If the signals belo' ha)e beco(e apparent- it is ti(e to ta&e i((ediate action. A sudden chan!e in behavior or tem"erament$ /hile there are an* nu(ber of things that could cause an other'ise health* &id to Oturn on a di(eP and beco(e li&e so(eone else- such changes can be a 'arning sign of *outhful thoughts of suicide- despondence or drug

addiction. ,egardless of the reason- sudden alterations in the childBs sense of self should be noted and e:a(ined. An une("lained "reoccu"ation #ith death$ It is perfectl* nor(al for *oungsters to be fascinated b* death after their first real e:perience 'ith it- be it the loss of a grandparent- the fa(il* pet- a class(ate- etc. 3o'e)er- an unhealth* preoccupation 'ith (orbid interests (a* point to a dar&er (oti)e than (ere understanding- and understanding 'h* *our child holds these interests is an i(portant step in assessing his or her e(otional health. Pre"arin! )final arran!ements* for their "ets or belon!in!s$ If a child *ou &no' is 'riting out a 'ill or suddenl* gi)ing a'a* cherished possessions- so(ething is going on to disturb the childBs e(otional state. Though it is a terrif*ing notion for an* parent to consider- this is a (a.or sign that a child or teenager feels he or she has nothing to li)e for. As& the( 'h* the* suddenl* feel the need to rid the(sel)es of their belongings. If *ou are luc&*- the child could be caught up in so(ething li&e the Otin* houseP (o)e(ent or a si(ilar en)iron(ental concern about consu(eris( and 'aste. If *our child indicates that he O'onBt need these things soon-P get i((ediate (ental health care fro( a suitable professional. Suicide threats$ There is a terrible (isconception that people that intend to &ill the(sel)es 'onBt tal& about it- but that si(pl* isnBt true. 7an* peopleNsuicidal *outh includedN'ill e:press their feelings of despair through either )erbal or non-)erbal (eans. The* (a* 'rite a suicide note- but tell *ou itBs .ust a poe( if the* are confronted about

it. The* (a* (a&e direct or indirect state(ents to the effect of ha)ing nothing to li)e for or a longing to die. If *ou hear or see an* such threats of suicide @especiall* 'hen co(bined 'ith other signsA- ta&e the( seriousl*4 The* (a* be nothing (ore than a budding 8oth phase- or the* (a* be seriousl* conte(plating re(o)ing the(sel)es fro( this 'orld. ThatBs not a ris& an* parent should be 'illing to ta&e. /hat do *ou do if *ou suspect *our *oungster is conte(plating suicideH Belo' are so(e )ital steps *ou can ta&e to gain so(e understanding of the situation and ho' to best help *our child cope4 2irst- donBt frea& out. Si(pl* as& the child directl* 'hether he or she is conte(plating suicide. ,egardless of the ans'er- if *ou feel that he or she is in danger of self-har(- discreetl* re(o)e an* ite(s fro( the ho(e that could li&el* be used in a suicide atte(pt. ?isten to an*thing that the* ha)e to tell *ou 'ithout .udg(ent and 'ith a constant focus on concern for the child. If *ou start .udging or thro'ing around accusations- *ou 'ill effecti)el* shut off a )ital line of co((unication. >ou need for *our child to be able to tal& to *ou. 3elp the( to understand that the o)er'hel(ing e(otions that the* are feeling are te(porar*- and that the* 'ill change as the child gro's and learns to see things fro( different perspecti)es. 3elping *our child loo& at the 'orld through a different fra(e'or& and sho'ing the( ho' to turn a situation fro( a negati)e to a positi)e is an

i(portant step that an* parent or guardian can ta&e to stabiliGe the childBs e(otional health. 7a&e an appoint(ent 'ith a (ental health professional. >our child (a* resent *ou for (a&ing the( go to counseling or ta&e prescription ps*chiatric (edications it in the short-ter(- but the end resultNan e(otionall* health*- stable and A?I95 adultNis 'orth it.

Can Your Child Benefit From Self-defense Classes The training at (ost self-defense acade(ies does not pro(ote the use of )iolenceR ho'e)er- ha)ing &no'ledge of self-defense 'ill be useful in building *our child;s confidence.

If the pri(ar* reason for enrolling *our child in a (artial arts acade(* is to ha)e the( learn ho' to defend the(sel)es- the parent should (a&e this clear to the instructor. A child should ne)er brag or sho' off that the* ha)e &no'ledge of selfdefense. This can incite trouble and should not be encouraged. There are se)eral benefits of (artial arts training that can be realiGed. Dne of 'hich is the abilit* to i(pro)e one;s ph*sical conditioning. A child 'ho is ph*sicall* acti)e 'ill be less li&el* to be the target of a bull*. Another benefit of (artial arts training is i(pro)ed self-estee(. 3a)ing good selfestee( is a good deterrent to bull*ing. The child should understand 'hen it 'ould be appropriate to use selfdefense s&ills. This is a discussion 'e encourage all parents to ha)e 'ith their children. To ensure so(e le)el of safet* 'hen being confronted b* a bull*- self-defense techni ues should be practiced until the* are perfor(ed auto(aticall* 'hen threatened.

Choosin! the ri!ht martial arts academy 6ot all (artial arts acade(ies are ali&e. /hat (a&es so(e (artial arts acade(ies different is si(pl* that a child doesn;t ha)e to be the best- the* .ust ha)e to do their best. If a high degree of focus is put on the ph*sical nature of (artial arts in the classroo(- 'e;re not helping children de)elop at an intellectual and e(otional le)el. In (* acade(*- 'e ha)e a si(ple teaching philosoph* Ocharacter first- abilit* secondP. Abilit* ta&es ti(e to de)elop- in (ost cases *ears- 'ith countless hours of repetition and discipline. "haracter is so(ething 'e can all de)elop in a short period of ti(e. It;s through the perfection of our character that students 'ill de)elop the abilit* to stic& to their training and de)elop the s&ills re uired. ?et (e gi)e *ou a parallel for the adult 'orld. If *ou 'ant to (aintain a high degree of ph*sical fitness *ou ha)e to 'or& out. It doesn;t (ean *ou

ha)e to o)er e:ert *ourself each and e)er* ti(e *ou go to the g*(. >ou .ust ha)e to do *our best 'hile *ou;re at the g*(. D)er ti(e *ou 'ill learn to en.o* 'or&ing out- discipline fro( pushing *ourself- and increase *our confidence as *ou see the difference in *our ph*sical appearance. The process of learning (artial arts is si(ilar. Si(pl* focus on doing *our best. /hen choosing the right acade(* for *our child- consider the follo'ing4 1. Do the* offer a free trial lessonH This 'a* *ou can see ho' *our child 'ill be taught and as& uestions about the acade(*;s teaching philosoph*. !. "an *ou as the parent participate in at least the free trial lesson 'ith *our childH This 'ill gi)e *ou the e:perience fro( the studentBs perspecti)e. As& *ourself- do *ou feel e(po'ered after ta&ing the lessonH If not- *our child 'on;t either. $. /hat is e:pected of *ou as a parent in the acade(*H Do the* encourage parental in)ol)e(ent- support- and at ho(e practice 'ith *our childH

4. Don;t base *our decision to enroll *our child solel* on price or con)enience- instead focus on ualit* of the instruction and the rapport of the instructor 'ith *ou and *our child.

C. 3o' long is the basic agree(ent and can it be canceledH

#. /hat is *our fle:ibilit* le)el )ersus *our co((it(ent le)elH Are *ou 'illing to (odif* *our child;s acti)it* schedule to suit the acade(*;s class scheduleH 7. As& if *our child has to participate in tourna(entsH The tourna(ent e:perience can be good- but 'hen the ti(e is right. Tourna(ents (a* not be a good e:perience for all children. <. /hat are *our goals for *our child stud*ing (artial artsH 7a&e sure that *our goals can be acco(plished in the acade(* of *our choice.

Q. 7artial Arts are based on eastern philosoph*. Are *ou in agree(ent 'ith the protocol of the acade(*H

1=. Dnce *our child has acco(plished the basic le)el of training- support *our child;s efforts to continue training. >ou 'ill find that acco(plishing the goal of blac& belt 'ill (a&e a tre(endous difference in *our child;s life.

Speak To School Officials

It is ad)ised not to go directl* to the bull* or their parent in a school related incident. Spea& to the proper school officials to &eep this situation fro( escalating out of control. Insisting on the school official;s i((ediate inter)ention 'ould be the best 'a* to handle this (atter. /hen there is persistent bull*ing- do not ta&e this situation into *our o'n hands. In al(ost all docu(ented cases- the end results 'ere tragic. 2ro( the )icti(;s point of )ie'- this (a* not be the best solution. The child 'ould be 'orried about the possible repercussions fro( the bull*. 3ere the parent 'ould ha)e to ta&e e:tra (easures to ensure the identit* of the child is not re)ealed. The parent should insist the school ta&e the ut(ost care in handling the (atter s'iftl* and effecti)el*. All contact 'ith school officials should be docu(ented. This 'ill help *ou in the e)ent that there is insufficient action on the part of the school. >our child;s 'ell-being is at sta&e- don;t ta&e this lightl*. >our .ob is to protect *our child. In so(e situations legal action (a* be necessar*. 3a)ing properl* docu(ented all interactions 'ill help *ou support *our case. So(e (ethods used b* schools pertaining to bull*ing 'ould be to get all rele)ant infor(ation in)ol)ing the case. In addition- so(e schools 'ill use

suspension or other for(s of punish(ent to get the bull* to understand the se)erit* of his or her actions.

Teach Composure and Confidence

It is a fact that bullies often target people the* can easil* inti(idate. /hen a child is taught ho' to face situations 'ith co(posure and confidencethen the* are less li&el* to be the )icti( of bull*ing.

It is (* belief that bull*ing 'ill ne)er go a'a*. I belie)e the true ans'er to the bull*ing issue is to instill confidence in our children. "onfidence cannot be taught- confidence (ust be learned. It;s through the e:periences that 'e ha)e. +ust because *ou understand 'hat confidence is- doesn;t (ean *ou ha)e it. It;s not enough to learn 'hat it isN*ou actuall* ha)e to e:perience it- to beco(e it. So *ou can;t teach it- but *ou can pro)ide an e:perience 'here the child can ha)e a feeling of confidence. "hildren learn through ga(es and stories. These can be helpful tools- but 'hat 'e ha)e found to be the (ost effecti)e (ethod is to role-pla* 'ith *our child. /hen *our child role-pla*s- the* are si(ulating the e:perience in a safe en)iron(ent. Si(ilar to practicing (artial arts techni ues in the classroo(- *ou (ust practice until the habit is for(ed and the response beco(es auto(atic. This is 'hat 'e call 'ord )s. 'orld lessons. A 'ord lesson is 'hen so(eone e:plains so(ething to *ou and *ou understand- but a 'orld lesson is 'hen *ou e:perience it for *ourself. 2or e:a(ple- if I 'ere to as& *ou to describe 'hat it;s li&e to bite into an apple *ou (a* find it difficult to e:plain. 3o'e)er- if *ou bit into an apple then *ou 'ill ha)e the personal e:perience. 3ere are so(e additional techni ues that 'ill assist *ou in instilling confidence in *our child. 8i)e the( per(ission and let &no' 'hen is o& to defend the(sel)es.

Teach the( ho' to act or beha)e in bull*ing situations- then support the( 'hen it happens. "onstant co((unication. 0se positi)e affir(ations. An e:a(ple of this is using L*ou can do itL state(ents rather than LthatBs not the 'a* *ou do itFL 6e)er co(pare *our child to another child. >our child (a* feel superior or inferiorR either 'a*- this 'ill not lead to a health* selfestee(. State(ents li&e- O/h* can;t *ou be (ore li&e *our brother or sisterP or O*ou can;t do an*thing rightP should be a)oided. 6o' that *ou ha)e so(e tools on ho' to instill confidence- let (e gi)e *ou so(e effecti)e ideas to teach *our child ho' to o)erco(e bull*ing. A#areness: Teaching *our child to assess the situation before ta&ing an* action 'ould be the first step. Teaching the child the art of trusting their instincts 'ill also be helpful 'hen tr*ing to figure out the situation at hand. 8i)e the( e:a(ples of different situations and as& the( to de(onstrate 'hat the* 'ould do. So(e e:a(ples include4 Pla*ground- classroo(school bus- and lunch roo(. Breathin!: Teaching *our child proper breathing s&ills 'ill allo' the( to sta* cal( in an* situation. Again this should be practiced until the* don;t ha)e to thin& about it. 7a&e sure that *ou teach the( ho' to use slo'deep- rela:ed breaths fro( the diaphrag(. Teach the( ho' the co(bination of posture and breath can de(onstrate confidence.

Communication s'ills: 1eeping a cool head and spea&ing in a confident tone 'ill help to deflect an* i((ediate threat fro( the bull*. It should be noted that an* action ta&en on the part of the )icti( should not be done in a (anner that (ight be percei)ed as tr*ing to challenge the bull*. This could create a negati)e outco(e and the )icti( could e)entuall* end up being bla(ed for the 'hole situation. Standing one;s ground 'ith an air of co(posure- despite the actual feeling of fear- should be so(ething the parent encourages the child to practice. In addition- children should learn ho' to co((unicate and create rapport. This 'ill be a )aluable tool that 'ill last a lifeti(e. 3ere are so(e pointers on techni ues to de)elop effecti)e co((unication and rapport s&ills4 +ame times three theory. 0se a personBs na(e three ti(es in *our con)ersation- it 'ill help *ou to re(e(ber their na(e and personaliGes *our (essage. Be the first to initiate conversation$ Be friendl* and outgoing. Be 'illing to introduce *ourself to others. This 'ill help *ou (a&e friends. ,evelo" a !reat hand sha'e$ This is a s&ill that 'ill last *ou a lifeti(e. 3a)ing a great handsha&e is the first step to gaining trust.

S"ea' slo#ly and be heard$ The faster *ou spea&- the less people 'ill understand *ou. Besides spea&ing slo'l*- (a&e sure *ou spea& at the appropriate )olu(e- this 'ill de(onstrate confidence. ,iscuss- don.t ar!ue$ The purpose of ha)ing con)ersations is to e:change ideas and infor(ation. A good co((unicator e:plains cal(l* 'hat the* belie)e in. Focus on the "erson s"ea'in!$ To be a good co((unicatorfocus on the response of the people *ou are tal&ing to. ,ead their bod* language- this 'ill tell *ou ho' the* feel about 'hat *ou are sa*ing. /earn to listen$ It is said that 'e ha)e one (outh and t'o ears. /e should listen t'ice as (uch as 'e spea&. Allo' others to spea& 'ithout interruption. ?isten closel* to 'hat the* ha)e to sa*. ,evelo" ra""ort buildin! s'ills. Dne of the best 'a*s to build rapport is to be interested in and e:press a sense of curiosit* about people. As& uestions about 'hat a person is sa*ing- and 'hen the* ans'er- as& a uestion about their ans'er. ,evelo" eye contact #hile communicatin!$ 7a&ing e*e contact 'ith people 'hen *ou are tal&ing de(onstrates confidence. 5*e

contact suggests that *ou are interested and 'ant to continue the con)ersation. +ever for!et to smile$ It ta&es (ore (uscles to fro'n @47A- but less to s(ile @17A. S(iling is a sign of being open to co((unication and 'elco(ing people.

Re"eat bac' #hat #as said$ Before *ou respond to 'hat so(eone is sa*ing- repeat bac& to the( 'hat *ou herd. This 'a*- there 'ill be no (isunderstanding about 'hat 'as said.

,istance: Teach the( to &eep their distance. In teaching self-defense and (artial arts s&ills 'e &no' that the person 'ho controls the distance controls the situation. /hen approached- the* should step bac&- &eep their hands up- hands should be open in a stop li&e (anner. Posture should be straight- (aintain e*e contact. The child (a* be able to gain confidence b* obser)ing the(sel)es in front of a (irror so the* can see the positi)e )isual effects.

&(its: Teach *our child to be a'are of e:its and 'hat is a)ailable to the( in their en)iron(ent. 1no'ing 'here the* are in relationship to their en)iron(ent can be )er* beneficial in an* situation. Pla* the e:it ga(e- see if the* can identif* 'here the e:its are 'hen *ou are out 'ith the(. Get a#ay: Teach *our child to get a'a*. ?et the( &no' that there is nothing 'rong 'ith getting a'a* fro( a dangerous situation. ?et the( &no' 'hat the* should do once the* get a'a*- 'here the* should go- 'ho the* should contact. Fi!ht bac': This should be a last resort. Teach the( to see& e)er* 'a* possible to resol)e conflict 'ith their 'ords before e)er resorting to ph*sical action. If all else fails- then the* (a* be left 'ith no choice. Practice 'ith the( different scenarios- see ho' the* respond and then correct the( accordingl*. This is 'here 'or&ing in con.unction 'ith their (artial arts instructor 'ould be beneficial.

Basic Self0,efense Techni1ues

6o' let;s discuss and re)ie' so(e basic (artial arts techni ues. These techni ues are co)ered in (ost (artial arts classes. 2or the purpose of this boo& 'e 'ill begin 'ith funda(ental techni ues for bloc&ing- stri&ing&ic&ing- and stance 'or&. The second half of this chapter 'ill bring it all together b* de(onstrating O'hat ifP scenarios. /e 'ill loo& at countering assaults such as 'rist grabs- bear hugs- lapel grabs- and a headloc&. @6ote4 This is not a self-defense cours e- nor is it intended to replace one. Self-defense techni ues are best taught b* properl* trained instructors in an appropriate setting such as a g*( or do.o. It is onl* suggesti)e of the )er* basics of actual self-defense courses. /e accept no liabilit* for an* in.uries that (a* be sustained b* practicing or ph*sicall* using these techni ues.A

Bloc's: These are defensi)e techni ues used to stop an aggressors stri&e. 2verhead bloc': To perfor( this bloc&- start 'ith *our hand at *our 'aist.

6o' (o)e hand until it is in front and abo)e *our head- 'ith the pal( side of *our fist facing out. >our ar( should be at a 4C degree angle- li&e a rooftop.

n#ard bloc'4 ,ight fro( 'here *our hand is- drop *our hand to ear le)el- pal( out- thu(b to ear- no' bring *our ar( in front to the center of *our bod*. >our ar( should be at a 4C degree angle and *our fist as high as *our e*ebro'- pal( side of fist facing *ou.

2ut#ard bloc'4 7o)e *our hand to'ards the outside of *our bod* as if (a&ing a high sign- but 'ith *our fist closed. >our pal( 'ill face out.

,o#n#ard bloc'4 7o)e *our ar( across *our bod* and turn *our pal( to face *ou as a cat 'ashing its face 'ith its pa'- (o)ing past *our opposite shoulder stopping in *our centerline. 3and in front of *our groin and ar( a'a* fro( *our bod*.

6o' repeat the bloc&s 'ith the other hand

Stri'es: There are a )ariet* of hand techni ues. /e 'ill co)er .ust a fe' generic stri&es 'ithin this section. Palm stri'e: There are se)eral (ethods of using a pal( stri&e. The one 'e are using here is 'ith the side of the pal(. 7a&e sure to pull bac& on 'rist and stri&e 'ith the edge of *our hand- thrust pal( straight out.

Cho": The chop should start at the ear- using the side of *our hand- pal( facing up as if holding a tra*R bring ar( s'iftl* to the center of *our bod*.

Basic Punch: In traditional (artial arts- the punch co(es fro( the 'aist for (a:i(u( po'er. Start 'ith hands at 'aist- pal( facing up- as *ou e:tend *our ar(- turn hand o)er and focus on the first t'o &nuc&les.

Kic's: 1ic&s can be a great e ualiGer in self-defense 'hen used correctl*. 1ic&s can &eep an opponent at a distance. Practice &ic&ing at different heights. 2or self-defense- ne)er &ic& abo)e the 'aist. Front 'ic': Standing 'ith *our feet shoulder 'idth apart- lift &nee to'ards *our chest- thrust leg for'ard- 'ith toes curled bac&. The stri&ing point should be the ball of *our foot.

Side Kic': 2ro( the sa(e starting position- lift *our &nee to side of bod*foot at side of *our &nee- no' e:tend leg stri&ing 'ith the outer edge of foot.

Stances: The stances presented here 'ill help *ou to ha)e balance and strength 'hen perfor(ing self-defense techni ues. 3orse stance: The horse stance is a great stance to 'or& *our leg strength. Start 'ith *our hands on *our 'aist. 6o' step out so the inside of *our &nees are directl* belo' the elbo's- legs should be parallel to the ground- and feet turned in.

For#ard stance: The for'ard stance allo's for use of both the lead and rear hand and foot. To begin- step for'ard 'ith *our foot- place in front of *ou 'ith the front foot turned in- *our lead leg should be parallel to ground and rear leg should be full* e:tended pushing *our rear foot into ground.

Self0defense scenarios /hen all else fails and *ou ha)e e:hausted all other (easures- self-defense beco(es the onl* option. /hen *our child is confronted 'al&ing ho(e and the bull* is no' ta&ing things to a ph*sical le)el and not bac&ing do'n*our child (ust fight bac& or run the ris& of serious in.ur*. 3opefull*- *ou ha)e used the techni ues to prepare *our child 'ith confidence. 1eep in (ind that e)en the (ost confident person 'hen ph*sicall* confronted 'ill ha)e so(e feelings of fear- especiall* if the* don;t &no' 'hat to do. The other ingredient in instilling confidence in *our child is learning 'hat to do in a self-defense situation. @6ote4 The follo'ing techni ues are not a co(plete self-defense course- nor are the intended to replace one. Self-defense techni ues are best taught b* properl* trained instructors in an appropriate setting such as a g*( or do.o. The* are onl* suggesti)e of the (ost basic of self-defense techni ues. /e accept no liabilit* for an* in.uries that (a* be sustained b* practicing or ph*sicall* using these techni ues.A ,efense a!ainst #rist !rab same side: 2irst (a&e *our hand into a fist- then turn 'rist until fist faces ground- then step bac& 'ith opposite legpull ar( as *ou step bac&- once hand is released get a'a* as fast as *ou can.

If the situation is (ore serious *ou can follo' 'ith a chopping stri&e. Dnce *ou release *our ar( pull all the 'a* bac& to *our ear- then (o)e *our ar( to'ards opponent pal( do'n- stri&e should be (ade 'ith side of hand.

,efense a!ainst a bear hu!: /e 'ill 'or& on t'o e:a(ples hereR one fro( behind and the other fro( the front. Dpponent grabs *ou fro( behind- *our ar(s are pinned in- drop *our 'eight as in horse stance. @This 'ill (a&e it difficult for *our opponent to lift *ou off the ground.A As *ou drop- raise both elbo's up- once *our ar(s are free dri)e elbo' straight bac& into opponent- once hold is bro&en get a'a*.

6o' if *ou are grabbed fro( the front- grab *our o'n 'rist and (a&e *our ar(s into the shape of a picture fra(e- then step bac& to for'ard stance

and dri)e forear( into opponents nec& area- once hold is bro&en- get a'a*.

,efense a!ainst a la"el !rab: /e 'ill loo& at both single hand and ! handed attac&s. Dpponent grabs *ou 'ith a single hand @a lapel grabA pushing *ou bac&'ards. Don;t resist- go 'ith it b* stepping bac& into *our horse stance. At the sa(e ti(e counter grab their grabbing hand. 6o' deli)er an in'ard bloc& to opponents elbo'- follo' 'ith a pal( stri&e to face area- and get a'a*

If opponent grabs 'ith ! hands reach o)er and grab opposite hand be sure to pin both ar(s to bod*- step bac& into horse stance- raise hand as if

ringing a bell- drop elbo' on crease of ar(s- then elbo' to face- and get a'a*.

,efense a!ainst a headloc': This attac& is (ore serious than so(e of the others- because *ou run the ris& of being cho&ed. Dpponent applies headloc&- first turn head into ar(pit to get air- dri)e &nee into his calf (uscle- then go bac& to horse stance. 6o' deli)er a double ha((er fist stri&e one to front the other to bac& of opponent- reach o)er opponents shoulder and pull their head bac& no' follo' 'ith pal( stri&eand of course get a'a*.

The ideas I ha)e shared 'ith *ou 'ill assist *ou in *our uest to help *our child to deal 'ith bull*ing. I encourage *ou to see& the ad)ice of a trained (artial arts professional. Besides teaching *our child the co((unication and (ental s&ills presented here- it is (* belief that the (ost i(portant attribute *ou can instill in *our child is a sense of confidence. Belie)e it or not- this one essential ualit* can defuse (ost bull*ing situations before the* start. /hether the confidence co(es fro( safet* in nu(bers- &no'ing that the* can safel* tell an adult- or that the* can defend

the(sel)es- it 'ill sho' in (an* 'a*s- fro( the ob)ious to the subtle- that the* are not easil* )icti(iGed. If *our child is not ingrained 'ith personal confidence- bullies 'ill tend to pic& up on that i((ediatel* and (a&e the( their ne:t )icti(. 2or the (ost part- bullies onl* see& to inti(idate those the* see as 'ea&er than the(sel)esNbull*ing beha)ior- both social and ph*sical- is all geared to'ard that end. It stands to reason then that building confidence is the &e* ele(ent to (a&e all the other (easures that 'eB)e (entioned 'or&. 7ost bullies 'ould rather spend the least a(ount of effort the* can to inti(idate. If the* can get a'a* 'ith hu(iliating other &ids- ta&ing their lunch (one* and so on 'ithout A.A Brea&ing a s'eat- B.A ,unning the ris& of getting beat up the(sel)es- or ".A Being disciplined either at school or b* .u)enile ser)ices- the* 'ill. This is 'here &ids 'ho ha)e confidence- rapport 'ith adults- tra)el 'ith others- and @lastl*A 'ho are able to defend the(sel)es ha)e the ad)antage. If *our child has a fir(l* ingrained confidence in the(sel)es- (an* bullies 'ill si(pl* lea)e *our child alone. So(e (a* be a bit testier and tr* to inti(idate *our child at first- but 'ill gi)e up after it beco(es ob)ious *our son or daughter 'ill not be pushed o)er so easil* b* their actions. It 'ill be onl* in )er* rare cases 'hen a bull* 'ill actuall* escalate to ph*sical )iolence or e:tre(e social hu(iliation in order to gain do(inanceespeciall* if *our child has beco(e &no'n to be confident and be able to

stand up to bullies. 9iolent situations or e:tre(e hu(iliation- for the (ost part- is 'hat bullies inflict on people the* alread* ha)e under their thu(b. Dnce it beco(es 'ell &no'n at school- the neighborhood- or on the fa)ored social (edia sites that *our children are not eas* targets- the* 'ill- o)er ti(e- be left alone b* the bullies. /hen *our son or daughter realiGe that the* donBt ha)e to ta&e LlesserL abuse to &eep the abuse fro( escalating- or that itBs not necessar* in order to be Ocool-P there 'ill be little for a bull* to actuall* use against the(. This single ualit*NconfidenceNhas a s*nergistic relationship 'ith all the other things 'e ha)e discussed. Thin& of it this 'a*4 The One' &id in to'nP is either going to be popular right fro( the start or the* are going to be a pariah. Their self-confidence and outgoingness is 'hat is going to affect 'hat other people thin&. If the* are confident- the* 'ill (a&e friends and gain the societal support structure to protect the( fro( bullies. If the* (erel* Oput on a front-P but 'erenBt reall* confident in the(sel)es- the* could lose those friends uic&l* 'hen their (as& of false confidence falls off. In the O&ids )s. adultsP (entalit* a(ong older children and teens- *our son or daughter 'ill ha)e to ha)e confidence that the* could approach *ou 'ith their proble(s. >ou not onl* ha)e to pro)e to the( that *ou 'ill listen and not dis(iss their proble(s- but that *ou 'ill do so(ething to fi: it- such as contacting the school ad(inistration. This also engenders trust in other adults. If *our child sees that 'hen *ou contacted the school officials and it

fi:ed the proble(- the* 'ill be (ore li&el* to spea& to the school officials the(sel)es. If the* are led to belie)e that things 'ill get 'orse if the* tell- if *ou confir( the t*pical bull* threat b* (ishandling things- things 'ill not i(pro)e- *our child 'ill suffer in silence- and the bull*ing can beco(e disastrous )er* uic&l*. The sa(e thing holds true 'ith self-defense. Practice (a&es perfect- (ainl* because it builds confidence. /hether or not their techni ue is slopp*- selfdefense can fail (iserabl* if the* are not confident in their abilit* to defend the(sel)es. In one instant of self-doubt- their (ind can freeGe and the rest of their bod* 'ill follo' suitNfear ta&es o)er- 'hat the* &no' of selfdefense is gone 'ith the 'ind- and the* beco(e the )icti(- regardless of ho' e:cellent the* nor(all* are in class. "onfidence is e)er*thing. /hile *ou (a* not *ourself be able to teach the( public spea&ing- social s&ills or ho' to fight- *ou can definitel* help build their confidence b* positi)el* encouraging the( to learn these tools and ho' the* 'or&. Training in those areas can al'a*s be delegated to professionals- but the one thing that no professional can pro)ide is parental supportencourage(ent- and- abo)e all- co((unication. After all- if *ou donBt &no' 'hat the* are dealing 'ith- *ou canBt help the(. If *ou canBt help the(then 'ho canH