October is National Bully Prevention Month.

We sure hear allot about this subject these days.  I thought I would let you know about a great government website about this subject (seeUnknown the links listed below).   There is tons of great information, from what it is to what it isn’t on this site.  However, I want to focus just for just a minute on what bullying is not.

A Behavior needs to have 3 things to be considered bullying.

1.) Be aggressive

2.) Be repeated

3.) Have a real or perceived imbalance of power

When these are considered, many, many things that are said to be bullying are actually not.  More than likely they are just peer conflict.  Even though the behavior is not nice, such as teasing or name calling, it isn’t bullying unless it is aggressive, repeated and has an imbalance of power.  Teasing can be bullying and so can name calling but in my experience in teaching martial arts, teaching school and dealing with children of all ages for over 30 years, usually these behaviors are version of peer conflict.  Meaning one person doesn’t like what another has done and will lash out with this type of behavior.  We still need to stop the behavior and help the children resolve the issues.  However, let’s not call it bullying unless it really is.  We should be very careful to label a child as a bully who was just defending themselves, albeit not in a good way but still they were standing up for themselves.   We need to give them tools and techniques to help them resolve these peer conflicts in the future while still empowering them to stand up for themselves and others in a positive way.  So essentially please don’t call these things bullying unless it is aggressive, repeated and has an imbalance of power.

All that being said, please educate yourself and your children on the subject.  These issues don’t stop at high school graduation, it happens in college, the workplace and in life.  But it usually morphs into harassment and other types of behavior that is more destructive and debilitating.

At Total Ryu we educate our youth students on bullying, and how to deal with it at school and at home.  We do this during our matchat sessions.  We talk about this and other topics such as eating healthy, exercise, safety and being helpful.  If you have any subjects you would like talked about during matchat just let us know.