Hour three of my anti-bullying teacher consultant course for Drum Kempo Ju Jutsu and Fitness. As previously discussed, the course that my client is teaching falls within the broad age range of 9-14 year olds. Fortunately, this is roughly where my “When Parents Aren’t Around” book is targeted (as well as their parents/guardians).
During Wednesday morning’s lesson we followed on from who bullies with how people bully. Given that bullying is a type of abuse of power, there are five categories I use to connect with today’s children.
Physically – Just like any hard data, physical bullying is easily the most obvious subject and pretty much what most people of think of when they discuss bullying. Due to children still developing mentally, physiologically and socially, they interact on a physical basis much more than adults. The average school child has a 50% chance they will be involved in a physical altercation of some description. Children are still learning how to communicate and express themselves, and their early childhood has been heavily based on tactile behaviours. On a basic animal level, the individual who possesses greater strength, size and aggressive drive than other members of their pack or species with typically use these advantages over others to thrive. Understanding this point is key to better managing violence. This is why I address the act of violence early in my teaching and then work back to expand upon soft skill development to reduce the circumstances of individuals having to fight. There is an awful lot to unpack here from teaching children the difference between self-defence and retaliation to setting up a firm moral compass to decide when it is time to fight.
Physical bullying takes several forms from unwanted non-sexual touching to outright sexual harassment to low level incidents of physical harm to outright assaults.
Verbally – This ties into the first as a good amount of verbal bullying is used to bait individuals into violent traps. It’s can be the classic “Shane” Jack Palance scene where Palance’s villain sets up his victim with a gun so he can shoot him. Likewise, bullies coerce some victims into supposed mutual combat situations. Others just wage campaigns of torment. Although we are looking at this through the lens of self-protection, which centres on violence, we cannot ignore the conflict management side of things when it comes to bullying. The fence concept works well as a means for setting up personal boundaries in all aspects of life. Dealing with insults by replying with positive affirmations is one example. Another might be using a broken record to stop someone from bullying you into doing something.
In a Group – This looks at the politics within a group. Humans naturally operate in small groups. As the group expands so it becomes natural to push out members. This might manifest itself in bullying.
With a Group – This addresses being bullied by a group. We looked at pack mentality and ways to break this up.
By Text or Online – We cannot ignore the presence and impact of 21st century technology when it comes to social interaction. The generation we are currently teaching have grown up in a digital age where they spend a large portion of their time communicating through devices and in a virtual world. Cyberbullying needs to be singled out from other types of bullying due to the fact that the victim has less downtime from the persecution campaign.