Is there Bullying in Mount Airy?

Questions worth digging into!

What is Bullying

Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may have long lasting consequences.  Kids who bully are often lacking something in themselves.  They feel a need to assert their strength or power whether real or perceived to fill a void.  Kids are generally a product of their environment and there is an underlying cause for the bullying.  In most cases once the bullying occurs unanswered, it will occur again and again.  A bully can derail your child’s future!

Types of bullying right here in Mount Airy

There are three types of bullying recognized on the  federal website: (Cyber bullying can include both verbal and social)

  • Verbal bullying is saying or writing mean things. Verbal bullying includes:
    • Teasing
    • Name-calling
    • Inappropriate sexual comments
    • Taunting
    • Threatening to cause harm
  • Social bullyingsometimes referred to as relational bullying, involves hurting someone’s reputation or relationships. Social bullying includes:
    • Leaving someone out on purpose
    • Telling other children not to be friends with someone
    • Spreading rumors about someone
    • Embarrassing someone in public
  • Physical bullying involves hurting a person’s body or possessions. Physical bullying includes:
    • Hitting/kicking/pinching
    • Spitting
    • Tripping/pushing
    • Taking or breaking someone’s things
    • Making mean or rude hand gestures

Who’s at risk?

A bully could select your child for many reasons or no reason.  There is no single factor. Bullying can happen anywhere—cities, suburbs, or rural towns.

Generally, children who are bullied have one or more of the following risk factors:

  • They are perceived as different from their peers, such as being overweight or underweight, wearing glasses or different clothing, being new to a school, or being unable to afford what kids consider “cool”
  • Might be perceived as weak or unable to defend themselves
  • Are depressed, anxious, or have low self esteem
  • Could be less popular than others and have few friends
  • Do not get along well with others, seen as annoying or provoking, or antagonize others for attention

However, even if a child has these risk factors, it doesn’t mean that they will be bullied.  We address all of these areas in a children’s martial arts program in Mt. Airy.  Check out the principles that our program fosters here

Signs your child is being bullied

It can difficult to know if your child is getting bullied.  We have found at our Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu academy in Mount Airy , NC that children give several reasons why no one knows they are getting bullied.  No child wants to be bullied.  Children are often ashamed that they are being bullied.  The feel like they aren’t adequate and that they have let their parents down.

There are many warning signs that may indicate that someone is affected by bullying—either being bullied or bullying others. Recognizing the warning signs is an important first step in taking action against bullying. Not all children who are bullied or are bullying others ask for help.

It is important to talk with children who show signs of being bullied or bullying others. These warning signs can also point to other issues or problems, such as depression or substance abuse. Talking to the child can help identify the root of the problem.

Look for changes in the child. However, be aware that not all children who are bullied exhibit warning signs.

Some signs that may point to a bullying problem are:

  • Unexplained injuries
  • Lost or destroyed clothing, books, electronics, or jewelry
  • Frequent headaches or stomach aches, feeling sick or faking illness
  • Changes in eating habits, like suddenly skipping meals or binge eating. Kids may come home from school hungry because they did not eat lunch.
  • Difficulty sleeping or frequent nightmares
  • Declining grades, loss of interest in schoolwork, or not wanting to go to school
  • Sudden loss of friends or avoidance of social situations
  • Feelings of helplessness or decreased self esteem
  • Self-destructive behaviors such as running away from home, harming themselves, or talking about suicide

What can you do as a parent?

One of the best things you can do is have your child in activities that instill self-confidence.  There is no better program for this than martial arts.

As a parent you need to be sure that your child doesn’t feel like a failure if they were to get bullied.  You need to be sure they understand that they can talk to you without being judged. Make then aware that it happens often and that it is inappropriate and you have their back.  If your child things you will be disappointed in them for getting bullied then they will never come to you.  Kids sometimes will not tell a teacher because they don’t want to be labeled a tattle tale.  Because marital arts discusses bullying in a welcoming environment it is generally easier to get them to open up to an instructor.  You can find some do’s and don’ts after observing bullying here:

How can martial arts help?

Arm Your Child With Self Esteem

Martial arts can not only instill self confidence but it can teach valuable self defense techniques should your child need them.  A comprehensive program will include curriculum that addresses bullying, before the incident, during the incident and after the incident.  It is difficult to find an academy that teaches deescalation communication but they are out there.  Learning the valuable skill of Verbal Judo is one of the best things for a child.

Kevin Pyles is a Black Belt Brazilian Jiu Jitsu instructor that is a Nationally Certified Bully Expert and teaches in Mount Airy, NC.  He has been a key note speaker for the annual Forsyth County Stand Up, Step Up, anti-bullying event and has taught children how to negate bullying for over 25 years.  Your child can try a free class by registering at the bottom of the page here.