October is National Bully Prevention Month. At Northwest Austin ATA, one big part of our mission is developing leaders – and one great way a leader can impact their communities is understanding how to avoid or respond to bully situations.
Let’s face it, as parents we want to know our children are safe and happy, and are able to develop their full potential. The last thing we want is for them to have to deal with bullying, or even be worried about the potential of bullying. Additionally, we all know that each fall our children deal with a lot of social stress as they get settled into school routines and activities. This is happening right now, in schools across Austin and nationwide.
It is my belief that the self confidence that develops in our program at Northwest Austin ATA is key to “bully proofing”, and that having kids participate in a high quality martial arts program is an easy action parents can take when there are concerns about potential bullying situations at school.
The foundational lifeskills that we teach at Northwest Austin ATA – Discipline, Honesty, Respect, Communication, Self-Esteem and Belief – not only support and build upon the instruction and values you instill at home, but systematically work to develop our martial artists into everyday leaders. Leaders who understand that when witness to a bullying situation, they need to step up and take action. Those who do nothing are actually communicating to the bullies that their actions are acceptable.
According to the website http://stompoutbullying.org, once leaders know how to respond they can stop being a simple bystander and become an upstander. Upstanders, as suggested by the name, stand up to the situation. They take action. It takes courage, assertiveness, compassion, and most importantly leadership in order to fulfill this role.
These skills, like any other skill, take practice to develop. Martial Arts classes at Northwest Austin ATA are the perfect safe environment for students to learn to respond in the right way when bullying happens around them.
I invite you to “take our challenge” by attending a free trial class, and find out how to become a part of the solution.