Get kids into value-focused activities


This article explains the action children bullied at school can take to resolve the problem; or prevent falling into the bullying trap themselves. One way is to encourage them to participate in activities that develop life skills.

Pil Sung Do is a martial art that teaches self-defence in a controlled and structured environ-ment to show children how to live a healthy and happy life, whilst respecting those around them.

Bullying in schools has been a problem for many years but, despite strenuous efforts by the Government and local authorities to stop it, it is still an area for concern.

An Ofsted Telus 3 survey carried out in 2008 found that 44% of young people say that they’ve been bullied at school. Bullies often pick on those that appear to be weak and vulnerable and this is usually because the bully knows that they will be able to aggravate this person’s life without fear of retaliation.

Bullying takes on many forms – including cyber bullying, homophobic bullying, bullying children with special educational needs (SEN) and racial, religious and cultural bullying – all of which can land a nasty blow on a child’s quality of life and ifit’s not stopped it can lead to serious mental-health issues.

Acts of bullying amongst younger children commonly focus on a physical aspect of the victim that society views as “irregular” when compared to the majority of people. These might include unfavourable comments about a particularly large facial feature or a brand of shoe that isn’t one of the popular high-street ones, for example.

Other acts of bullying can be far more serious and include taunting victims with malicious and derogatory comments, personal threats, criminal damage and even assault.

Some critics might dismiss lightweight acts of bullying such as name-calling between children as minor childish playground exchanges. One argument is that these exchanges offer an opportunity for children to experience receiving unfavourable comments and to learn how to deal with them, which helps to strengthen a child’s character for later life.

However, whilst building a child’s character is an important part of childhood, no one should be subjected to bullying. It is universally agreed that bullying is unacceptable at any level and at any stage of life – whether the act is considered lightweight or not.

Key life skills

Encouraging children to participate in activities that teach and develop key life skills is one way of helping to reduce acts of bullying.

Pil Sung Do is a martial art that teaches self-defence in a controlled and structured environment and is geared to educate children on how to live a healthy and happy life, whilst respecting those around them.

On a physical level, learning to defend one’s self requires skill, ability, determination, focus and a good level of fitness. In addition, learning a martial art also requires confidence, courage, focus, understanding and the vision to be able to interpret an environment appropriately and respond in an effective and proportionate manner, whilst being responsible for the outcome of one’s actions.

These qualities can provide children with a physical and mental framework that they can draw upon at any time to help manage a life situation in which they find themselves.

As well as learning self-defence, Pil Sung Do offers an opportunity to encourage and educate people to create an all-round healthy lifestyle that is centred on good-willed ambition, solid commitments, respect for others and responsibility for one’s actions.

Help for victims

When children become victims of bullying, the effects can be soul destroying. Confidence levels can plummet, life can become depressed, feelings of dejection set in, self-esteem drops and their sense of security can shatter.

The overall sadness of the condition in which a child’s life has become can cause their mental and physical health to suffer dramatically if left untreated.

Victims of bullying are advised to keep detailed records of bullying incidents and speak to someone like a parent, teacher or Pil Sung Do instructor about their experience and get them to take action to tackle it.

If the bully has threatened to make things worse if you tell, then try to ignore this and seek help as they are probably only scared of being caught themselves.

Reporting an incident of bullying toward you or someone you know is not a sign of weakness – it is the first step to resolution. If you fear for your safety after reporting it then consider writing an anonymous note to a teacher to protect your identity and make sure that as much information as possible is included as this will aid with the impending investigation. Alternatively, call ChildLine on 0800 1111.

Advice for bullies

Whilst it is important to sympathise with victims, it is also necessary to gain an insight into what fuels a bully’s spiteful intentions in order to build an understanding of why it happens and what can be done to prevent it.

Bullies are often unhappy themselves due to a situation that is separate from their victim but they feel a release when they bully.

They may also be low on self-esteem due to a period of poor coursework results or from having to live in the shadow of a more successful sibling, for example.

Some often want to appear to be popular among their school friends and will use bullying as a way of dealing with peer pressure and to avoid being left out.

Advice for bullies is to find someone that you feel confident with and discuss what it is that makes you want to bully others. Try asking the school what anti-bullying schemes are available and seek help from them.

Talking to someone older than you, who may have already experienced the situation that you are going through, may help to learn ways of dealing with it whilst continuing to function in everyday life.

If you are worried about your friends finding out then find a way to cover your tracks by organising to speak to a teacher at the end of the school day after everyone has gone home so that you won’t be seen.

Action is more positive than reaction so taking control of the situation and resolving it head-on will reap greater rewards than allowing the situation to determine what you do. If you would like to talk in confidence to someone that is impartial, call ChildLine on 0800 1111.

Pil Sung Do

Whilst the Government and schools work together in the fight against bullying, encouraging children to participate in activities like Pil Sung Do is one way to occupy their free time and help protect them from bullies or from falling into the bullying trap themselves.

People who are strong, confident, courageous and able to defend themselves if need be are often seen as the least favourable targets by bullies.

Pil Sung Do offers the opportunity for children to get involved in a fun activity that will teach and develop valuable life skills, as well as learning self-defence to protect yourself should this be necessary. You’ll learn things that you never knew you could do!