Bullies are created, not born. Somewhere along the line, every bully learns that the way to elevate their social status is to use any power advantage, actual or perceived, to abuse others. More often than not, the bullies learn their aggressive behaviors from their parents, peers, or siblings, and there is no question that much of the influence can often be traced to media portrayals as well. The only way to effectively bullyproof a bully, is to reeducate them regarding the proper use of power.
The Primary Role Models
The same way children learn how to eat, read, and speak from their parents, they also learn how to manage power. So, if the parent has aggressive tendencies and habitually abuses their power, it’s almost certain that the child will do the same. Any parent who is concerned with making sure they do not raise a bully must be particularly careful with how they manage their power, not only in dealing with their children, but in dealing with everyone. If the parent is courteous, humble, and respectful to their child, but verbally abuses the server at a restaurant when the order takes 10 minutes too long, there is a substantial probability that the child would verbally abuse a friend who accidentally kicks the ball out of bounds during a soccer game.
If you’re a parent, the most important thing you can do is lead by example. If you’re doing this, and your child continues to display aggressive behaviors, chances are they are being influenced by someone/something else like a friend at school or someone in the media. In this case, it’s highly recommended that you find new role models that will help influence your child in the right direction, and one proven way to do this is to enroll your child at a Certified Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Training Center.
The Benefit of Martial Arts
At the Gracie Academy we have been very successful at bullyproofing bullies. Approximately 50% of the parents who enroll their children at the Gracie Academy, do so because their children have aggressive tendencies and/or discipline issues. When a child with aggressive tendencies enrolls at the Gracie Academy, our goal is to gradually reeducate the child regarding the proper use of power. First, we focus on establishing strong rapport with the child so they will be receptive to our influence. Once the connection is established, we begin layering in the lessons that will help the child learn how to manage their power with discipline, humility, and the utmost respect for their peers. The primary reason we have been so successful at these types of transformations, is because we lead by example. Once we earn the child’s respect and admiration, we qualify to begin instilling the critical character traits that will shape the rest of their lives.
How You Can Help
Never underestimate the power of a positive role model.
If you’re not a parent or a Gracie Jiu-Jitsu instructor, one of the most powerful things you can do is to become a role model for the children in your community. Whether it’s through a church, an after school club, or a local community center, if you can connect with the kids in your community, then you can guide them in the right direction.