Sunday, January 29, 2012

Could The Golden Rule Be The Ancient Answer To Modern Bullying Prevention?

Could The Golden Rule Be The Ancient Answer To Modern Bullying Prevention?
The Ethic of Reciprocity, Empathy, Compassion and Love To Resolve Bullying

There are proponents of using "The Golden Rule" as the best way to defeat bullying.  But is it the best way to handle bullying for you or your child?

Treat Others Like You Want To Be Treated for Bullying?
Based on several of the world's religions and even a secular point of view, perhaps the one most Westerners are familiar with is the Judeo-Christian lesson from the Bible.  King James version in Matthew 7:12 is perhaps the best known version stating,

"Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets."
According to Wikipedia, "The maxim of the "golden rule" is exemplified in many Christian stories, such as the Parable of the Good Samaritan, which are unadorned replications of the JewishTorah: "Love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD."(Leviticus 19:18 —NJPS)[1]"
Bullying Prevention With A Spiritual Solution
Implicitly as well as explicitly taught in most families and neighborhoods in America is the idea of treating others the way you would like to be treated.  Several character development, respect and tolerance programs also promote these values of social etiquette.

Defeat Bullying With Love?
As protection specialists, our approach is more comprehensive than most.  With a bit of research you will discover many bullying prevention proponents taking one particular approach and applying it to all bullying situations.  While we acknowledge the value of addressing bullying with kindness as one approach, we would argue that it is incomplete.  This is tantamount to offering prescription without diagnosis as each bullying situation has it's own dynamics, factors and therefore risks.
"Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself." – Confucius[15]
Feels Good But Might Be Wrong For This Bullying Situation
While this approach may be the recommended strategy in some situations (and a good one), it is not a one size fits all solution.  In certain circumstances, this advice might be dangerous.  If the bullying has already escalated and kindness has failed, perhaps to the point where your son or daughter is being abused, your child may not be able to wait for kindness and love to resolve the situation.  Keep in mind that children can be sociopaths too.

In Dr. George Thompson's teachings, founder of VERBAL JUDO, preserving the individuals dignity is at the cornerstone of seeking a peaceful, cooperative resolution.  Evidence confirms that this can be an effective tool in peaceful negotiations.

Equipping Children By Guiding Them Through Bullying Situations
Giving the bullying problem back to the child so that they can develop some social skills, personal boundary and safety education can be powerful if done properly and carefully.  However, some situations call for immediate intervention and we should not expect some children, especially very young ones to have the wisdom, threat assessment and maturity skills to handle it alone.  Resolving it for them may also not be the answer and that is why it is important to be trained on such matters and work together with parents, teachers, coaches and approach the situation with wisdom.

We don't want to risk creating a permanent victim and easy target.  While life is risk, the partnership advocacy approach prevents unnecessary risks and has lasting benefits in equipping the intended target of bullying to better manage future aggressive behavior.

It is for this reason that we advocate involving parents, teachers and counselors to offer insight, wisdom and a more dispassionate and objective point of view.

The Golden Rule is One Strategy, But Not The Only Bullying Prevention Approach
The Golden Rule is one of the approaches that we advocate, however we must be careful to apply the right approach to the situation.  Each bullying situation is unique and should be treated with temperance, care and a centered calm.  Context, or the unique situation always determines the defense or approach to resolving the issue.  An assessment and clearly defining your desired outcome is the starting point.  Just be cautious not to paint with overly broad strokes, especially when it comes to children's safety.

For more information on Bullying Prevention, Speaking or Bullying Prevention Events
Contact or call 602-896-8721 USA Martial Arts & Kickboxing Phoenix AZ
Facebook Arizona Bullying Prevention Project
Webspecial Children's Martial Arts Bullying Prevention

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

VoiceAmerica Outreach Today Show Bullying Interview

Bully Busters: The Battle against Bullying with Tips for Parents and Kids

Aired January 18, 2012
Hosted by Melissa Jenkins-Simon with Co-Host Diane Stafford
Listen to the show on Bullying: 


Today I was a phone in guest on VoiceAmerica Variety Channel show Outreach Today with Melissa Jenkins-Simon.

The topic was Bullying and how parents can help bully-proof their children.  For my segment I was asked about specific strategies we teach to help children with bullying competence.  I wanted to reiterate and expand some of those tips to better clarify my position as we were limited on time.

I'm sometimes included in such discussions because my background and approach are very different than most of the guests featured on such programs or behind anti-bullying/bullying prevention programs.  As a professional protector I bring a perspective that is somewhat outside the box.

To this day I believe my programs are the only bullying prevention programs:
  • Developed by a professional protector
  • Trained in bullying prevention
  • Conflict resolution
  • Verbal Judo
  • Advanced Threat Assessment
  • Non-violent/force apporopriate self defense, who is also a teacher with over 26 years of successfully teaching bullying prevention.
In essence it addresses the full scope of bullying prevention from avoidance, deterrence, de-escalation and even peaceful self-defense.

My programs emphasize:
 1. Treatment of the intended target of bullying (I do not like to label anyone a "victim").
 2. Treatment of the child exhibiting the bullying behavior.
 3. The social atmosphere and culture enabling the process.

The Three Shields Bullying Prevention Approach
This three pronged approach is what I refer to as the THREE SHIELDS strategy.  Drawing upon ancient martial arts wisdom, the three shields also represent the MIND, BODY and SPIRIT, or elements of a human being, that must be considered.

Each bullying situation is unique so it is important that we don't overly generalize and recognize the importance of understanding the dynamics and facts before rushing to judgement or offering overly specific prescription without adequate diagnosis.  This is where the wisdom of caring teachers, parents and administrators comes in. They can bring a sense of calm wisdom to bear in an effort to treat the situation appropriately.

Five Steps To Handling a Bully Effectively Without Fighting
1. Make friends.  Friendship beats bullying.
2. Tell everyone until they listen.
3. Avoid the bullying set up and bad situations. Listen to your gut.
4. Take a stand early.  " STOP! "
5. Defend yourself from bullying. Nobody has the right to hurt you.

Verbal Judo Comeback Lines to Stop Bullying
1. Humor: "You're funny. The last time I heard that I was in pre-school."
2. Cleverness: "I hear you. Too bad my spam-box is full."

How Parents Can Help Children With Bullying
1. Be a good listener and actively work on your relationship with your child.
2. Be a good role model of safe behavior and how to problem solve using your mind and peaceful means.
3. Role play safety and bullying scenarios as quality time.
4. Watch for signs and be prepared to stay involved.
5. Use resources and get educated so you can respond rather than react.  Use it as a teachable moment.

Following the show my friend and fellow martial artist, Police Officer Eric Gugel commented on his experience as a law enforcement professional and father regarding bullying.  He shared with me that he is being called in to deal with bullying situations as a Police Officer.  He encourages individuals, parents and children to learn conflict resolution skills.  Thanks Officer Gugel for your service to your community and being a great role model of professional law enforcement.

Be a Hero - Do The Right Thing
"If You See Something - Say Something!"

Conflict Avoidance for Bullying Prevention overview
A = Always practice safe habits and avoid potentially bad situations with alertness to safety priorities
B= Breathe to stay calm and respond rather than react out of emotion
C= Communicate with confidence, body language is key for projecting inner-strength. Tell others - you're not alone.
D= Defend yourself. Common sense before self defense but nobody has the right to injure you. Protect yourself from physical bullying and escape to safety.
For more click here

For more information we are hosting a Bullying Event
The hosts were kind enough to mention our Bullying Prevention Bootcamp for children this Saturday at USA Martial Arts & Kickboxing Phoenix.  The free bullying prevention workshop will be from 12:30-1:15 and cover some fundamentals from my Bully Proof Vest program.  Contact or call 602-896-8721 to register for this free event.

To request your FREE BULLYING PREVENTION GUIDE contact info@usa-martialarts.
Facebook Arizona Bullying Prevention Project [Free Bullying Prevention Advice & Info]
Webspecial Children's Martial Arts Bullying Prevention