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Great Question from Mom About What to Do When Child Physically Attacked


Yesterday, I received a great question from a Mom whose child is getting bullied at school.  Here is her question and my response:

"Hi Sensei Huff!
I have been getting your e-mails for a long time, and I think they're FANTASTIC! I just had a question on the statement: “If you let fear run the show, you'll never stand up for yourself and the bullies will continue to act however they want to.”

What if we’re talking about school, where if a child stands up for himself when a bully is physically bullying him with punches, kicks, etc., he will get a detention? How do children face these kind of situations without going to a teacher and having the teacher do all the work and the child never getting a feeling of courage and power?

Thank you for writing in – great question and unfortunately, the situation you are referring to is NOT uncommon; as a matter of fact, it is one of the situations that most parents and kids find themselves in, and it is the one where many people feel as if "their hands are tied".

Before I go on – I have to throw out the legal mumbo-jumbo so my attorney doesn't have a fit:  At no time, or in any way, do I ever advocate violence. 

No one is telling you or giving you advice to have your child go beat up another one, or have your child bop everyone in the nose who may or may not deserve it. 

As with everything, common sense applies and you as the parent or reader have to use your best judgement and make your own decisions.

With that out of the way, here is my position as someone who was the target of a bully as a child and adult, as well as someone who has worked with thousands of people in a similar situation:

The greatest gift we can give our children is the confidence and security of knowing that, if they do the right thing, we as their parents WILL NOT punish them.  Not only will we not punish them, but we will BACK THEM UP if they get in trouble for doing the right thing.

If your child is getting picked on or pummeled by a bully, that child needs two things in that situation – the GUTS to stand up to the bully and fight back, and the WILLINGNESS to do it.

When in the world did we – grown adults – become afraid of our child getting detention or in trouble for standing up for themselves?

As a martial artist, I have found myself in situations where someone was trying to beat me up.  I could have easily put a whoopin' on the person, so I had the ABILITY and the WILLINGNESS; I didn't do it because I knew I could.  I had the ability to protect myself from injury and knew that others around would stop the guy and he would get arrested. 

Because I had the ability to protect and defend myself, plus the willingness, that put me in control of the decision to JUST protect myself and not beat the guy up.  I wasn't upset, didn't feel badly that I didn't beat the guy up or anything else.  I made the decision and felt good about it.

If the situation would have been worse – say he had a weapon – then it would have been completely different and I  would have had to take more serious measures.  Again, I had the ability and the willingness to do it.

I know as a parent, I will teach my daughter what is acceptable and what is not when it comes to people, bullies, etc.  I will also tell her that no matter what, if she stands up for herself, I will back her up and defend her, even if it means she gets detention, kicked out of school or more.

In the situation mentioned above, if your child gets beat up and hurt, then tells the school about it then yes, the bully may get caught and get in trouble.  Depending on the child, the bully may or may not get the message and stop being the bully.  If the bully doesn't get the message, it is YOUR child that will now be the target because your child didn't fight back the first time.

Secondly, your child will now have an emotional scar.  He will feel shame, as if something is wrong with him because he DID NOT stand up for himself.  He will question if he did the right thing, even though he did what his parents and the school taught him to do.

Please – don't blame me for sharing the truth on this deal, but the sad facts are that how society and the schools teach how to deal with bullying simply DO NOT work. 

We all want to believe that in a perfect world, you would never have to resort to maybe, possibly having to stand up for yourself; maybe having to do something unpleasant or uncomfortable to do what is right, but we don't live in La-La Land or Ivory Towers…

This is the Real World, and if you and your child are going to make it, you are going to have to spend some time at the University of Hard Knocks. I know; it's a bummer, but that is the truth.

You can get a jump start by getting the course, "Bully Proof Kids" for your child at http://www.bullyproofkids.com/index1.html.  In that course, I share 9 Tips every parent can teach their child when it comes to bullies and bullying.

Get yours today.

To your best,

Sensei Harrison Huff

P.S. – These principles don't apply to just parents and kids.  Yesterday, I spoke with a group of businessmen for over an hour and a half on how to "Bully Proof" their businesses and, I have another professional who wishes for me to meet and coach his high net-worth individuals on how they can use these principles to make more mo-ney and be more successful.  I'll let you know about how you can get your hands on those products as they come available.  For now, you can start at http://www.bullyproofkids.com/i

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