Sports - counteracting bullying

Sports – counteracting bullying

The topic of bullying has literally exploded in the Ukrainian information space over the past few years. Everyone started to pay attention to him, everyone was talking about it. The topic of bullying comes up both in everyday conversations in the kitchen and in legislative offices. Plots on television and in newspapers. Laws and regulations. Regulation for Schools and Universities. But bullying does not disappear anywhere.

During our more than ten years of experience in working with children, we have come across various manifestations of it. And with completely different situations, from which it was necessary to look for a way out. We are in daily contact with children of different age groups who told their stories. Therefore, the topic for us is not ephemeral and somehow distant. In this regard, we will try to find out why bullying does not disappear anywhere and we will share, so to speak, “recipes” for counteraction.

But first, a few words about the phenomenon itself:

  • Is bullying appearing just now? – No.
  • Is bullying a by-product of evolution and progress? – Incorrect.
  • Is bullying inherent only in low-level, or vice versa – only in highly developed society? – And here the answer will not be unambiguous.

In fact, examples of school bullying have been in the information space for a long time. Most likely, before, just no one paid attention to him. After all, there are quite a few of the same feature films, and far from new ones, whose plot is built around the theme of bullying, or it, in one way or another, concerns it.

There are also many stories that have not received publicity due to the lack of the same Internet, where all this is scattered almost instantly and all over the world. The bullying in the army. And this, as you know, is far from a new problem. Although, not so common anymore.

So where did this phenomenon come from and why is it so much talked about lately? Let’s try to find out more.

What is Bullying?

Let’s start with the definition. Bullying is constant physical or psychological pressure or unacceptable behavior directed by one child, or a group of children against one object, or a small group of people. However, violence can also be economic or sexual. And not necessarily in the real world. This definition also includes pressure in the network, or in the language of legislation “using electronic communications”.

At the same time, it is impossible to single out any specific stratum of society as an object of persecution. Anyone can be bullied:

  • Children from families with both low and high income.
  • Students with a low level of knowledge, or vice versa – excellent students.
  • “White crows” who look, think differently, or are completely ordinary children.
  • Physically weak children, or strong ones who are simply afraid and cannot protect themselves.
  • Representatives of national or other minorities.
  • And ordinary – children with special needs or developmental features.

Unfortunately, in our practice we came across various stories:

  • When, for example, several smaller and weaker children unite in order to call an older and physically strong guy around the corner of the house, knock him to the ground and kick them. Moreover, to do it so that none of the adults can see.
  • Or when a child who cannot protect himself is forced to strip to his underwear and throw his clothes in the trash.

Unfortunately, these are not fictional, but real stories that we had to deal with. And children do not always tell these stories even to their parents. What can we say about widespread publicity? Will the child tell someone about what happened, if even the closest people can learn about the incident only a few months after the event itself?

In general, the target of bullying can be not only a child, but also, for example, a school teacher. Not paying attention to the teacher, and then throwing papers at him? Complete lack of discipline during lessons and neglect of the teacher? This, too, is not uncommon and quite real stories.

And, is it possible to limit the geography of bullying at all, for example, exclusively to educational institutions? After all, these manifestations reach not only the educational process. They go beyond school, kindergarten, or university. Let’s be frank – no one canceled bullying at work from colleagues, or vice versa – from management in relation to subordinates. Although there is a separate definition of “mobbing” for this. And, again, the aforementioned topic of army hazing.

Moral pressure within the family regarding younger brothers or sisters? Easy. But is it possible to deny similar actions in relation to elders? Alas, no. At the heart of this phenomenon are, in fact, differences between people or, in the context of bullying, children.

People are generally different. Starting from social status and stratification of society, which we have already talked about in the article The evolution of martial arts, to the characteristics of each individual.

Recognizing and accepting is the first step to counteract

In fact, it is worth recognizing one simple, albeit unpleasant thing. Adults can be violent. Children can be incredibly violent. Here you can deny and give any reason:

  • Children are flowers of life.
  • Children are a miracle.
  • The reflection of God can be seen in children.

But children, unfortunately, can be cruel. Adults are already familiar with some kind of framework set by society. I mean – the whole complex of certain aspects:

  • legislative,
  • religious,
  • moral and ethical.

People need these constraints and frameworks that have been formed over millennia. We are naturally talking about civilization, evolution and progress. But is it really possible to deny the black pages of human history, of which there have been quite a few only in recent years:

  • two world wars;
  • the holocaust;
  • famine;
  • GULAG and Auschwitz;
  • repression on various grounds;
  • local military conflicts;
  • ethnic conflicts;
  • other crimes against humanity.

They were arranged by adults. Well-mannered, erudite, knowledgeable. People with higher education and scientists have conducted the most varied and most terrifying experiments on other people.

After all, no one denies the problem of domestic violence. Even with regard to their own children. One of the most painful, but such common topics that few people talk about either. Rearrange a small child by the hair over the threshold? Easy. Such unacceptable things allow themselves quite adults and relatives.

What, then, can be said about the children themselves, who are only experiencing the boundaries of what is permitted? And also they test for strength and explore this world, trying to find boundaries that are not worth crossing?

To deny the fact that cruelty exists is, at the very least, inappropriate. After all, if you close your eyes to the problem, then it will not disappear anywhere. The problem needs to be addressed. But first, it is still worth understanding and accepting that it is. That it could be there. And most likely, it is nearby. According to official figures alone, 64% of children have experienced bullying in educational institutions. In one of three roles:

  • victims;
  • buller;
  • witness.

And this is just the official statistics. And how many stories are hushed up and solved “without unnecessary noise.”

Therefore, in our opinion, the problem is much larger. It’s just that not everyone is aware of its scale. But acknowledging the problem is the first step. Further, something must be done with this knowledge.

Legal counteraction to bullying

In fact, the problem of bullying in educational institutions has come to the surface and received such publicity that counteraction to this phenomenon has already been enshrined at the legislative level.

On December 18, 2018, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted a law that amended some legislative acts of Ukraine. This was done in order to clearly define the problem in the legal plane and the mechanisms for its solution. In particular, amendments have been made to the Code of Administrative Offenses and the laws of Ukraine:

  • “On Education”;
  • “On general secondary education”;
  • “On preschool education”;
  • and all other types of education.

It was determined that bullying applies not only to children, but in general to all participants in the educational process.

And a year later, on December 28, 2019, the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine issued an Order, which regulates the issues of responding to cases of bullying and prescribes countermeasures and educational impact. It is registered by the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice and agreed with the key participants in this difficult process, including the Commissioner of the President of Ukraine for the Rights of the Child and the Head of the National Police. This Order was also coordinated with the ministers:

  • culture, youth and sports;
  • internal affairs;
  • health care and not only.

The mechanism has started. In addition to responding to incidents and preventive measures, special contact centers have been created where you can seek advice or psychological help in case of bullying. The system started working. And now the issue can be resolved in court, in order to bring the perpetrators to administrative responsibility.

Actually, you can go to the Unified State Register of Court Decisions (it is in the public domain on the Internet), find rulings regarding bullying and familiarize yourself with them and decisions on this matter. We are not experts in the field of law, but after a superficial acquaintance with the decisions, we made our conclusions, which, we remind you, do not claim to be the ultimate truth.

So, if your child is being bullied, which is defined by law as prolonged pressure, and not a situational or one-time conflict, then you can go to court. The procedure is as follows:

  • for a sufficiently long period of time, your child should be bullied in one way or another.
  • It is necessary that this can be confirmed by evidence or testimony.
  • Buller’s guilt must be proven in court.
  • After that, such actions will be considered an offense and will entail administrative responsibility.

If the guilt is proven (we emphasize, it is in the word “if”, not “when”), then the accused will pay a fine from 850 to 1700 UAH. Community service of 20 to 40 hours can also be assigned. But a superficial study of court decisions and rulings shows that if guilt is proven, a fine is more often imposed.

So, again: your child must be bullied for a long period of time. At the same time, you collect evidence and testimony of witnesses. All this must be proven in court. And then the fine will be, for example, UAH 1250. One thousand two hundred and fifty hryvnia. Or 850. For long-term abuse of your child. If you can prove it.

Or here’s another example from our practice: when strong and older children gather in a group, knock the younger and weaker on the floor and ultimately defecate on him. This can be classified as a conflict. Or it could be considered bullying given the prior negative and bullying behavior.

And the price of the punishment will be from 850 to 1700 UAH. But for this, the conflict must be covered as a whole: the trial, testimony, hearings. Talking about a situation that the child would like to forget about as soon as possible.

If you park your car on the spot for drivers with disabilities, the fine can be 1,700 hryvnia. If you park the vehicle not according to the rules, then in case of evacuation, you will have to pay:

  • parking penalty;
  • car storage services at the penalty area;
  • car evacuation service.

At least 1669 hryvnia. This is no commission. With a commission, the amount can be 1836 hryvnia. For an improperly parked car.

For long-term psychological or physical abuse of a child, in case of proof of guilt, you will have to pay from 850 to 1700 hryvnia.

Undoubtedly, it is necessary to contact law enforcement agencies in case of bullying. After all, not only bulls can be held accountable, but also the administrative staff of an educational institution, if its representatives, knowing the existence of such a situation, did not react in any way and did not take appropriate and all possible measures.

But, in our opinion, it is always better to prevent the emergence of a problem than to solve it when there is no other choice.

How to counteract a buler?

In order to determine the issue of counteraction, you must understand that the weak will always be hounded. This is nature, based on the thesis “the fittest survives.” Therefore, the most important thing is confidence and resistance.

We’ve all come across stories when, for example, one guy bullies another until he gets an adequate response. And then they can even become friends. After all, there are many people who want to be friends with a strong, self-confident child. Especially if a person or, moreover, a child, appreciates these qualities.

And sports do just fine with this function. At the same time, almost any, because sport develops the following qualities and traits:

  • strength;
  • endurance;
  • confidence;
  • social interaction and more.

But, if you decide to enroll a child in the martial arts section, then in addition to the above qualities, your child will also receive tools and skills that will help him protect himself not only in words, but also physically.

Every child is a person. With their own individual character traits. Therefore, there is no one recipe for everyone, especially since the choice of martial arts is huge:

  • aikido;
  • judo;
  • karate;
  • taekwondo;
  • sambo;
  • MMA.

The list is almost endless. So, in fact, your best bet is to simply try to find a section for your child. How? It’s very simple: there are trial workouts almost everywhere. Let the child go and try. In fact, this is the best recipe for how to choose a section.

Most importantly, pay attention to the following:

  • the coach’s attitude to children and his experience;
  • the attitude of students to the coach;
  • interaction between children outside the training process (that is, before and after class);
  • atmosphere during and after classes;
  • impressions of the child from the coach.

In fact, the last point is the most important. If you see that your child is comfortable and happy after training, then this is a reason to try to continue training. You can find out the conditions of trial training in our club and familiarize yourself with the schedule and addresses of the dojos here.

But, be that as it may, it is a sport that develops skills that can come in handy when the need arises to rebuff the offender. What kind of sport? You and your child can choose.

In our opinion, Applied Aikido is the best option because:

  • helps the child develop physically;
  • gives self-defense skills that meet the modern challenges of the surrounding society;
  • encourages self-development and not a spirit of competition;
  • does not bring up aggression and “sports anger”, but teaches to respond to it, instead of starting a fight first.

In fact, this is a very complex issue that is difficult to fit into one material. Moreover, we have already talked about some aspects:

In order to better understand what Applied Aikido is, we advise you to read the article Applied Aikido – modern self-defense system.

The question of the spirit of competition is discussed in the article Competition in Aikido: Pros and Cons.

You can learn more about the ability to master emotions in the article Aikido: physical, emotional and energetic.

What exactly to choose is up to you. Most importantly, do not forget the key thesis – it is better to protect your child before such a phenomenon as “bullying” appears in his life and to prepare for critical situations in advance. It will be much easier and easier than trying to resolve conflicts when they are already moving into a permanent plane. However, aikido will certainly help to cope with the consequences of bullying, as well as help the child to become self-confident. Therefore, we will talk in more detail about this aspect in one of the following articles.

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