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Encouraging Heroes. You can be one too.

 by Master Ed Samane, CEO and Founder, PRO Martial Arts

Bullying and predatory behavior are national epidemics driving millions of parents to seek protection for their children. PRO Martial Arts ARMOR program offers a solution. Designed by Grandmaster Ed Samane, ARMOR incorporates comprehensive bullying and predator prevention tactics into martial arts training. Parents can implement simple steps from the program at home to ensure their kids have a positive back to school experience.

1. Boost your kid’s self esteem. The number one weapon a child can have against bullies and predators is a strong self-image. Confidence comes from accomplishment, the kind gained from participating in extracurricular activities. While athletics and Karate are great, any activity where your child can experience a victory will work.  Explore your child’s favorite hobby and provide positive reinforcement.

2. Hey Mom, what’s a bully? Children can be unaware they are being bullied. There are three main types of bullying: physiological, physical and cyber. Parents need to help their children understand how to identify the signs of each one.

3. Communication is key. Make your home a safe haven for communication.  Children need to feel comfortable telling you what’s happening in their lives without fear of punishment. Start simply by asking about their day at school. Know who your child’s friends are. Make sure they have an adult at school they can talk to, someone they like and trust. The greater interest you take in your child’s life, the more comfortable they will feel about coming to you with their problems.

Earnest Parenting: help for parents who want their kids to avoid bullying.

4. Be dialed in as a parent. Bullying is no longer limited to the playground. Cell phones and computers have become the new means for bullies to target their victims. Use tools like My Mobile Watch Dog and other parental controls to monitor children’s cell phone and computer activity.

5. Show no fear. If your child is being bullied, they need your complete support. Facing a bully can be a hard and scary thing for a child, so they need to know that you believe them and have their back. Confronting bullies is an opportunity for children to face their fears and learn to stand up for themselves.

What to watch for: Some signs that your child may be a victim of bullying include: fear of going to school, negative self talk, drop in grades, and sudden change in opinion about a specific person.