My name’s Carrie Percival. I’ve been an instructor at the academy of martial arts for over 20 years. I oversee our Brampton locations and run our Bully B.R.A.V.E. program (Bully Resistance Anti Violence Education). Through these blog posts I’ll be discussing bullying scenarios and what it takes to deal with them.
Awareness of Self
Sensei Carrie Percival – Brampton Manager – Third Degree Black Belt– Brampton Academy of Martial Arts
Awareness is something everyone has. We all see and hear. We all perceive. Self awareness is different. It can’t be achieved through sight or sound; it can only be achieved from the inside.
Line breaks: self-a|ware|ness
• Conscious knowledge of one’s own character, feeling, motives and desires.
Being aware of one’s self is important. Self-awareness is the ability to notice how you react to certain situations and actively monitor and modify your emotional state. Here’s the list:
1. Knowing how you’ll react to a situation as it happens.
2. Monitoring how you react to a situation as it happens.
3. Consciously making an effort to better your reaction for the next time.
Being aware of one’s self is crucial to staying safe and maintaining a healthy social life. It permits you to take a step back and analyze yourself. When teaching Brave at schools in Brampton I’m often asked: “Why am I bullied? Why do they pick on me? What makes me the victim?”
When I’m asked good questions like these, I turn to the class and ask what they think the answer is: “Someone who is alone! Someone who is shy! Someone who doesn’t stand up for themselves!” They all shout.
Young kids are usually able to pick out the basic things, such as above, but most aren’t able to say why the shy person looks shy. It’s important to make clear what physical action brings out what response in the bully. Kids are fascinated by what comes next:
1. Person A – I walk as a victim would.
Head down, shuffle my feet, fidget constantly, play with the bottom of my shirt. I make a scene of it, walking up and down the classroom in that manner.
2. Person B – I walk as a confident person would.
Head up, back straight, making eye contact and being decisive with my actions. I walk up and down the class and they watch.
Giving our children a measure of self awareness is important. They’ll begin to notice whether they fall into Person A or Person B, and see why they are bullied. They’ll begin to actively monitor how they are standing, what they were doing prior to being bullied and how they are feeling during the attack. However, only with your help can your child achieve self-awareness.
Self-awareness leads to your child changing how they hold themselves; from the timid Person A to the confident Person B. Confidence is the key ingredient to fend off bullies. The golden question: How do we build confidence in our children?
Finding an activity, preferably a passion (drawing, dance, karate, etc…), where your children can work with others is a great first step. Getting your children up in front of a group to speak or perform is the bolder way of doing this.
This is where the Dojo is great! I was a timid kid while growing up. I was Person A, constantly fidgeting and avoiding eye contact. Now I speak in front of classrooms daily, deal with customers, and oversee the Academies. In karate, kids are constantly demonstrating and receiving positive feedback from classmates. In karate, kids can participate in tournaments and compete in front of an audience. In karate, kids make friends they have for life, friends they grow up with. In karate, confidence grows organically within each student.
If your child hasn’t seen me in their class room yet teaching them about confidence, make sure to give me a call!