Children can fight teasing with martial arts

January 3, 2014

Young children can avoid teasing with martial arts training.

Parents want their children to be physically active, but recent findings show that when kids are teased during sports at a young age, it can really hurt their future development. Chad Jensen, an assistant professor of psychology at Brigham Young University, and his team recently studied 108 kids, aged nine to 12, in 2010 and again in 2011. Their research revealed that children who were teased experienced a lower quality of life than their peers, reported Reuters.

Don’t let teasing affect a child’s physical activity
When children are the subject of teasing during or after sporting events, the researchers concluded that they will become less active and begin to develop lower levels of self-esteem. Stopping these problems at a young age is critical to the healthy development of children who shouldn’t feel like they need to stop playing a part of sports just because they are the getting teased by their peers.

“Teasing not only influences psychological functioning but may reduce physical activity and lead to poorer physical, social, and emotional functioning for children,” Jensen told Reuters in an email.

Jensen believes that teachers, parents and other administrators need to confront this situation head-on. Enabling teasing among children will not only lead to fewer children interested in physical activity, but it will also show the bullies that they can get away with it without suffering any consequences. Teaching children the harms of teasing one another at a young age can dramatically reduce the number of kids who deal with the consequences.

“These findings provide support for comprehensive bullying prevention programs and suggest that efforts to reduce peer victimization in the context of physical activity participation may be helpful in promoting physical activity participation and children’s quality of life,” Jensen said.

Martial arts makes teasing problems cease
All children should be able to find an activity they like, and not be subject to ridicule from others. This is why it can be a smart idea to enroll kids in martial arts classes. Learning these skills will not only help them build up their physical strength, but also their confidence. Kris Wilder, a Franciscan monk and co-author of “How to Win a Fight,” told CNN that children who feel good about their physical ability will lead to them to be more confident about their place in the world.

“The success of martial arts is that it creates an immediate and indelible link to the internal sense of a child’s being via external drills and discipline,” Wilder said. “A confident child is less likely to be a victim, and martial arts provides this platform for creating a resilient, confident child.”

Don’t allow teasing to bring children down. Parents should look up their local martial arts schools, and get their kids in Karate, Tae Kwon Do or Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes so they can find a physical activity they can enjoy while making some new friends along the way.