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      Verbal Bullying: What it is and how to stop it

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      Verbal bullying is a serious issue that many children and teenagers face. In order to put a stop to this type of abuse, parents, teachers and members of the community must first understand what it is.

      Once a verbal bullying situation is recognized, a variety of strategies can be used to stop it before the situation worsens.

       

      What Verbal Bullying Is

      Verbal bullying is most often committed by girls. It may consist of rumor spreading, using words that demean or degrade the victim or using words that cause social exclusion.

      It may also be done as a way to dominate others. This type of bullying is just as damaging as physical bullying and can lead to serious effects for the victim, including an increased risk of suicide.

       

      Ways Kids Can Stop Verbal Bullying

      There are several responses and actions that kids can take that may help to put an end to verbal bullying. Some things to try include:

      • Using neutral statements. Responding to a bully’s verbal assaults with neutral comments such as “possibly” or “maybe so” indicates to the bully that he or she isn’t going to get a big reaction from the victim.
      • Using positive or agreeing statements. Examples of these include “who cares?” or “Yes, you’re right.”
      • Remaining civil. Don’t sink to the level of the bully. Doing so may escalate the situation.
      • Telling an authority figure. Bullying that interferes with a child’s social life, confidence, well-being and mental or physical health must be reported to an authority figure as soon as possible. An authority figure may be someone like a teacher, school counselor, school nurse, playground aide, tutor or parent.

      Once a parent, teacher or another authority figure is made aware of a verbal bullying situation, action must be taken. An authority figure may be able to physically separate the bully from his or her victim.

      The authority figure may be able to increase awareness of the effects of bullying and help others to identify such behaviors in the classroom, cafeteria and other places.

      Adults can also help to diffuse the situation by determining what the motivating factors behind the bully’s behaviors are.

       

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      Winter Activities For Kids

      Between the cold temperatures and the snow and ice outside, it’s no surprise that so many kids would rather stay inside with a video game or the television. The more time that those children spend inside inactive and snacking, the more likely it is that they will gain weight.

      Parents and educators can look for some creative winter activities during those long winter months to keep kids healthy and moving.

       

      Use Nearby Facilities

      Many parents may not consider taking advantage of nearby recreation centers and other facilities that kids can use in winter.

      An ice skating rink is a good way for kids to have fun and get plenty of exercise. They can have fun learning the basics of balancing while moving across the ice.

      If the city has a branch of the YMCA, kids can also use the facilities there. Most locations have indoor racquetball, tennis and basketball courts as well as swimming pools.

       

      Embrace the Cold

      Instead of shunning the cold and staying inside, parents can encourage their kids to embrace the cold weather outside. Nothing beats the fun and excitement that comes from a snowball fight, and adults can turn a simple snowball fight into a game of capture the flag.

      Kids may also love building a snowman family together and decorating those figures with their friends or siblings.

       

      Take Classes

      Kids who hate the idea of going outside in the snow and ice might like the idea of taking an indoor class with other kids in their age group. This helps them see that they can still have fun when the temperature drops.

      An indoor swimming class is a good choice for kids who want to learn something new or who love the water. Other activities that are suitable for keeping kids active in the long winter months include gymnastics and karate classes.

       

      Do Chores Together

      Children often learn by example. If they see their parents remaining active, they’ll want to stay active, too. Doing chores together is one of the easiest ways for parents to set a good example for their kids.

      This can include doing the dishes, vacuuming or even rearranging the furniture in the room. Parents and kids can also shovel the walk and clean off the family cars together as some examples of helpful winter activities.

      It doesn’t take a lot to get kids active, but it does require the involvement of adults.

       

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      2014 Bullying Statistics Recently Revealed

      With the prevalence of technology, today’s bullying not only includes in-person threats and physical violence but also the online world of cyber bullying. The most recent 2014 bullying statistics may shock parents, educators and the community due to the widespread prevalence of this sometimes deadly behavior.

       

      The Who and Where of Bullying

      According to a study by UCLA, 20 percent of students in grades 9 through 12 have experienced bullying, as have 28 percent of students in grades 6 through 12. Most bullying behaviors take place in the classroom.

      This is where 29.3 percent of those who were bullied experienced the event. Other common places where bullying occurs include in the hallways and locker areas, where 29.0 percent experienced bullying; 23.4 percent were bullied in the cafeteria; 19.5 percent were bullied in gym class and 12.2 percent were bullied in the bathroom.

       

      bullying_1Types of Bullying

      The most common type of bullying behavior in schools is name calling. This is followed by teasing, rumor spreading, physical assaults, isolation, threats, stealing and sexual harassment.

      Although cyber bullying was the least common type of bullying, it does deserve special attention because of its reach. Rather than a few people witnessing an in-person bullying event, cyber bullying can attract the attention of hundreds or even thousands of witnesses and the event can persist on the Internet for years.

       

      Bullying Targets

      Anyone who is different makes an easy target for bullying. More than 90 percent of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth experience bullying.

      Students with Asperger’s syndrome and Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder are also common targets of bullies. Students who are overweight, have a striking physical feature or dress differently than their peers may also find themselves the targets of bullies.

      Of those who are bullied, only 20 to 30 percent report the events to teachers, parents or school counselors.

       

      Witnesses of Bullying

      Bullying affects the entire school. More than 70 percent of students in grades 6 through 12 have witnessed bullying. When someone intervenes within ten seconds of a bullying event, the bullying stops more than 57 percent of the time.

      Parents, teachers and the community can come together to change these bullying statistics for the better. When adults demonstrate cooperation and setting good examples, children in turn will follow these positive behaviors. It will take time, but it can happen.

      Armed with the 2014 bullying statistics, parents and educators can see what they need to look out for in order to put a stop to bullying.

       

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      Tips for Talking to Your Kids about Bullying

      Today’s parents don’t have to look very far to find examples of bullying. It seems as if stories of bullying can be read about in the newspaper or seen on TV almost every day.

      However, the subject of bullying can be challenging to approach with children. Whether a child is in preschool or a senior in high school, parents want to ensure that their kids are safe and confident enough to stand up to bullies. These simple tips can make having the conversation about bullying a little easier.

       

      Define Bullying

      When parents try to talk to young children about bullying, many kids might not even understand what that word actually means. Other children believe that harassment needs to be physical before it can be classified as bullying.

      If parents want to open the lines of communication about bullying, it’s important for kids to understand what all is incorporated into that term. Bullying can consist of:

      • Repeated verbal insults
      • Continuing threats
      • Physical actions like pushing, hitting or kicking
      • Social manipulation such as purposeful exclusion or spreading rumors
      • Cyberbullying through texts, websites or social media
      • Other repeated activities that make a student feel threatened and unsafe

      Ask the Right Questions

      It’s usually not easy for children and teens to talk about bullying with their parents. Bullying can make students feel helpless, so they might not feel comfortable asking for assistance from parents or teachers.

      Asking the right questions can be integral in helping students be honest about what’s happening. Instead of asking them if they are being bullied, try asking “What’s the best thing that happened to you at school today?”, “What’s the worst thing that happened to you at school today?” or “Who do you sit with at lunch time and play with at recess?”

      The answers to these questions can provide helpful insights into a student’s day to day life at school.

       

      Keep Communication Open

      Even if a child isn’t being bullied currently, his situation could change drastically next week.

      That’s one of the many reasons why it’s so important for parents to keep the lines of communication open with their children. Every conversation doesn’t need to be serious and teaching major life lessons.

      When kids and teens feel comfortable sharing the little details of their days with their parents, they will be more apt to come to their parents when larger issues like bullying arise.

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