Every Day A Child Cries and Sometimes Dies—It Can Stop

Your son looks so innocent when he pets your dog and looks into its eyes. The innocence and love you see brings a tear to your eye.   And those special times that he comes up to you to share some new excitement in his life and you notice that he’s so full of healthy vigor and hope—makes you beam. He loves watching new movies that come out too. And he loves fishing with his grandfather and just sitting around with his younger brother. What love you have for your 10 year old son! And what love he has for you and his own life. Until . . .

Until something happens one afternoon at school. He gets bullied. Pushed around by a troubled boy at school. Your son doesn’t want to hurt anyone including the boy pushing him and he doesn’t want to get into trouble with school officials either, so he doesn’t lash back in anyway at the boy.  The boy called him a sissy. He called him a girl. And your son did nothing. And to make matters worse, a bunch of classmates watched it all happen. Two days later, during lunch, another boy started pushing your son. He pushed him so hard that he fell right down on his rump. Everyone laughed. Your son did nothing.

Now, the word among the kids in school was that your son could be teased, pushed around and made fun of, for amusement. Bullying continued and your son never said anything to you.

Life Starts Falling Apart

You started to notice some changes in your boy. His innocence seemed to be fading away. He started biting his fingernails. He didn’t smile as much with Grandpa. He started spending more time in his room.  And then one evening when your son didn’t know that you were watching him, you watched him petting the dog. This time he seemed distant. He was going through the motions of petting but there was no happiness and no love in his eyes. There was no innocence. You almost screamed out loud as you said to yourself, “What’s happening to my happy loving son!”  Then you got a tear in your eye.

This is the beginning of your son turning into an angry, fearful, self-loathing human being. From a bright happy life with a bright future ahead of him to a bleak and scrambling boy . . . it’s starting. And you can’t let it happen.

Just in the last week, I’ve heard about a 12 year who was a happy fun-loving boy who was continuously bullied at school and then killed himself. And then, there was the boy who was an innocent and fantastic 11 year old who while being physically bullied did nothing. Now he’s nervous if it will happen again and what others now think of him. And finally, this week, parents brought two boys to my school who were just under ten, who had been bullied before. The parents wanted them to be able to handle it if it were to occur again.

I’ve heard a lot of bullying stories, more than most people. I run a martial arts studio that has taught thousands of children throughout the years. Literally. It’s one of the oldest, if not the oldest continuous martial arts schools in Ohio and was founded about 50 years ago, by my father. Since his death, I run it. At The Mayfield Academy of Self-Defense we teach many third generation students. That is to say; we taught a mom or dad, then as time went on, we taught their son or daughter, then we also taught their son or daughter! We haven’t had a fourth generation yet, but we’re anxiously waiting! They’ve told me that they bring their kids to us because of what we taught them about handling bullies back in-the-day. That it worked for them and they want their offspring to learn it too.

So how do you handle bullying? First, like weight loss programs, every year or two, new strategies and plans come out to combat bullying. In a way, that’s a good thing because as time goes by, knowledge and strategies can grow as well. One should always be open for quality change, growth and new knowledge.  But in some ways, it’s bad. Some strategies I’ve seen are so accommodating to the bully that they almost recommend the victim offer tea and crumpets to them.  And there are those who tout and whine that life should be fair and wishing and willing that to happen, along with getting the word out about fairness and the evils of bullying, will make it so.

Bullying Will Not Change

Here’s the scoop. Bullying has been around since Moses was in elementary school and probably even before then. Some people, kids and adults, get off by bullying others. Bad bosses, lousy coworkers and the like. Somewhere along the line they’ve been hurt and twisted and they pounce on the weak. The vulnerable. The ones who allow it. It is was here yesterday, it’s here today and it will be here tomorrow.

Children do not deserve to be abused by those who are mixed up. Because the fact of the matter is that bullies are mixed up malcontents. I feel sorry for them. I truly do and I hope they get help because to live in the darkness they live in is not a whole and happy way to go through life. They need help. But if one of them puts their hands on me, they’ll get popped in the forehead or turned in a circle and held in a way that won’t make them happy and I’ll bet you a month’s pay, that they’ll never do it to me again. They may never do it to anyone else again, either. It may shock them out of their terrible behavior. But at that point that’s not my goal. My goal is to not let anyone, I mean anyone, harm me physically or for that matter, emotionally either; like telling me I’m a sissy, stupid, a loser or some other attempt to degrade my self-worth.

Now, I’m unlikely to be bullied by someone as I am told by peers and friends that I have a bearing that exudes some sort of don’t mess with this guy thingy, not that I’m mean or anything, but some sense that I should not be bullied. I suppose this comes from a lifetime’s worth of experience and training, not to mention pain and hurt that I had to overcome as well. I only used myself as an example to show the core result of a  proper anti bullying mindset.


What bullying defense training for children comes down to is understanding that no one has the right to bully you. No one has the right to physically hurt you. No one. And anyone doing these things to you will be stopped. Not tomorrow or the next week. But now. If you hurt me, you immediately pay a price. That goes for emotional or physical hurt that you may be doing to me. You hurt me, you will pay a price. A hefty one if need be. Bullies do not want to fight and the vast majority of children bullies as well as adult bullies will back down or stop bullying, if you truly get in their face. It’s not all about fighting either. A loud and commanding voice and not backing down verbally can work well sometimes. But the fact is that we as human beings sometimes need to take the plunge. The plunge into physicality. This always has to be in the group of options to stop bullying. We’ve had girls who have gotten physical with much bigger and stronger boys where it stopped bullying–forever. There are ways to take a quick plunge that is not rocket science and that works to stop bulling in its tracks for kids and adults.

Handle It

Children kill themselves from bullying. Happens every week. Kids get twisted lives from bullying. Kids become unhappy and lose innocence and hope. None of these should ever happen. Moms and dad must watch behavior changes in their kids. If any changes are noticed; communicate.  There’s nothing worse when a child will not talk to you. Lock yourself in a room with your child if need be and hug and make them talk to you! Make it clear that whatever is going wrong or painful in their lives will be stopped and changed. Once you’ve established that bullying is occurring, contact professionals for guidance. However, if you’re not satisfied with the advice you’re getting and most importantly, if it’s not working to alleviate the bullying or your child’s distress, go elsewhere for help. Look for help that has a clear record of success in alleviating and successfully handling bullying.

Good luck to moms, dads, caretakers and kids dealing with bullies. You can stop it, change it, and make it. Guaranteed.

Here’s Steve’s latest book: http://tinyurl.com/zcbkkyy

Steve Kovacs
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Steve Kovacs

Steve is a bestselling author with his latest book being, 'Protect Your Kids! The Simple Keys to Children's Safety and Survival'. Steve has also written hundreds of articles on a wide variety of topics.

Steve's a three-time survivor of violence in his youth and was an award winning police officer being the recipient of the 'J. Edgar Hoover Foundation' award for Fidelity, Bravery, and Integrity. Steve was SWAT trained by the FBI, FBI Hostage Rescue Team, and the LAPD.

For several years, Steve also did radio political and current event commentary and taught college Criminal Justice. He is the former host of the long running 'The Kovacs Perspective' Internet radio talk show.

Presently, Steve is the owner and Managing Director of one of the oldest martial art schools in Ohio, 'The Mayfield Academy of Self-Defense'.
Steve Kovacs
Follow Steve
Steve Kovacs

About Steve Kovacs

Steve is a bestselling author with his latest book being, 'Protect Your Kids! The Simple Keys to Children's Safety and Survival'. Steve has also written hundreds of articles on a wide variety of topics. Steve's a three-time survivor of violence in his youth and was an award winning police officer being the recipient of the 'J. Edgar Hoover Foundation' award for Fidelity, Bravery, and Integrity. Steve was SWAT trained by the FBI, FBI Hostage Rescue Team, and the LAPD. For several years, Steve also did radio political and current event commentary and taught college Criminal Justice. He is the former host of the long running 'The Kovacs Perspective' Internet radio talk show. Presently, Steve is the owner and Managing Director of one of the oldest martial art schools in Ohio, 'The Mayfield Academy of Self-Defense'.
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8 Responses to Every Day A Child Cries and Sometimes Dies—It Can Stop

  1. Patricia L Johnson says:

    Definitely a subject that needs to be dealt with on a daily basis, due to the potential seriousness of the outcomes. I may be out to lunch, but it seems to me nothing will change until parents change their behavior towards their children. If you teach your children to be good and kind to others, and teach them everyone is equal when they’re toddlers, they’re going to grow up to respect others. If you don’t, they won’t.

    • Steve KovacsSteve Kovacs says:

      Hi Pat, I believe nothing will really change much and I agree that the key to most bad behavior has to do with parenting or lack thereof. But, that’s life. Kids have been abused, neglected and raised to feel ‘less’ and with a low self-image since perhaps, the beginning of civilization around the agriculture revolution (10,000 BC) when humans stopped being hunter gatherers and started being a clog in a system like being just like the Jones’ and keeping up with a system of man made rules instead of personal survival. But I’m probably wrong about that, maybe bullying was around even before that.

      Most bullying is because the bully feels like crap about himself and his life. And many males and females when not full with self confidence and self-worth will pounce on people with vulnerability. Now, is that a DNA thing because all animal hunters hunt the vulnerable–the weak? Is a bit of it in the DNA? I’m not sure but I am sure that it happens, how it gets worse and how to stop it.

      It’s sad that so many children are raised so poorly that they become bullies on a large scale. And now you have cyber bullying witch is terrible because it’s always there–you cant easily hide from it. Sad stuff.

      • Patricia L Johnson says:

        Morning Steve,

        I want to send you an example of a kid that was abused, neglected, tortured and raised to have extremely low-self image and didn’t turn into a bully, but just the opposite. It’s my husband and he recently had a book published about his childhood, and a few combat experiences while he was in the military. So, please e-mail me a mailing address so I can forward the book, and while you’re at it will you PLEASE send me my password or a new password as the one I’m using isn’t working. I started to send you an e-mail the other day to request, but then I couldn’t find your e-mail address (story of my life, I can never find anything) 🙂 Have a good one, Pat

  2. Samuel M Salamon MD FRCSC FACS says:

    even worse is the school setting where the “adults” who became teachers & administrators & principals were likely bullied themselves (geeky ones go into academia–an observation, not a slur) instruct pupils “go tell a teacher” when we know that teachers are scarce on school playgrounds, in lunch rooms, etc. “Pushback” is the only lesson worth teaching & learning.

    • Steve KovacsSteve Kovacs says:

      Interestingly, just the day before yesterday a father told me about his 10 year old son who came up to him and asked if he could go to another school–when asked why, it turned out that his son was being bullied.
      They told the teacher who talked to the bully. A week later he was bullying again. They told the principal who had a meeting with the bullies mother and for two weeks no bullying. It started back up and then school stopped for the summer break. They’re all concerned on how the new year will be…. Not good….

      • Patricia L Johnson says:

        I’m not sure the number of teachers is as much of a problem as the complete lack of respect for those in authority. When I was growing up, back in the dark ages, when a teacher said something it was gospel. If he/she told you to straighten up and fly right, that’s exactly what you did. Current educators don’t seem to have that same level of respect from students, parents, etc. Am trying to keep politics out of this, but I can’t help but think change will never come about until those at the top start practicing the “r” word (RESPECT). If the person that holds the highest office in this country shows little respect to anyone that disagrees, how can we possibly expect our children to respect their educators or anyone else?

        • Steve KovacsSteve Kovacs says:

          Hi Pat, Trumps been president for six months. Ha ha, you said you didn’t want to put politics in here but it slipped in somehow, Pat! Trump’s year on the scene means nothing in the scope of bullying. The problem has been going on since Moses’ time.

          And as far as respect or lack thereof, I have a student at my school who is a teacher in The Cleveland School District. He teaches high school and has taught there for about 10-12 years. And he’s taught in the worst schools in the district–toughest, poorest etc. This year he’s in a better one but still a challenging one as I guess most in Cleveland are. He’s a good man too. He’s told me about the times that he calls and wakes some of his students up in the morning for them to get ready for school because their parent(s)or caretakers don’t. He says the biggest problem in that district is the lack of raising the kids at home–and that bleeds over to lack of respect to teachers and others too. All that comes mostly from home. And he’s respected by these kids. Because he’s teaching them how to. It comes from love, strength and caring. Kids see it and want it–the direction and the sanity. The bullying issue has absolutely nothing to do with politics.

          And congrats to your husband! Not all troubled youth go bad–in fact, many become those who know much and can help others. My email is listed on the blog but I’ll list it on this post too: info@thekovacsperspective.com

  3. Patricia L Johnson says:

    Again, we disagree and in the case of politics, respect and this particular president, I guess we’re just going to have to agree to disagree because I don’t want to go there.

    Couldn’t agree more with the Cleveland teacher. Being an instructor in the inner-city probably presents more of a challenge so kudos to him for all the extras he does for his students. There should be more like him.

    Thanks for the e-mail Steve, I didn’t see it when I was looking so obviously I wasn’t looking in the right place 🙂

    Have a good one,


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