As a martial arts dojo, we teach kids how to defend themselves and avoid potentially dangerous situations. This is where the ABC’s of Conflict Avoidance comes into play. You never want your child to put themselves into a situation where they are in danger. Teaching them these ABC’s wont guarantee their safety, but it will help reduce the risk or being in harms way.
The first letter in the ABC’s of Conflict avoidance is to Avoid Potentially Dangerous situations. Some examples of potentially dangerous situations to be in without a parental guardian is a busy street, a vacant lot, rushing river, next to a school bully and even just strangers. Being taught to avoid putting themselves in these places or situations with people they don’t know is the first step to protecting themselves. Stay near people that you know and trust, like your parents or even other family members. Let your parents know where you are going before you leave. That way if anything happens your parents know where you are can help.
The next letter is B, which stands for Be calm and breathe. Panicking in these situations will never help them. Breathing and remain calm so they can think rationally and not put more stress on themselves. The best way to get out of a bad situation is to first try and talk your way out of it. The first step is never violence. The people you might be with might outnumber you or be bigger then you. If they can talk their way out of the dangerous situation instead of escalating it, that would always be the better solution.
Next letter is C, which stands for Communicate with confidence. Showing your fear or panic will give the opponent the upper hand. IF they see you are scared, they will feel like its more acceptable to bully them. Teaching kids that confidence, even if they don’t feel it, can also help them out of these situations. Bullies don’t want to pick on someone who is confident and stands up for themselves. In this letter, we teach the kids what it means to be confident and to look confident as well. Someone who is confidence has a clear voice, stands up straight and makes direct eye contact. Its important to remember having confidence doesn’t mean that they wont bully you, it just means that they are less likely to want too.
The last letter in these ABC’s of conflict avoidance is D. D stands for don’t make the situation worse. This is something that was brought up earlier. It’s best to try not to make the situation work by getting angry and arguing or fighting. We give children tips that they can use instead of escalating the situation. The first being to take ten deep breathes, another one could be to walk away or trying to understand their point of view. This can also work when it comes to the children’s friends or younger siblings.