He is a professional educator, martial arts master, author, motivational speaker, and entrepreneur…with 6 kids of his own.
While we recognize that there are many anti-bullying programs to choose from, Matt takes a different approach.
These are his guiding principles…Empower kids. Develop their confidence. Create leaders.
Let’s be blunt. Bullying has been around since before humans were human. It’s never going away. Matt believes that talking about how bad bullying is, is a total waste of time. For the bullies in the audience, how many of them have sat through these lectures and experienced a life-altering event that caused them to change their evil ways?
He also believes that presenting a lecture about how he was bullied as a child and his road to success (yes, he has that history) doesn’t really do anything to help those children who are also being bullied. How many do you think come away feeling, “Gee, if only I endure the bullying for a few more years, I can be as successful as this guy”.
Unfortunately, state laws, school policies, and all sorts of well-meaning individuals, are almost entirely focused on trying to punish the bullies. Their training is in how to recognize bullying, report it properly, and punish. Punishing the bully only happens after they have abused another victim, and we all know that the majority of bullying happens when there are no adults to see it or prevent it. The scars from these confrontations will never be healed by any amount of punishment. Shouldn’t we stop this process before it begins?
If you want to stop bullying, you have to help children prevent themselves from becoming victims. They need to understand why it happens and that both the bully and the victim play a role.
- Verbal – bullies use their words to intimidate.
- Help kids understand why they do this, and how to use their own words to empower themselves.
- Teachers for decades have been using the phrase “Use your words”. Matt will show kids what words are best to use and how to use them properly.
- Emotional – bullies try to gain power by making others feel weak or inferior.
- Help kids learn the tricks bullies use so they can walk away and not feel like a victim.
- There is a difference between walking away, and running from the bully. Matt will give kids the confidence and skills to make the right choice.
- For the older kids, this would include a section on cyber bullying.
- Physical – bullies use physical intimidation to threaten or abuse victims.
- Help kids develop personal power through posture, facial expression, tone of voice, and basic defensive skills that will keep kids safe while being conscious of school rules against fighting. This is taught being very conscious of policies such as “zero tolerance”.
- When kids learn basic skills to keep themselves safe, they have the confidence to face the bully and make smart decisions. When they don’t, fight or flight takes over and they become victims.
Only through empowering kids can we have fewer victims for bullies to abuse. Matt’s approach is fun, entertaining, and best of all…powerful. It is not a lecture. It is an experiential program that empowers children to stand up to bullies without fighting.