What Parents and Children Can Do About Cyber Bullying
My heart goes to the family who lost a child due to bullying, in whatever form it may take. Especially in this day and age, it often times manifests in the form of cyber bullying.
The internet is powerful, for both good and evil. It depends on the one who is using it. Use it to spread positivity, then you are making the world a better place. Use it for other than that reason, then you are scratching the societal wound that needs healing.
Because of its power, the people who use the internet have an enormous responsibility on their shoulders. Evidently, nowadays those people are almost everybody. Even the ones too young to go on the internet, has the internet in their pockets.
Responsible children will hopefully be mindful of hurting others online, or offline.
Isolation is not the solution. Simply saying, "You can't have it!" may work if your child is a toddler. But starting from a certain age, their creativity will almost always be ahead of yours, especially if you pay less attention and if you don't upgrade your understanding of your child.
Education is the solution. Empower them with values to guide every decision they make, with or without you. Especially without you, because you can't be around them all the time. Even in your own house, there will be times when you don't see them and you don't know what they are doing.
Instead of controlling every decision they make, empower them to make decisions by themselves. Instil a sense of responsibility in them as early as when they can understand what responsibility is.
Beyond that, empower them with a voice of their own. Make them feel comfortable expressing themselves in a healthy way. Don't suppress their voice by shutting them up all the time, especially when you need them to speak up.
When they have a problem, the parents should be the first people they tell. The trust should be at a level that children can express themselves to parents without fearing that their parents will judge them or punish them.
Yes, obviously they will express some things that are unpleasant to you, the parents. But whether you like hearing it or not, you should allow them to express it and show sincere care.
Otherwise, they will keep it to themselves or find someone else whom they trust more.
For children who are experiencing bully, please reach out to people around you who care about you, especially your parents. You might feel like you are being a burden to them if you express yourself, but you are not.
It is part of being a parent. If parents don't want to listen to the problems of their children, then they are not fulfilling a basic duty of parenthood: making sure our children are well and safe.