Do your kids have cell phones? Do you monitor them? Sure. You might check contacts and texts. You probably watch the time used per each billing period. Do you check anything else?
Parents, we must be honest with ourselves and we must face facts if we are to lower the numbers of bullying events.
- Do you think your child can do no wrong?
- Do you think your child is capable of being mean or unkind?
- Have you ever seen your child tease an animal, other kids or even an adult?
- Have you ever looked the other way instead of giving consequences to your child for poor choices or actions?
Backtracking, I ask you again, do you check anything else on your child’s phone? Do you check your child’s phone without your child’s knowledge or at unexpected times? As a parent, your goal should be to do what it takes to help your child survive and succeed in a very different world from the one you knew as a child.
We received an email from a distraught mother of a 13 year old girl. She explained that her daughter and 5 other girl friends had been to a slumber party. The girls apparently were doing usual girl things like make-up and hair and then gossip began. One of the girls suggested making some calls to boys. They started making the calls and it ended up that one of the boys called was a boy that her daughter “liked.” While she wasn’t sure exactly what was said, she did know that while listening, her daughter began to tear up and then cry. One of the girls took a video of her daughter crying as the boy made fun of her. She knew this because the video was text-ed and streamed to a lot of her school mates. She became the laughing stock at her school. What is sad is that the mother said that the girl who spread the video was a nice girl and had been her daughter’s friend since first grade.
Why did this happen? It happened because all kids, even nice kids and yes even your kids have the potential to be mean. You as parents need to be vigilant in monitoring your children’s cell phones and internet use. Even more importantly, you must talk with your kids about everything.