You hear the horrific stories of 12-13-14 year olds who take their own lives as a last resort from being bullied. Overwhelmed and devastated by the shame, hate & ridicule of their classmates. Seems extreme until you factor in the 24/7/365 nature of technology and a new tween culture of instant communication and social development. Strange days indeed….
A friend of mine at iShine is Spencer Kane (Ft. Wayne IN) who struggled with his own abuse as a tween and used it to turn his life into a positive direction with music and sports, helping other kids who feel… displaced, isolated and alone.
His first EP was just released and titled “Be one of the Kind” in a direct attempt to throw troubled and bullied kids a life line and to challenge other kids to be more aware of their own actions impact on others. Spencer is one of the good guys, as a sophomore in High School he gets it and if your tween is struggling, make sure you check out his encouraging music, testimony and support for families struggling with Cyber-bullies.
Bottom line, if you have a tween – ask them about cyber-bullies. Don’t assume because they haven’t talked openly about it, they are not struggling with it. Remember as our kids make the unavoidable hormonal – identity challenging transition from child to adult, they are more at risk than ever. Cyber Bullying is not a new fad, it’s a new tech-generation danger that parents need to add to the list of “real threats” to protect their kids from.
I have copy/pasted the recent blog from CommonSenseMedia.org below on the subject of bullying and ask that you take the time to read it or share it with someone you know who might need it.
Blessings, Pastor B.
October: National Bullying Prevention Month —————
Check out the resources below for guidance, tools, and even entertainment to help teach kids to be kind, prepared, and proactive in changing the landscape. It’s up to all of us.
Tips for Parents
- What are some signs that your own kid is cyberbullying? When should you get involved? We’ve answered Parents’ Top 10 Cyberbullying Questions.
Resources for Educators
- Teachers and administrators can address important topics like cyberbullying in an age-appropriate way with our free K-12 digital-citizenship curriculum.
- Standing Up, Not Standing By: A Free Cyberbullying Toolkit for Educators
Tools for Kids
- Surprise! The same digital tools that kids can use for cyberbullying also can be instruments for good. Check out these Apps and Games to Spark Kindness and Compassion.
- Teaching kids empathy is one of the most important jobs of being a parent. These great books for all ages will help make it easier. They celebrate friendship, difference, and the importance of caring for one another.
- Cyberbullying Prevention Tips for Kids [VIDEO]
Whether your kid is 2 or 12, your being informed and taking a proactive role in her complex online life is key. It’s not just about turning off devices or encouraging responsible use. It’s about creating a culture of empathy, starting at home. It’s about knowing what to say and do when your kid is at risk, monitoring (without spying), and knowing the difference between bullying and just “kids being kids.”
We hope you’ll share these resources with others who care about kids.
Author- Taryn Degnan – Common Sense Media’s Interactive Marketing Manager