Today a family will say their final goodbyes to a child. A child that became victim to cyberbullying. It’s crushing to hear that anyone could be made to feel as if they are better off not existing. I hope and pray that David Molaks life is a wake-up call to everyone to end the digital drama and cyberbullying.
I’ve witnessed first-hand situations where peer pressure and bullying occurred with my own teenager. I had lengthy conversations with principals, teachers, and counselors about what I would see and overhear. I found the line between being a tattle-tale and an informer to be greyed for students. Even if you vow to not let your child be on social media, digital drama and cyberbullying can still exist for them.
We can sit here and blame the parents, but the one thing we can’t do is bring back life when it is too late. It is important that we all make a change to stop the digital drama and cyberbullying.
6 Tips To Help Parents Stop Digital Drama and Cyberbullying
I have spent a lot of my free time encouraging my own teenager not be a follower, to always put himself in the other person’s shoes and to be a young man who didn’t fall into the trap of thinking he was not worth respect. Bullying is nothing new and we’d be naive to think our own children aren’t capable of being the bully.
Let’s empower ourselves and our children to be confident in who they are. How we look, what we believe in and our choices.
Open communication is key. As busy as we can get, it’s important to know what is going on daily. Ask questions and stay involved in what is going on in their world.
Monitor computers, phones, social media accounts, phone apps, conversations. Have access to their social media accounts, passwords, and keep close tabs on what they and their peers are posting. Monitor that their social profiles are private, don’t provide too much information and that they are only friending real life friends.
Connect With Teachers and Administration
As a parent, it’s our responsibility to identify ourselves with their teachers and counselors. Make it a point to reach out not only at the beginning of the year but throughout. Ask questions about the kind of student they are, how they seem to be progressing, etc.
Teach your child to look out for bullies even when it is not happening to them. Encourage them to not follow suit and to respect the situation by letting adults know what is going on.
Have an Alliance
Connect with parents in your community and schools to discuss behavior among the kids in your community. With multiple parents keeping tabs on what their children tell them, what they see on social profiles and hear, you can help identify cyberbullying.