Posts tagged bullying
On Saturday, I did a book signing at a Barnes & Noble in eastern PA. Lots of bright, creative kids made my day by creating artwork representing “How to be a friend to someone who is being bullied.” I couldn’t keep them all to myself! Below, please join me in enjoying a few of my favorite masterpieces. Thanks to ALL of the kids who participated!
A friend of mine from graduate school and I were just lamenting over the fact that our daughters are asking to have e-mail accounts. Well, actually, we were marveling at how time has flown and that our kids are at this age already. Ok, truthfully, we were feeling sorry for ourselves about how old we must be to have tween-age kids, but I digress…
She and I are both concerned about setting guidelines for our girls as they take big steps into the world of technology social media. Here are the sets of guidelines she and I each pieced together from our own wisdom and bits of advice on the web. I like hers better…she liked mine…together, perhaps we have a whole parent’s brain. You can feel free to pick and choose from either. Hopefully, you can find the suggestions helpful:
1. Always be kind, and do not ever use email to say ugly, nasty, or mean things about ANYONE. Not only is that not behavior not acceptable, but email can always be forwarded to someone & hurt their feelings.
2. If you don’t recognize an address in your inbox, or someone sends you a weird email, don’t touch the email & come get me or Daddy.
3. No opening attachments or clicking on links without approval.
4. Daddy and I can and will access your emails at any time. You must give us your password(s) if you change them.
5. The only computers you are allowed to access your email from is mine or Daddy’s (and Grandma’s). If you access Gmail from school, you would have to be responsible enough to “SIGN OUT” so that the next person can’t access your email. Many grown-ups can’t even remember to do this, so I’m not going to ask you to. So, no accessing emails from school until I believe you’re responsible enough to do this.
6. NEVER click the “remember me” or “remember this password?” if you do access your email from another computer (against my rules). This will allow that computer to ALWAYS remember your password without the person sitting there to even think about it.
7. Never send to anyone in an email the following: your real address, phone number, any passwords, our cell phone numbers, your birthday/date, social security number or any other identifying information–not even to someone you know. This will cause you BIG, BIG problems or put you in DANGER from people who want to harm children.
8. Don’t use “Reply all.” Many grown-ups don’t even understand how to use this properly.
9. If someone emails you telling you you won something: you didn’t. Come get one of us.
10. Don’t go into the “Spam” folder – that’s not a place for children, and I’m trusting you enough to follow this rule (and the others). If you think an email you want may have mistakenly found its way in there, ask one of us to look in there for you.
11. You are not allowed to use Google+ without our permission. That is something you can earn with good behavior and when you’re a little older.
YOUR EMAIL ACCOUNT IS A PRIVILEGE. WE CAN REVOKE THIS PRIVILEGE AT ANY TIME. WE CAN RESTRICT THE PRIVILEGE IN ANY WAY AT ANY TIME. WE EXPECT YOU TO FOLLOW THESE RULES IF YOU WANT TO KEEP THIS PRIVILEGE.
SOCIAL MEDIA CONTRACT:
We believe our family values include kindness, honesty, and compassion for others. Our use of technology must reflect these values. Therefore, we recognize that having an email address, texting, using a YouTube account, and any other uses of technology must follow these rules:
- Communication (sending e-mails, commenting on videos, sending texts, etc) is for the purpose of friendship and exchange of ideas or information. It is never for spreading gossip, making rude comments, using bad language, or giving out personal information to people we don’t know.
- Technology can never be used for the purposes of humiliating, embarrassing, getting revenge upon, or hurting others in any way.
- Sending or uploading photos and videos with any personally identifying images or information are not permitted unless specially approved by Mommy or Daddy.
- Mommy and Daddy must always have access to the passwords and content for all of your technology accounts.
- Mommy and Daddy reserve the right to insist that particular sites and friends who behave in violation of our values be banned or blocked.
- No emails, texts, YouTube comments, etc after 9:00pm (school year) and 9:30pm (summer).
If these rules are not followed, the following will occur:
First violation: All technology privileges ended for 7 days.
Second violation: All technology privileges ended for 14 days.
Third violation: All technology privileges ended indefinitely.
While we understand that anyone can make a mistake, we believe that living according to our values is critically important.
For more information and suggestions for teaching kids about ethical uses of technology and social media, please check out my post on Psychology Today, Teaching Netiquette to Kids.
This article from the Cyberbullying Research Center provides great, detailed information and instructions for kids (and their parents!) on what to do if a fake Facebook profile is created about them. Check it out!
HuffingtonPost writer, Michelle Baker, has shared this amazingly honest and deeply touching piece about bullying…by children, by adults, by those most trusted and most able to wound. I was struck by each and every paragraph of her article, but particularly by these words, which I know firsthand to be true from having worked as a therapist with traumatized children and adolescents:
I am always amazed when I hear anyone say that teenagers act out simply “to get attention.” Of course, they do. Children act out because they do need attention: positive, proactive, compassionate, responsive and responsible attention. I am astonished by how many adults don’t do anything because they don’t know what to do or ignore the situation because they don’t want to acknowledge that they might have to change. For a child in crisis whose parents and adult community have not shown the ability to appropriately respond in times of need, radical acts are often the only measures a child has in order to get someone to pay attention and take action.
Please check out: Bullying Runs Deep: Breaking the Code of Silence That Protects Bullies
I would love for everyone to listen to the attached poem, written and read by ‘apoetaswell.’ “That Moment” is a poem about becoming a hero to someone in need–the exact moment stressed but the anti-bullying organization, Sweethearts & Heroes. According to Sweethearts and Heroes founders Tom Murphy and Jason Spector, peers only intervene in bullying situations 10% of the time, but when a peer (or what they call a Hero) intervenes within 10-seconds (That Moment), they are successful 60% of the time.
My favorite line:
HOPE: Hold On, Possibilities Exist
Click on the link below to listen:
Enter to win a free, signed copy of Friendship & Other Weapons: Group Activities to Help Young Girls Cope With Bullying. Click here or on the link below to visit Mom Does Reviews for drawing rules and your chance to win. While you’re there, check out all of the nice things this reviewer had to say about my book
If you are interested in receiving a review copy of Friendship & Other Weapons or How to Be Angry: An Assertive Anger Expression Group Guide for Kids and Teens, please email me at Signe@signewhitson.com
Rachel Simmons is one of the first people to inspire me to work in the field of girl bullying. I love what she says here to girls–encouraging them to own their feelings and accept their imperfections. I also love the practical skill set she encourages: giving girls a framework for analyzing what they can do better and what they did well in particular aspects of their lives.
While you are checking out Rachel’s video, be sure to browse around the Toward the Stars site–it’s a brand new initiative launched by the visionary Ines Almeida. Her “tribe’s” purpose is to help reduce the threats to girlhood that crush girls ‘ true nature and potential. Her dream is to create a unique marketplace focused on changing gender stereotypes that cause girls to obsess over body image, keep them from taking leadership roles, and limit girls’ interests in sciences and math.