In the digital age, monitoring the online content that our children are accessing and consuming adds a further layer of complexity. Most parents do their best to educate their kids and maintain open communication about the pitfalls of the online world and how to deal with it. But kids are tech savvy, naturally curious, and often defiant. Prior to the advent of social media, some degree of comfort and protection existed for kids who were being bullied, by being able to walk outside the school gate or step off the bus at the end of the day. For those children and teens who had a stable and loving home life, this could offer some respite from the jeers, cruel practical jokes and public humiliation dished out by their peers.
Nowadays, the rise of numerous social media platforms means there is no escape and no reprieve from bullying. It’s now as easy as the click of a button for bullies to launch and maintain relentless hate campaigns that make their targets feel unsafe in every aspect of their lives. Thankfully, many schools today have ‘zero tolerance’ anti-bullying policies. Encouraging regular conversations with our kids about inclusivity, respect and kindness also helps them to speak up early on when they recognize bullying behavior. But sometimes, even the best of intentions can’t prevent the unthinkable from happening.
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