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Part 2 of 2: Protect Your Children from Cyberbullying (Internet Bullying)

Part 2 of 2: Protect Your Children From Cyberbullying (Internet Bullying)

Here is an article from Israel Kahlman; he wants the word to get out to as many folks as possible. I personally had the opportunity to spend the day training under Izzy, and feel that he knows of what he speaks. As a bonus, he has a big heart for young people. As you will notice, it is written for young people. Show it to your children; it might save them a world of trouble.

I’m printing it here in two parts. I’m not sure Izzy’s links will show up as I cut-and-paste, but I do encourage you to visit his website at http://www.Bullies2Buddies.com.

James Sutton, Psychologist

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5. Don’t try to get kids in trouble for cyberbullying. If you tell the school or the police on them, they will hate you and want to be even meaner to you. Furthermore, getting them in trouble would be against the Golden Rule – “Treat others the way you want to be treated.” What would you rather have someone do to you: 1) Write something mean about you to other kids, or 2) Get you in trouble with the school or the police? Of course you’d prefer the first. One of the meanest things you can do to people is to get them in trouble with the authorities. Therefore, if you get kids in trouble for cyberbullying, what you are doing to them is much worse than what they did to you. Just because they did something mean to you, it doesn’t make it right to be even meaner to them. When people are mean to you, talk to them directly, without anger. They will like and respect you much more than if you go to the authorities.If people are making serious threats against you, and you think they are actually planning to harm you, that is a different matter. Then you should tell your parents or the school, or go to the police if necessary. But if you are reasonably sure they don’t intend to carry out their threats, it’s best not to pay attention to them.

6. There’s an old saying, “Bad publicity is better than no publicity.” Have you ever stood in line at a supermarket? Have you noticed the magazines at the checkout counter? They are full of nasty stuff about famous people, or “celebrities”. And these things are often true! How can celebrities stand it when their pictures, along with nasty stories about them and their families are in every supermarket in the country? And you know who gets made fun of the most? The President! Newspapers, magazines and TV shows are always criticizing him. How does the President handle it?The simple truth is that the more famous and powerful you are the more people are going to want to make fun of you. So if other kids are spreading mean things about you, tell yourself they are giving you free publicity and helping to make you famous. Remember, when kids read mean things about you on the Internet, it’s not like they’re reading it in a newspaper. They know that a lot of the nasty stuff is nonsense. So don’t worry that they’ll all believe it.  

7. There’s always a chance that kids are bullying you over the Internet because they are mad at you. It’s a good idea to ask the kids writing the nasty stuff “Are you mad at me?” If they answer “Yes,” ask them why. If they tell you, discuss the matter with them – without anger – and apologize if it seems right to do so. If they are not mad at you, they may realize they have no good reason to be so mean will stop. If they continue to do it, you might then ask them why they are doing it if they are not mad at you. If they still don’t stop, let them do it all they want and show them it is perfectly okay with you.  

8. You may be really upset because they are “destroying your reputation.” Destroying the reputation of adults can cause serious, real-life harm to them. For instance, it can hurt their ability to get a job or a marriage partner. The crimes of “slander” and “libel” are not protected by Freedom of Speech, and adults can take people to court for doing it to them. You may feel like doing so, too. However, if you’re a kid, it’s usually not the same as with adults. You don’t have much of a “reputation” to be destroyed and the cyberbullying isn’t going to affect your life in a real way, other than hurting your feelings and getting kids to laugh about you. If you take the opportunity to show that it doesn’t bother you because you know it’s nonsense, people will respect you and you will even come out a winner in the situation. It’s different, though, if, for instance, your school principal wants to expel you because she believes the mean things that are being written about you. Then you do have a good reason to fight the cyberbullying.

9. Respond with humor. This is possibly the best way to win and get people to like you and respect you.Most people, including adults, aren’t aware of what humor is about. Humor is not nice. Humor involves making people look bad. If you are not sure about this, pay attention to the comedy shows you like. You will discover that it’s only funny when people look stupid, clumsy or miserable. Do other kids laugh about the nasty things written about you over the Internet? It’s because they are making you look bad. You can choose to get upset about it. This will make you look like an even bigger fool and they will laugh even more at you. Or you can take it as a joke and add your own jokes about it. Then people will see that they can’t upset you, and that you don’t take yourself so seriously that you can’t laugh about yourself.For instance, if kids write that you wet your bed at night, you can say, “No I don’t. I sleep in the bathtub so that I won’t have to change any sheets!” If they say that you slept with the football team, you can say that your dog did, too. If they pass around a doctored-up picture of you, you can respond, “I just got plastic surgery. Isn’t it great!”

10.The last rule is to be nice to others over the Internet. Can you expect others to write only nice things about you if you write nasty things about others? Even if they are nasty first, it doesn’t make it right to be nasty back. Being nice to others is the best guarantee that people will be nice to you.

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August 19, 2006 - Posted by | Educators, Parents

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