Headline: Schoolgirls Bullied Into Stripping Online

Bad enough, but imagine this:

The focus groups also revealed victims refuse to tell an adult about the abuse because they fear they will be punished in order to be protected.

“They’re scared that their parents will take away their computer privileges,” Mishna said.

Oy.

I keep imagining what the parents of those girls would think if they heard that. And this is, I think, more about parenting than anything else. And it’s about how we act. What we do teaches our own kids volumes more than what we say.

I won’t speak for other parents, so here’s what I’ve set as my own path for helping my own kids deal with the inevitabilities of this extremely complex and wide-ranging social issue.

  • Talk to my kids about what bullying is.
  • Start conversations about how to deal with being bullied.
  • Help to empower them to stand up for themselves and others.
  • Point out bias and objectification when I see it.
  • Point out gratuitous violence when I see it.
  • Point out victimization when I see it.
  • Model appropriate responses to inappropriate contacts or content.
  • Model empathy and inclusiveness.
  • Model cooperation instead of competition.
  • Model a peaceful presence in the world.

Fingers crossed…

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