As the parent of a tween girl, I am learning the challenges my wife and I faced as tweens and teens are no comparison to those our daughter may face. I can only imagine if some of the embarrassing and regretful things that I did as a teenager were exposed to the world, like that of many kids today.
When I messed up as a kid, the negative effects were short lived. Or at least localized. Today, our kid’s mistakes may end up on national TV and around the world, by way of Facebook, Twitter, and/or YouTube. It can be a very dangerous combination that has way too many times ended tragic for many kids.
The YouTube video below tells the story of Amanda Todd’s bullying experience, and multiple suicide attempts. It was recorded and told by her, in her own (written) words. I do not know the relationship between Amanda and her parents, but Amanda clearly felt she had nobody and no options. Maybe more parental involvement could have prevented her suicide.
It is crucial for parents to be involved in our children’s lives today, and to create a culture of open and honest communication. We have to talk to them, listen to them, teach them, and be there for them. There are many tools and resources today to help, even music videos.
Stories like Amanda’s seem to be reoccurring too often today, so much so that October has been named National Bullying Prevention Month. I encourage everyone to become aware of the impact bullying is having on our youth today, and take some action to fight it. Share this story, the music video, #MikeBully (Stand Up For Our Future), and any other resources you have come across to prevent this from happening to any more children.
BMWK: How can what happened to Amanda be prevented? Have you ever caught your kids using social media inappropriately? What did you do? Please share in the comment section below.