Vladerag's Blog











It is always sad when a child dies, even more so when it could be prevented.  All death is sad, true.  But death before you really have a chance to live is so much more so.  So when a beautiful thirteen year old girl commits suicide, we want to know why.

I wont draw more attention to the story that led me to post this, families deserve to grieve in peace.  However, one thing the girls father said struck me, “In today’s society, he said, it wasn’t possible for his daughter to escape bullying. She’d go home on weekends, and the bullying would continue on Facebook.”

The quotation is straight out of the paper that reported this.

It struck me because the bullying can be escaped, and people, escpecially parents, need to know how to do this.

This article is written for parents, but can be adapted to any situation.  This is a step by step guide to stop your child from being bullied, so we will start at step one.

1. The first step in stopping bullying is knowing that it happens.  Ask your child about their day and listen to what they say.  They will probably say “Good,” and refuse to elaborate.  Don’t bother to press them, you arent likely to get a truthful response.  If they want to tell you all about their day, Great!  If not, get creative.

If you suspect your child is having trouble, making a quick call to their teachers can tell you a lot.  A good way to be clued into cyber bullying is to get an account of whatever social site your kids has, and make certain they friend you.  If you are their facebook friend, you will be able to see their pictures and their wall, so you will have a better idea what is going on online.

Keep an eye out for the usual warning signs.  Depressed mood, sliping grades, etc.  The biggest key is to not be overbearing, but at the same time to be observant.

2. When you know your kid is being bullied, take action.  First thing you want to do is try to encourage your kid.  The easiest way to make bullies powerless is to imbue your kid with self-esteem.  Let them know they are doing well, compliment them on how they look, on what they are doing, etc.

If you found out that they are being bullied without them telling you, dont tell them.  They will likely not want interference from you on the issue and probably wont believe anything you say.  Make sure you dont shower them with nicities either, they will notice and disregard you as weird.

Since your kids might not take what you say at value anyway, convince a relative to help.  Cousins are a good choice, approach them and let them know that a kind word here and there can help a lot.

Remember, the best way to beat bullying is to ignore it.  If it can be beat with self-esteem, that is the way to go.  Your child will feel even better for it.

3.  Except that doesnt always work.  Some bullys are either too clever with how they hurt people, or simply to viscous, or perhaps your child is just to depressed to resist.  No matter the case, this problem has gone beyond self-esteem issues.

Some would suggest running to the schools at this point, but there is an easier way of handling this.  Talk to the parents of the bullyers.  A personal talk with the bullies parents can do more for you than a meeting with the teachers.  Parents have more power over their kids lives, and (almost) no parent wants a bully for a child.

Once they realize they can get in trouble at home for what they do at school, you will have less trouble.

As for cyberbullying, this is when you ask your child to unfriend and stop contacting the bullies.  I say ask because you want them to do it themselves.  If they dont, well, it is time for step 4.

4.  The thing is, however, that some people dont care if their kid bullies others.  Or, it could be that it is all online, and you cant have a chat with the parents.

If you are dealing with people you can meet in person, now is when you go to the school.  With the recent incidents of suicide and violence, schools generally have zero-tolerance polcies in regards to bullying.  Make it clear that you expect them to be enforced.  Generally, you wont have to make a point of it.  Teachers and staff are usually more than happy to comply, and suspension is a message that should get through to the offenders.

If you are faced with a school that is less than helpful, remember that the principle is not the final authority.  Go above their heads and remember that school districts want nothing to do with scandals or problems.  If that doesnt work, step 5 is for you.

In regards to cyberbullying, this is when you pull the plug.  There is no step 5 for cyberbullying, because it should never go that far.  This is when your kid unfriends the bullys or you cut them off.  If they are not willing to block the bullies themselves, use parental controls.

Parental controls dont always work against computer savvy people, which your child likely is.  So you may have to do something more drastic.  If you happen to be computer savvy yourself, go the extra mile and modify your computers HOSTS file.  That is something generally out of most kids computer expertise.  Be sure to remember to block both the www. address and the one with out the www. because they have different IP addresses.

If you dont know how, or are uncomfortable with something so drastic.  The easiest way is to pull out the cable from your internet router.  No internet means no internet bullying.  If your kids need to do homework, reconnect it for a time.  But keep watch to make sure they arent going to facebook and other sites.

And when I say keep watch, I mean randomly take the computer from them and check every window and their history to make sure they arent pulling a fast one on you.  Be wary of “projects” that seem to take forever, and remember you can always ask the teachers if it exists.

5.  OK.  This is it.  By this point you have tried to encourage your child, talk to the bullies parents, talk to the teachers, and even go above them and talk to the districts.  You have tried almost everything you can do.  But not everything.

This is the final, most drastic way to stop bullying, and it will do it.

You see, many forms of bullying are not just amoral, but illegal.  Threats against your child are assualt, and you can have them arrested for it.  If (physical people) are using facebook and other networks to slander your child, you can make a case that it will interfere with their abillity to get a job in the future and get into college.  Because it will.  Businesses and colleges will check these things, and if they see things they dont like, it can really hurt.

Talking to the police is the final straw, a last resort, and not something to be taken lightly.  Make sure you have exhausted all other options before you do this.

6. While number 5 is really the last option for stopping bullying, if nothing else works, there is one more option:  Leave.  Change classes, change schools, change cities, just get your kid out from that enviorment.  Obviously, you shouldnt have to give into bullying, but being an adult means making some touch choices, and that might meen uprooting everything.

I hope this helps people out there.  Remember, you never need to give into bullies.



{October 26, 2009}   omg i txt 2 mch

Did you get the title?  Chances are your kid would.  You cant walk through a school, mall, or any place kids congregate without seeing texting.  Am i the only one annoyed by this?  Whatever happened to calling people?  Am I not worth the few seconds it would take to dial my number?  Am I not worth correct grammar, or even correct spelling?  The answer, in short, is no.

Kids these days are more addicted to their phones then cocaine.  When a class was asked if they ever left their phones home by accident, each said that they had had at least 100 texts waiting for them when they got home.  You know what the most amazing thing was?  One kid reported he had come home to over 500 texts on his cell phone.

I don’t know about you, but I didn’t know cell phones would hold 5oo texts.

I don’t know a single kid who would leave their beloved cell at home, much less be off it for more than ten seconds.  If you don’t get the picture yet, this will help.  They have texting rehab clinics!  You don’t need rehab for good things.

Texters have actually developed early arthritis and other old age problems with their joints, but they happen to be sixteen.  You know you are doing something wrong when you get a disease 50 years early because of it.

Still, I could overlook that if it wasn’t so annoying talking to them.  As you speak, they read and reply to texts, not even looking at you as their thumbs fly across the tiny little pad.  Are they paying attention?  Good question, I have no idea.  The person they are texting is apparently not worthy to hear their voice, and I’m apparently not worthy to bother paying attention too.

It is in the classrooms?  You bet!  Kid writing?  Nope, texting.  Reading?  His texts!  Listening, maybe to an iPod, but probably texting.

Forget H1N1, this is the real pandemic!  Soon all we will be reduced to is emoticons and single syllable pre-words before our culture collapses entirely.



et cetera