WESTBROOK, Minnesota (STPNS) -- To say things have really changed since I was a kid would be a major understatement. Of course advances in technology from electricity to the way we grow corn go without saying. But when it comes to bullying the landscape is vastly different.
When I was growing up most of the bullying took place on the playground. Sometimes it was taunting, or horse play, but other times it was hurtful attacks on kids that were perceived to be weak. I suspect quite a few people my age suffered at least a little bullying. But I think most of us turned out OK for our experiences, but some probably had life long problems that could have affected them.
Last week I attended one of the sessions given by Nationally Certified Counselor Fay Prairie. She gave sessions at WWG for K-3, 4-6, 7-9, 10-12 and an evening session for parents.
I was able to attend the session for 4th through 6th grade students. While I am somewhat informed about some of the issues of bullying, I find it is a whole new thing for those who are being bullied today. I feel with the advent of the various forms of electronic communications available to us bullying has become a more far reaching problem that in someways effects all of us.
Bullying seems to be creeping into the work place, and even in politics. The non partisan tone of politics is beginning to have a devastating effect on our political landscape these days. Apparently a lot of our politicians must have skipped kindergarten, because that is where most kids learn the Golden Rule, assuming that is still taught in kindergarten.
Of course what kids learn at home in their own family life can have a great bearing on how they behave themselves when they are away from home.
I donít know how much bullying there is in our schools now, but I suspect there is some of it, especially with kids having cell phones and access to facebook and other social media.
One thing that surprised me a little was when Prairie asked how many kids were on facebook, about a dozen or so kids raised their hands. I am not sure about the rules of facebook, but I know you have to be at least 13 to have an account. I donít think we have any 13 year old kids in the sixth grade. So I am wondering how they are using it.
She also asked how many kids had cell phones and about 2 dozen kids raised their hands. I am not saying whether or not they should or should not have cell phones or be on facebook. However with some of the problems that can arise from the use of any of those things, parents must take strong precautions and control the use of them.
Parents have a strong duty to protect their children from anything that is bad for them. Not only for their safety, but from unintended bills from internet and cell phone companies. All of these devices have parental controls available to help prevent bad things from happening.
As a parent there are a lot of things that can get beyond your control. But talking to your kids can have a profound effect on your relationships with them and their friends.
Of course as adults, it is up to all of us to set good examples for our young people.
Have a great week and do good!
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