Tag Archives: Bullying

Dr. Wilda Reviews: children’s book: ‘Bully Bean’

18 Aug

Moi received a complimentary copy of Bully Bean. Here is information about Bully Bean:

Authors: Thomas Weck and Peter Weck
Illustrator: Len Di Salvo
Publisher: Lima bean Press
ISBN: 978-1-933872-05-6

2.5 Kids blog answered the question at what age do children start bullying?

Bullying Starts as Early as 6 Years Old
Usually bullying can start as early as 6 years old, but even earlier depending on what experiences a child has been exposed to.
For instance, if a child with an aggressive personality is exposed to violence in the home at a very early age, he or she could begin bullying as young as 4, when empathy is still being formed. http://2point5kids.com/bullying/at-what-age-does-bullying-start/

Bully Bean is not only a timely, but necessary book. It is aimed at children from ages 4 to 8.
Bully Bean teaches the child in all of us about values and the fact that bullies are neither happy nor successful.

UNESCO describes “Values Education”

Introduction
The values and attitudes we live by affect how we relate to other people and to all our activities in the environment, and so are a major influence on our prospects for achieving a sustainable future.
Although they cannot be separated from cognitive understanding, values and attitudes relate to the affective (or emotional) dimension of human behaviour. While values and attitudes are similar in this regard, they differ in several important ways.
• Values are generally long-term standards or principles that are used to judge the worth of an idea or action. They provide the criteria by which we decide whether something is good or bad, right or wrong.
• Attitudes predispose us to respond in particular ways to people and events. They are not so deeply felt as values and quite often change as a result of experience.
This module provides an opportunity to consider the importance of human values and attitudes in shaping the future. It also provides ideas and examples for two categories of strategies for exploring values in the classroom – values clarification and values analysis.
Objectives
• To develop an understanding of values education strategies;
• To consider the relation between values and personal behaviour affecting the achievement of sustainable futures;
• To reflect on your futures awareness, commitment and actions; and
• To develop skills for using values clarification and values analysis in teaching. http://www.unesco.org/education/tlsf/mods/theme_d/mod22.html

Here is information about Lima Bear Press:

Lima Bear® Press has a very straightforward mission: to publish children’s stories that are, engaging, imaginative, and humorous while each carries an important life message such as tolerance, honesty, courage and the like.
In the 10-book series entitled The Lima Bear Stories, as the basic characters appear and reappear, each has a distinct personality that shines through in every story. While the children have no idea what twists and turns the story may take, they come to know the characters and have a pretty good idea of how they are likely to act in different situations and settings. In essence, the children become friends with the characters. There is a form of bonding that develops. Each story carries an important overriding message (such as courage, tolerance, honesty), and we believe that this bonding creates a more profound understanding and appreciation of the message. http://limabearpress.com/index.html

Lima Bear Press accomplished their objective with Bully Bean. For another great book about values, see Dr. Wilda Reviews: children’s book: Bimbambu. http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/2013/08/18/dr-wilda-reviews-childrens-book-bimbambu/

The press material describes the reason the authors wrote Bully Bean:

From a young age, children are exposed to the harsh and unfair aspects of being bullied. It is sometimes hard for adults to understand how vulnerable all kids are to bullying. Children and parents struggle to figure out the best way of handling bullying situations.

Bully Bean is a wonderful story told in a way in which children can relate to. Children can see that the beans are a diverse group and because of their differences, some beans are treated differently than others. Bully Bean, the largest bean, has to learn to see how his size and strength can be used in positive ways. Along with the theme that bullying is wrong, another theme is forgiveness. That is something that all the beans have to learn and that allows them to go forward with building a better community for all beans.

The cover provides a good introduction to the story. The text flows and there is a little rhyme which ties the story together. Bully Bean is printed on high quality paper and children are sure to treasure the book and the message. It is just a beautiful little book.

This is a Dr. Wilda Reviews Best Pick with a definite thumbs up.

Where information leads to Hope. ©
Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/
Dr. Wilda Reviews ©
http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/
Dr. Wilda ©
https://drwilda.com/

Massachusetts Aggression Center study: Cyberbullying and elementary school children

30 Jul

Moi wrote about bullying in Ohio State University study: Characteristics of kids who are bullies:
A Rotary Club in London has a statement about the Ripple Effect

Ripple Effect – Sending Waves of Goodness into the World
Like a drop of water falling into a pond, our every action ripples outward, affecting other lives in ways both obvious and unseen.
We touch the lives of those with whom we come into contact and, by extension, those with whom they come into contact.
When our actions spring from a spirit of kindness or compassion or generosity, we set into motion a “virtuous cycle” that radiates far beyond our ability to see, or perhaps even fully comprehend.
Just as a smile is infectious, so are more overt forms of service. Our objective — whether in something as formal as a highly-structured website development project or as casual as the spontaneous small kindnesses we share with strangers in hopes of brightening their day — is to send waves of positive change in the world, one act of service at a time.

Unfortunately, some children due to a variety of behaviors in their lives miss the message of the “Ripple Effect.”
Ohio State University reported in the press release, SCHOOL BULLIES MORE LIKELY TO BE SUBSTANCE USERS, STUDY FINDS:

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Middle- and high-school students who bully their classmates are more likely than others to use substances such as cigarettes, alcohol and marijuana, a new study found.
Researchers found that bullies and bully-victims – youth who are both perpetrators and victims – were more likely to use substances than were victims and non-involved youth.
“Our findings suggest that one deviant behavior may be related to another,” said Kisha Radliff, lead author of the study and assistant professor of school psychology at Ohio State University.
“For example, youth who bully others might be more likely to also try substance use.  The reverse could also be true in that youth who use substances might be more likely to bully others.”
The researchers didn’t find as strong a link between victims of bullying and substance use.
Radliff conducted the study with Joe Wheaton, associate professor in Special Education, and Kelly Robinson and Julie Morris, both former graduate students, all at Ohio State.
Their study appears in the April 2012 issue of the journal Addictive Behaviors.
Data for the study came from a survey of 74,247 students enrolled in all public, private and Catholic middle and high schools in Franklin County, Ohio (which includes Columbus).
Among the 152 questions on the survey were eight that involved bullying, either as a victim or perpetrator.  Students were asked about how often they told lies or spread false rumors about others, pushed people around to make them afraid, or left someone out of a group to hurt them.  They were also asked how often they were the victims of such actions.
In addition, the questionnaire asked how often they used cigarettes, alcohol and marijuana.  For this study, users were defined as those who reported use at least once a month.
Results showed that bullying was more common among middle-school students than those in high school, while substance use was more prevalent among high-school students.
About 30 percent of middle-school students were bullies, victims or bully-victims, compared to 23 percent of those in high school.
Fewer than 5 percent of middle-school youth used cigarettes, alcohol, or marijuana.  But among high-school students, about 32 percent reported alcohol use, 14 percent used cigarettes and 16 percent used marijuana.
But substance use varied depending on involvement in bullying, the researchers found.
For example, among middle-school students, only 1.6 percent of those not involved in bullying reported marijuana use.  But 11.4 percent of bullies and 6.1 percent of bully-victims used the drug.  Findings showed that 2.4 percent of victims were marijuana users.
Among high school students, 13.3 percent of those not involved in bullying were marijuana users – compared to 31.7 percent of bullies, 29.2 percent of bully-victims, and 16.6 percent of victims.
Similar results were found for alcohol and cigarette use.
But the percentages tell only part of the story, Radliff said.  The researchers also used a statistical analysis that showed that bullies and bully-victims had much higher than expected levels of substance use.
“That suggests there is a relationship between experimenting with substances and engaging in bullying behavior,” she said.
Statistically, however, there was no connection between being a victim and substance use among middle-school students, according to Radliff.  The use of cigarettes and alcohol was statistically greater for victims in high school, but there was no statistically significant effect on marijuana use.
Nevertheless, it was the bullies and bully-victims who were the most likely to be substance users.
Radliff said these results may lead to ways anti-bullying initiatives can be improved.
“Many schools are mandating anti-bullying programs and policies, and we think they need to take this opportunity to address other forms of deviant behavior, such as substance use,” she said.
This might be especially important in middle school, where bullying is more prevalent, but substance use is still relatively rare.
“If we can intervene with bullies while they’re in middle school, we may be able to help them before they start experimenting with substance use,” she said.
Contact: Kisha Radliff, (614) 292-6485; KRadliff@ehe.osu.edu
Written by Jeff Grabmeier, (614) 292-8457; Grabmeier.1@osu.edu
http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/bullyuse.htm
See, Kids Who Bully May Be More Likely to Smoke, Drink http://news.yahoo.com/kids-bully-may-more-likely-smoke-drink-170405321.html

https://drwilda.com/2012/03/13/ohio-state-university-study-characteristics-of-kids-who-are-bullies/
Anne Collier wrote in the Christian Science Monitor article, Cyberbullying study one of the first to research elementary school-aged youth:

Rare is the opportunity to get insights into cyberbullying in elementary school because most US research has focused on youth aged 12 and up. The Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center (MARC) really delivered by surveying a huge sample – more than 11,700 – 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders three times over a year and a half, and I believe the results clearly demonstrate the need for social-emotional learning and media literacy education starting in even lower grades.
For example, 90 percent of 3rd graders play interactive games (and they didn’t just start in 3rd grade!), and most cyberbullying among them occurs in online games, MARC found. But before you jump to any conclusions about games, note this finding:
“Children at
 the highest risk for repeatedly cyberbullying others were the most likely to report problems 
on Facebook, email, or through text messaging.” What this suggested to MARC is that – though safety and social-literacy education should fold in online game play – it shouldn’t stop there but embrace Facebook, e-mail, and texting too, even for under-13 Facebook users. The 19 percent of girls in grades 3 to 5 who were using Facebook in 2010 increased to 49 percent by 2012. Remember that Facebook and social games are on phones too, and there’s lots of anecdotal evidence that plenty of 4th and 5th graders are in Instagram (see this) and game apps like Clash of Clans….
Teaching children how to “recognize, report and refuse bullying,” as the bullying prevention and social literacy experts at Committee for Children in Seattle put it, is essential to reducing bullying in school and media environments. But what experts worldwide are seeing and voicing more and more is that social-emotional learning (SEL) – teaching our children how to detect and manage their own emotions and make good social decisions is the bedrock. Educators in Illinois certainly understand this, since in 2004, their state was the first to adopt SEL into its academic standards. Teacher Tontaneshia Jones of Chicago’s Ella Flagg Young School calls SEL “problem-solving with dignity,” as I wrote here, but its positive impact goes well beyond even social problem-solving to improving academic performance and a number of other factors for students and schools (see this).
http://www.csmonitor.com/The-Culture/Family/Modern-Parenthood/2013/0725/Cyberbullying-study-one-of-the-first-to-research-elementary-school-aged-youth
See, Study Calls for Cyberbullying Education in Elementary Schools http://www.educationnews.org/technology/study-calls-for-cyberbullying-education-in-elementary-schools/#sthash.rj0xfN5g.dpuf

Here is the press release from The Massachusetts Aggression Center:

Cyberbullying among 11,700 Elementary School
Students, 2010-2012
Dr. Elizabeth Englander
Director, Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center
Bridgewater State University, Bridgewater, MA

Presented on November 6, 2012, at the International Bullying Prevention Association Annual Conference, Kansas City, MO.
Study:
11,700+ Third-, Fourth- and Fifth-Graders, sampled in New England from a variety of schools (representing a variety of socioeconomic classes), between January 2010 and September, 2012.
Major Findings:

1. Elementary school children are already immersed in cyber-technology. Over 90% of third graders reported playing interactive games online. 35% of subjects reported owning a cellphone; most owned smartphones (see #8 below). This suggests : cyber-education needs to begin well before middle school.
2. Most elementary cyberbullying occurred in online games. However, children at the highest risk for repeatedly cyberbullying others were the most likely to report problems on Facebook, email, or through Text Messaging. This suggests: elementary cyberbullying education should probably include lessons relevant to online game-playing dynamics. Also, when a child aged 8 to 11 reports a problem on Facebook, email, or messaging, that should be regarded as a possible warning sign of higher-risk online involvement.
3. Use of Facebook increased among third, fourth, and fifth graders between 2010-2012, especially among girls. 19% of girls were using Facebook in 2010; that number rose to 49% in 2012. This suggests:
parents and children may not understand the existence or rationale of federal age guidelines (13 years or older) for Facebook and similar websites.
4. Cell phone ownership increased in every grade. For example, among fourth graders, 26% owned cell phones in 2012, and this increased to 35% in 2012. 52% of fifth graders and 22% of third graders reported owning cell phones by 2012.
5. In every grade, smartphone ownership increased and non-smartphone ownership decreased between 2010 and 2012. Owning a smartphone was a significant risk factor for both being a cyberbully and being a cyberbullying victim.
12% of fifth grade non-owners, and 18% of smartphone owners, admitted being a cyberbully. Similarly, 12% of fifth grade non-owners, and 34% of smartphone owners, reported being a cyberbullying victim. Similar numbers were found for third and fourth graders. This suggests : parents who are considering buying their elementary-aged child a smartphone should be offered both the benefits, and the risks,
associated with children’s usage.
6. When comparing Grades 3, 4 and 5, traditional in-school bullying was far more common that cyberbullying. However, both types of bullying increased across the three years. Just being a victim actually decreased from third to fifth grade; however, the percentage of children who both bully and are victims (“bully/victims”) increased from 15% in third grade to 21% in grade five.
7. In third grade, 72% of cyberbullying victims said that the bully online was anonymous. However, that percentage dropped to 64% by grade 5. (That trend continues through high school.) This suggests
: as children grow, cyberbullying increasingly reflects a dynamic between a target and a bully who know each other, usually from school.
8. Experiencing one episode of bullying is more common than experiencing bullying repeatedly. This was true for both victims and bullies. This suggests: efforts to control bullying may often be successful. It is also possible that many children learn, from one episode, how to avoid future episodes.
9. Cyberbullying education appears to be having an impact in Massachusetts. The proportion of children who could not define cyberbullying declined from 24% in 2010 to 10% in 2012. Non-bullies were more likely than bullies to report that their class had been offered education about bullying and cyberbullying (especially among fifth graders). Children who were repeatedly mean online reported the lowest level of education. This suggests: elementary education and awareness about cyberbullying can be can be successful.
10. Between 2010 and 2012, children were increasingly likely to claim that they had reported cyberbullying.
Furthermore, reporting to both adults and peers increased similarly. This suggests : cyberbullying programs appear to be successfully increasing the rate at which children report cyberbullying.

Dr. Elizabeth Englander
Director, Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center
Professor of Psychology
Bridgewater State University
Bridgewater, MA
Webpage: http://www.MARCcenter.org
Email: marc@bridgew.edu
Phone: 508-531-1784
Text Messaging: 508-955-0270

Two articles describe the effects of social networking on teen relationships. In the first article, Antisocial Networking?, Hillary Stout writes in the New York Times about toxic social networking sites and their effect on teens. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/02/fashion/02BEST.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
Hans Villarica has an excellent article in Time, Dealing With Cyberbullying: 5 Essential Parenting Tips

Make sure your kids know cyberbullying is wrong. Many kids don’t understand that when they write down and disseminate feelings of frustration, jealousy or anger toward others online, it can quickly escalate into problems in the real world. They also tend to think that what happens digitally “doesn’t count” and that digital abuse doesn’t hurt, especially since parents usually focus on their kids’ behavior in person…. (More on Time.com: Lessons on Cyberbullying: Is Rebecca Black a Victim? Experts Weigh In)
Take an interest in your kids’ online behavior. Kids tend to think their parents don’t know or care about their online lives. They fear that their parents, in not understanding, will simply take away their cell phone or computer if anything goes wrong….. (More on Time.com: The Tricky Politics of Tween Bullying)
Check school policies on cyberbullying. Contact your child’s teacher or a school social worker or administrator and find out whether there is an official policy on cyberbullying. If there is one, read it and discuss it with your kids.
If there isn’t a written policy in place, ask about how cyberbullying is handled and whether there are any plans to create an official policy. Better yet, step up and join — or push to create — a committee to set the standards…. (More on Time.com: Cyberbullying? Homophobia? Tyler Clementi’s Death Highlights Online Lawlessness)
Set guidelines about cell-phone use. Many parents give their kids cell phones, so they can stay in closer contact with them. But that’s typically not the reason kids want cell phones. Rather, kids use them to surf the Web, send text messages to friends, update their social-networking status, and share pictures and videos.
Review with your children the laws that could affect their cell phone use, including limitations on where and when they can legally take photos or videos, and how you expect them to handle text messaging or Internet use. If you choose to monitor what’s on your kids’ phones, be aware that more than 70% of kids delete messages or photos before giving their parents their phones for checks, according to research from the Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center. (More on Time.com: A Glimmer of Hope in a Bad-News Survey About Bullying)
Help your children respond appropriately if they are cyberbullied. First, talk with your children about what happened and how they feel about it. Be supportive. Remember that your kids feel that they are under attack. Second, report the abuse to the website on which it occurred. This can often be done via an “abuse” or “report” button or link on the site. Lastly, report the bullying to school administrators and ask them to look after your children. http://healthland.time.com/2011/03/25/dealing-with-cyberbullying-5-essential-parenting-tips/

Parents must monitor their children’s use of technology.
Where information leads to Hope. ©  Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:
COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/
Dr. Wilda Reviews ©
http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/
Dr. Wilda ©
https://drwilda.com/

Punishing parents for a child’s bad behavior

4 Jun

 

The latest attempt to punish parents for a child’s behavior is described in Doug Erickson’s Wisconsin State Journal article, Monona police can now cite parents for a child’s bullying:

Monona parents whose children repeatedly bully others can now be ticketed by police and fined in municipal court.

The approach, part of a broader anti-bullying ordinance passed May 20 by the Monona City Council, appears to break new ground in the national effort to reduce harassment and emotional abuse among young people.

Julie Hertzog, director of the National Bullying Prevention Center in Bloomington, Minn., said she had not heard of such a tactic and was hesitant to comment for that reason. “This is the first time it’s been on my radar,” she said.

Likewise, the League of Wisconsin Municipalities said it could find no other municipal ordinances in the state that hold parents accountable for an offspring’s bullying. The Monona ordinance took effect Thursday.

Monona Police Chief Wally Ostrenga said no specific incident led to the ordinance, just a general concern about the tragic consequences of bullying, including a rash of school shootings and teen suicides across the country.

He thinks the parent-liability clause will be used sparingly, if at all, and only in cases where parents are obstructive or uncooperative. He hopes the mere threat of a ticket will be enough.

Sometimes you’ll knock on someone’s door and they won’t want to talk to you — their kids are perfect, they could never do anything wrong,” Ostrenga said. “This is for those times when we get the door slammed in our faces.”

Parents who are making a good-faith effort to address a child’s behavior would not be ticketed, he said.

City Attorney William S. Cole called the tactic “a tool of last resort” and said he believes it would withstand a court challenge.

Parents can’t be blindsided under the ordinance. Before being ticketed, a parent or guardian must be informed in writing by an officer of a separate violation of bullying by the same minor within the prior 90 days.

A ticket is a municipal code violation, not a criminal offense. (Only the state Legislature can make something a criminal offense.)

A first violation of the parent-liability clause carries a $114 fine. Subsequent violations within the same year carry fines of $177 each.

I think it’s fantastic,” said Jason Burns, executive director of Equality Wisconsin, a Milwaukee nonprofit organization that works on bullying prevention in schools. “It forces parents to be more involved in their child’s life, if they’re not already.”

The broader ordinance prohibits any person age 12 or older from engaging in bullying, subject to similar municipal fines. The ordinance defines bullying as “an intentional course of conduct which is reasonably likely to intimidate, emotionally abuse, slander, threaten or intimidate another person and which serves no legitimate purpose.”

Much of the broader ordinance addresses conduct already prohibited by state statute, Ostrenga said. However, the state statutes don’t use the term “bullying.” The city wanted to be explicit and public about its stand against bullying, he said.

Much of the work on the parent-liability clause — the unique aspect of the ordinance — was done by Monona Det. Sgt. Ryan Losby, who shepherded the ordinance through a year-long city review process. Losby said he was motivated by research showing almost all of the recent school shootings in the country were committed by students who felt they were victims of bullying.
http://host.madison.com/news/local/crime_and_courts/monona-police-can-now-cite-parents-for-a-child-s/article_1e85dcbd-419a-502b-8ada-952c393dc2e1.html#ixzz2VJrbmQDX

Moi has written about other instances of punishing parents for their children’s behavior.

In We give up as a society: Jailing parents because kids are truant, moi wrote:

Alexia Campbell reports in the Sun Sentinel article, New court could mean jail for parents of truant kids:

A new truancy court in Palm Beach County won’t just go after children if they miss too much school, it could result in jail time for their parents.

Palm Beach County‘s main courthouse in West Palm Beach hosts the truancy court — launched in November — and is testing it on parents and students from kindergarten to third grade. The family hearings before Palm Beach Circuit Court Judge Kathleen Kroll will be the last resort before Palm Beach County parents face criminal charges.

The new program is South Florida’s first experiment with a truancy court, although a handful of other counties have their own initiatives. The Broward and Miami-Dade state attorney’s offices run truancy intervention programs, but there is no judge set aside to specifically handle truancy cases.

Under Florida law, parents can be charged with truancy if a child between 6 and 16 has 15 or more unexcused absences in three months. They face up to two months in jail if convicted of the second-degree misdemeanor.

No one has been before a judge or charged in more than 15 years in Palm Beach County, according to the State Attorney’s Office. The reason? Prosecutors have focused on more important violent crimes and schools didn’t have liasons to help present strong cases.

Palm Beach School District staff have struggled to force parents to bring their absent kids back to school ever since budget cuts ended law enforcement interventions several years ago, said Judith Klinek, chief academic officer for the School District.

We needed a little bit of muscle. There was no follow through,” Klinek said.

Palm Beach County schools reported that 6.6 percent of its 198,351 students committed truancy in the 2009-2010 school year, state records show. In Broward County, that number was 12.6 percent of 287,935 students. Records only included kids with 21 or more unexcused absences, so the truancy rate of students who missed at least 15 days is likely higher.

A group of 11 elementary schools with known truancy problems are part of the test, and it may expand next school year depending on the results. Among those in the group are Pleasant City Elementary, Roosevelt Elementary and Seminole Trails Elementary, all three in West Palm Beach.

When a child reaches five unexcused absences in three months, the School District sends parents a letter. After 10 unexcused absences, they get another letter and a call from a “truancy liason.” After 15 absences, social workers with Boys Town, a nonprofit organization that provides family support services, will work with parents and children to find out what is going on.

If no progress is made, Judge Kroll will step in.

Maybe a parent is significantly depressed and can’t get their child ready for school,” said Seth Bernstein, program director for Boys Town South Florida. “Or a parent goes to wake their child up in the morning and can’t coax them out of bed.”                                                                                                http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2011-12-11/news/fl-palm-truancy-court-20111209_1_truancy-court-absences-parents-of-truant-kids

Detroit Prosecutor Kim Worthy has explored the option of jailing parents as well. Christine Mac Donald reported in the Detroit News, Worthy Proposes jail For Parents Who Skip Kids’ Conferences This next comment is in no way PC. Prosecutor Worthy is correct that parents MUST be involved in the lives of their children. Problem is, jailing them will not force the majority of them into meaningful involvement and interaction with their child. Society has a couple of options to counter the  this it’s my life and I’ll do what I want philosophy. The first is discouraging and condemning out-of –wedlock births, particularly among low-income women. Too bad the First Lady doesn’t want to take this one on. The second thing is to intervene early and terminate the rights of negligent and abusive parents, freeing children up for adoption earlier. Finally, this society needs to support adoptive parents with financial and counseling resources. Not PC, but there it is.

It is going to take coordination between not only education institutions, but a strong social support system to get many of these children through school. This does not mean a large program directed from Washington. But, more resources at the local school level which allow discretion with accountability. For example, if I child is not coming to school because they have no shoes or winter coat, then the child gets new shoes and/or a coat. School breakfast and lunch programs must be supported and if necessary, expanded. Unfortunately, schools are now the early warning system for many families in crisis.

Resources

How to Raise A Healthy Happy Child

The Importance of Play in Child Development

Protectors or Perpetrators

Questions to Ask Before You Divorce

How Can I Get A Good Divorce

Just Whom is This Divorce Good For?

Divorce as Friends

Divorce, What to Tell Your Children

Tell Your Children About Your Divorce

When to Seek Counseling

Helping Kids Cope With a Breakup

Related:

Intervening in the lives of truant children by jailing parents https://drwilda.com/2012/10/07/intervening-in-the-lives-of-truant-children-by-jailing-parents/

Where information leads to Hope. ©  Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©                           http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©                                                http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©                                                                                      https://drwilda.com/

Kids need to tell teachers and schools when they are bullied

8 Apr

Moi wrote about bullying in School bullying: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency report:

The Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency has issued the report, Bullying in Schools: An Overview by Ken Seeley, Martin L. Tombari, Laurie J. Bennett, and Jason B. Dunkle. Among the study’s findings are:

  • Bullying is a complex social and emotional phenomenon that plays out differently on an individual level.

  • Bullying does not directly cause truancy.

  • School engagement protects victims from truancy and low academic achievement.

  • When schools provide a safe learning environment in which adults model positive behavior, they can mitigate the negative effects of bullying.

  • Any interventions to address bullying or victimization should be intentional, student-focused engagement strategies that fit the context of the school where they are used.

The report makes the following recommendations:

  • Increase student engagement.

  • Model caring behavior for students.

  • Offer mentoring programs.

  • Provide students with opportunities for service learning as a means of improving school engagement.

  • Address the difficult transition between elementary and middle school (from a single classroom teacher to teams of teachers with periods and class changes in a large school) (Lohaus et al., 2004).

  • Start prevention programs early.

  • Resist the temptation to use prefabricated curriculums that are not aligned to local conditions.

Increase Student Engagement

Bullied children who remain engaged in school attend class more frequently and achieve more. Challenging academics, extracurricular activities, understanding teachers and coaches, and a focus on the future help keep victimized children engaged in their education (Bausell, 2011). Schools, administrations, and districts that wish to stave off the negative effects of bullying must redouble their efforts to engage each student in school. Typical school engagement strategies include (Karcher, 2005):

•            Providing a caring adult for every student through an advisory program or similar arrangement.

See, School Bullying Report Makes Recommendations To Address Issue, Support Victims  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/17/school-bullying-report-ma_n_1155250.html?ref=email_share

The Takepart.com article, When Kids Are Afraid to Tell Teachers About Bullying—That Is a Problem discusses the reluctance of some children to tell teachers about bullying.

Learning when and how to “tattle”—I mean when and how to report incidents—is extremely important to preventing bullying and building a safe and caring learning community in the classroom.

When acts of meanness, small or large, go unchecked, disrespectful and mean behavior becomes the norm. Over time, this creates a culture of meanness that eventually can grow to permeate the entire classroom or school.

Parents and educators should redefine tattling as reporting and teach children why it’s important to report hurtful behavior to an adult in order to help keep someone else safe. Teaching young children how to “report” may have lasting effects, and help prevent some of the awful incidents of violence that have occurred in our high schools. 

As a more experienced, and hopefully wiser, teacher now, I listen carefully first and then determine what to do with the information children share with me. On the first day of school, I tell my students, “My most important job at school is to keep you safe.” I also make sure parents know it’s a message I take very seriously.

I go on to tell my students, “If someone is being mean to you—hurting you on the outside or on the inside—I need you to tell me.” They learn quickly that kindness is valued and meanness is not allowed. As a community, we learn better ways to take care of each other. We spend lots of time strengthening our skills of cooperation and problem-solving.

But, even with all of this proactive work, children will still test limits and experiment with how to treat each other. Because I know this, we model, we practice, and we role-play what to do when someone is unkind to someone else.

We get really good at identifying when we need to tell an adult and what we should say. A dilemma we face is that much of the meanness and bullying goes on when teachers aren’t around—at lunchtime, recess, in the hallways, and just before and after school.

Teachers can’t be everywhere and even if we could, we can’t see everything. We need to prepare our students to get help outside the safety of our classrooms.   

When children tell us about bullying behavior, we adults need to intervene and send the message that we will not let this continue. Children need to know we are going to help them.

As teachers, we need to think carefully about our responses when children come to us and share information.

As teachers, we need to think carefully about our responses when children come to us and share information. When they tell us that something is happening to them or to someone else, they should know that we will help them.

We need to show them that the information they shared with us will not be ignored and that the adults in the school will help them.

When it comes to tattling reporting, we need children to have the skills and courage to tell us about problems they’re noticing. Because we teachers can’t stop what we don’t see or hear—or know about. http://news.yahoo.com/kids-afraid-tell-teachers-bullying-problem-191700642.html

The American Psychological Association (APA) has information about bullying.

The APA has the following suggestions for teachers and administrators:

Be knowledgeable and observant

Teachers and administrators need to be aware that although bullying generally happens in areas such as the bathroom, playground, crowded hallways, and school buses as well as via cell phones and computers (where supervision is limited or absent), it must be taken seriously. Teachers and administrators should emphasize that telling is not tattling. If a teacher observes bullying in a classroom, he/she needs to immediately intervene to stop it, record the incident and inform the appropriate school administrators so the incident can be investigated. Having a joint meeting with the bullied student and the student who is bullying is not recommended — it is embarrassing and very intimidating for the student that is being bullied.

Involve students and parents

Students and parents need to be a part of the solution and involved in safety teams and antibullying task forces. Students can inform adults about what is really going on and also teach adults about new technologies that kids are using to bully. Parents, teachers, and school administrators can help students engage in positive behavior and teach them skills so that they know how to intervene when bullying occurs. Older students can serve as mentors and inform younger students about safe practices on the Internet.

Set positive expectations about behavior for students and adults

Schools and classrooms must offer students a safe learning environment. Teachers and coaches need to explicitly remind students that bullying is not accepted in school and such behaviors will have consequences. Creating an anti-bullying document and having both the student and the parents/guardians sign and return it to the school office helps students understand the seriousness of bullying. Also, for students who have a hard time adjusting or finding friends, teachers and administrators can facilitate friendships or provide “jobs” for the student to do during lunch and recess so that children do not feel isolated or in danger of becoming targets for bullying. http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/bullying.aspx

Stop Bullying.gov has some great advice about bullying.

According to the Stop Bullying.gov article, What You Can Do:

What to Do If You’re Bullied 

There are things you can do if you are being bullied:

  • Look at the kid bullying you and tell him or her to stop in a calm, clear voice. You can also try to laugh it off. This works best if joking is easy for you. It could catch the kid bullying you off guard.
  • If speaking up seems too hard or not safe, walk away and stay away. Don’t fight back. Find an adult to stop the bullying on the spot.

There are things you can do to stay safe in the future, too.

  • Talk to an adult you trust. Don’t keep your feelings inside. Telling someone can help you feel less alone. They can help you make a plan to stop the bullying.
  • Stay away from places where bullying happens.
  • Stay near adults and other kids. Most bullying happens when adults aren’t around.

http://www.stopbullying.gov/kids/what-you-can-do

Even though children are encouraged to report bullying, they often don’t.

The Committee for Children explains Why Don’t Kids Report Bullying?

There is good evidence that young people often do not report bullying to adults. Children are adept at hiding bullying-related behaviors and the unequal “shadow” power dynamics that can exist among them. Because of this secrecy, adults underestimate the seriousness and extent of bullying at their schools.

Schools cannot help if children do not entrust them with information. So why don’t children report bullying?

Research Shows That Adults Rarely Intervene

There is a catch-22: Students don’t tell because they don’t see adults helping, but adults can’t help if students don’t tell them what is going on in their peer groups.

The perception that adults don’t act may lead students to conclude that adults don’t care, or that there are different standards for adults’ behavior than for young people’s. In the workplace, shoving co-workers in the hallway would not be tolerated. Yet many adults believe that young people need to “work out” bullying problems like these on their own. This belief may promote a “code of silence” about abusive behavior. A logical consequence would be the failure of students to report other dangers, such as knowledge about a weapon at school.

Students Fear Retaliation and a Reputation as a “Rat”

Fear of retailiation might be especially the case about reporting popular students who bully. There is evidence that well-liked and successful children can be the most skilled at bullying and at escaping detection.

They Don’t Want to Lose Power

Students may not report that they or their friends bully because they don’t want to lose the power they gain through controlling others.

They Don’t Recognize Subtle Bullying

Students may not report more subtle, indirect, and relational types of bullying (such as deliberately excluding peers or spreading rumors) because they don’t realize that these are also unfair, unequal ways to treat others.

They Feel Ashamed, Afraid, or Powerless

Students may not report being victims of bullying because it makes them feel ashamed, afraid, and powerless. Over time, they may come to feel they deserve to be bullied. This may be particularly true of children in fourth grade and up.

Because adults rarely intervene, young people may come to believe they can bully without any consequences. Many believe that “acting bad” pays off. In fact, it may win them status with others, as children do act more friendly and respectful toward those who bully.

What Can Adults Do?

If we want children to talk to us and ask for help, we need to invite them to report. And effective adult follow-through is critical. This means “walking the talk” of bullying prevention, and addressing the power imbalances that put children who bully, those who are bullied, and bystanders at risk of perpetuating abuse. Bringing children who bully and those they bully into the same room to talk is not advisable. Intervening, making plans for behavior change, and continuing to check in on an individual basis with the students involved is best.

Adults can also give young people tools to help them evaluate when and how to report. Teaching about the distinction between reporting (telling to keep someone safe) and tattling (telling to get someone in trouble), for example, can help students make responsible decisions. This, in turn, can empower everyone in schools to help prevent inequity and suffering. http://www.cfchildren.org/advocacy/bullying-prevention/why-kids-dont-report-bullying.aspx

The Tanenbaum Center which honors the work of the late Rabbi Marc Tanenbaum has a really good definition of the “Golden Rule” which is stated in an interview with Joyce Dubensky entitled, The Golden Rule Around the World At the core of all bullying is a failure to recognize another’s humanity and a basic lack of respect for life. At the core of the demand for personal expression and failure to tolerate opinions which are not like one’s own is a self-centeredness which can destroy the very society it claims to want to protect.

Resources:

Helping Kids Deal With Bullies                                                 http://kidshealth.org/parent/emotions/behavior/bullies.html

Teachers Who Bully                                                    http://www.webmd.com/parenting/features/teachers-who-bully

Is Your Child Being Bullied? 9 Steps You Can Take as a Parent http://www.empoweringparents.com/Is-Your-Child-Being-Bullied.php#ixzz2PqGTZNdl

Where information leads to Hope. ©                  Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©                      http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©                                             http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©                                                                                                    https://drwilda.com/

Can’t yoga be watered down like Christmas was? Is there a ‘happy holidays’ yoga?

24 Feb

Here’s today’s COMMENT FROM AN OLD FART: Remember when the forces of secularism pushed the “Happy Holidays” maximum because no one should be offended by the expression of “Merry Christmas.” The forces of tolerance and celebrate diversity did not want YOUR religion forced on ME. So much for that “celebrate diversity” thing. Let’s fast forward to the yoga movement and the attempt to spread love, joy, and flexible limbs into the education setting.

Marty Graham of Reuters reports in the article, Parents sue school for teaching yoga to children:

SAN DIEGO—The parents of two California grade school students have sued to block the teaching of yoga classes they complain promote eastern religions, saying children who exercise their choice to opt out of the popular program face bullying and teasing.

The Encinitas Unified School District, near San Diego, began the program in September to teach Ashtanga yoga as part of the district’s physical education program — and school officials insist the program does not teach any religion.

Lawyers for the parents challenging the yoga program disagreed.

“As a First Amendment lawyer, I wouldn’t go after an exercise program. I don’t go after people for stretching,” said lawyer Dean Broyles, who heads the National Center on Law and Policy, which filed the suit on Wednesday in a San Diego court.

“But Ashtanga yoga is a religious-based yoga, and if we are separating church and state, we can’t pick and choose religious favourites,” he said.

The lawsuit is the latest twist in a broader national clash over the separation of religion from public education that has seen spirited debate on issues ranging from the permissibility of student-led prayer to whether science instructors can teach alternatives to evolution.

The lawsuit, which does not seek any monetary damages, objects to eight-limbed tree posters they say are derived from Hindu beliefs, the Namaste greeting and several of the yoga poses that they say represent the worship of Hindu deities.

According to the suit, a $533,000 grant from the Jois Foundation, which supports yoga in schools, allowed the school district to assign 60 minutes of the 100 minutes of physical education required each week to Ashtanga yoga, taught in the schools by Jois-certified teachers.

Broyles said that while children are allowed to opt out of the yoga program, they are not given other exercise options.

“The kids who are opting out are getting teased and bullied,” he said. “We have one little girl whose classmates told her her parents are stupid because she opted out. That’s not supposed to happen in our schools….” http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2013/02/22/parents_sue_school_for_teaching_yoga_to_children.html

See, Promoting Hinduism? Parents Demand Removal Of School Yoga Class http://www.npr.org/2013/01/09/168613461/promoting-hinduism-parents-demand-removal-of-school-yoga-class

The Free Dictionary summarizes yoga:

Yoga

Definition

The term yoga comes from a Sanskrit word which means yoke or union. Traditionally, yoga is a method joining the individual self with the Divine, Universal Spirit, or Cosmic Consciousness. Physical and mental exercises are designed to help achieve this goal, also called self-transcendence or enlightenment. On the physical level, yoga postures, called asanas, are designed to tone, strengthen, and align the body. These postures are performed to make the spine supple and healthy and to promote blood flow to all the organs, glands, and tissues, keeping all the bodily systems healthy. On the mental level, yoga uses breathing techniques (pranayama) and meditation (dyana) to quiet, clarify, and discipline the mind. However, experts are quick to point out that yoga is not a religion, but a way of living with health and peace of mind as its aims.                                   http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Ashtanga+Yoga

The problem for many Christians and particularly Christian parents is NOT that kids don’t need exercise, they do. The problem is the spiritual aspects which emphasize the “Divine.” That is not what Christians believe.  The majority of Christians believe in the Trinity. Guess what, the FIRST AMENDMENT protects those beliefs.

So, what is a “celebrate diversity,” we are soooo tolerant, and hip to boot school district supposed to do when confronted with the “yoga conundrum?” Well, bucky, one waters down the concept as with “happy holidays’ and the new name is ” yocise,” the divine becomes your healthy life. “Yocise” focuses on YOU and fits with the culture’s philosophy of ME and we are no more tolerant with “yocise” than we were with “happy holidays.” “Celebrate diversity.”

Where information leads to Hope. ©                   Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©                        http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©                                                http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©                                                                                                      https://drwilda.com/

Paper: Cyberbullying may be overrated

6 Aug

Technology can be used for information gathering and to keep people connected. Some people use social media to torment others. Children can be devastated by thoughtless, mean, and unkind comments posted at social media sites. Some of the comments may be based upon rumor and may even be untrue. The effect on a particular child can be devastating. Because of the potential for harm, many parents worry about cyberbullying on social media sites.

Nirvi Shah is reporting in the Education Week article, Researchers: Cyberbullying Not as Widespread, Common as Believed:

While parents may spend more time worrying about their kids being terrorized by text, tweet, Facebook, or Formspring, new research suggests that cyberbullying “is a low-prevalence phenomenon, which has not increased over time and has not created many ‘new’ victims and bullies, that is, children and youth who are not also involved in some form of traditional bullying.”

The research, presented here this week at the American Psychological Association convention, involved 450,490 students in 1,349 American schools surveyed between 2007 and 2010 and another 9,000 Norwegian students at 41 schools. It was intended to dispel some of the myths and misconceptions about cyberbullying.

The study, by longtime bullying researcher Dan Olweus of the University of Bergen, Norway, found that while, on average, 18 percent of American students said they had been verbally bullied; those who said they had been cyberbullied was about 4.5 percent. About 11 percent of Norwegian students said they had been verbally bullied, compared to about 3.4 percent who said they had been bullied in some electronic format. The study was published online in May in the European Journal of Developmental Psychology….

The research also shows “there has been no systematic increase in cyberbullying,” Olweus said, despite an increase in the number of youths with cell phones and on social networking sites. (Facebook is considering expanding access to younger people, which has concerned some educators.)

Of the American students who had been exposed to cyberbullying, 88 percent had been bullied in at least one other way.

“To be cyberbullied or to cyberbully other students seems to a large extent to be part of a general pattern of bullying where use of the electronic media is only one possible form, and, in
addition, a form with a quite low prevalence,” the study says…. “T

The study notes that “bullying implies a form of relationship with certain characteristics and the term should not be used as a blanket term for any form of negative or aggressive act.”

While electronic bullying can have the same effects of traditional bullying—depression, poor self-esteem, anxiety, thoughts of suicide, headaches, and effects on sleep—it is
difficult to tell whether or to what extent these problems are a result of electronic bullying since the majority of cyberbullied children and youth are also harassed in other ways.

(Some states have amended existing bullying laws or passed new ones just to address cyberbullying. And lawsuits over bullying online or other electronic methods are increasing in number.)

Olweus writes that because traditional bullying is far more common than cyberbullying and that the great majority of cyberbullied students are also bullied in more typical ways, “it is natural to recommend schools to direct most of their efforts to counteracting traditional bullying,” ideally using an evidence-based approach. His research has found that levels of electronic bullying decline along with traditional bullying in these schools. http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/inside-school-research/2012/08/orlando_while_parents_may_spen.html

Citation:

Invited expert discussion paper

Cyberbullying: An overrated phenomenon?

Dan Olweus

RKBU Vest, Uni Research, Bergen, Norway

The paper argues that several claims about cyberbullying made in the media and elsewhere are greatly exaggerated and have little empirical scientific support. Contradicting these claims, it turns out that cyberbullying, when studied in proper context, is a low-prevalence phenomenon, which has not

increased over time and has not created many ‘‘new’’ victims and bullies, that is, children and youth who are not also involved in some form of traditional bullying. These conclusions are based on two quite large samples of students, one from the USA and one from Norway, both of which have time series data

for periods of four or five years. It is further argued that the issue of possible negative effects of cyberbullying has not received much serious research attention and a couple of strategies for such research are suggested together with some methodological recommendations. Finally, it is generally recommended that schools direct most of their anti-bullying efforts to counteracting traditional bullying, combined with an important system-level strategy that is likely to reduce the already low prevalence of cyberbullying. Keywords: Cyberbullying; Victims; Bullying.

Correspondence should be addressed to Dan Olweus, RKBU Vest, Uni Research,

Krinkelkroken 1, PO Box 7800, NO-5020 Bergen, Norway. E-mail: Olweus@uni.no

EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY

2012, 1–19, iFirst article

 2012 Psychology Press, an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an Informa business

http://www.psypress.com/edp

http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/inside-school-research/Cyberbullying%2C%20Olweus.pdf

Two articles describe the effects of social networking on teen relationships. In the first article, Antisocial Networking?, Hillary Stout writes in the New York Times about toxic social networking sites and their effect on teens.

Hans Villarica has an excellent article in Time, Dealing With Cyberbullying: 5 Essential Parenting Tips

Make sure your kids know cyberbullying is wrong. Many kids don’t understand that when they write down and disseminate feelings of frustration, jealousy or anger toward others online, it can quickly escalate into problems in the real world. They also tend to think that what happens digitally “doesn’t count” and that digital abuse doesn’t hurt, especially since parents usually focus on their kids’ behavior in person…. (More on Time.com: Lessons on Cyberbullying: Is Rebecca Black a Victim? Experts Weigh In)

Take an interest in your kids’ online behavior. Kids tend to think their parents don’t know or care about their online lives. They fear that their parents, in not understanding, will simply take away their cell phone or computer if anything goes wrong….. (More on Time.com: The Tricky Politics of Tween Bullying)

Check school policies on cyberbullying. Contact your child’s teacher or a school social worker or administrator and find out whether there is an official policy on cyberbullying. If there is one, read it and discuss it with your kids.

If there isn’t a written policy in place, ask about how cyberbullying is handled and whether there are any plans to create an official policy. Better yet, step up and join — or push to create — a committee to set the standards…. (More on Time.com: Cyberbullying? Homophobia? Tyler Clementi’s Death Highlights Online Lawlessness)

Set guidelines about cell-phone use. Many parents give their kids cell phones, so they can stay in closer contact with them. But that’s typically not the reason kids want cell phones. Rather, kids use them to surf the Web, send text messages to friends, update their social-networking status, and share pictures and videos.

Review with your children the laws that could affect their cell phone use, including limitations on where and when they can legally take photos or videos, and how you expect them to handle text messaging or Internet use. If you choose to monitor what’s on your kids’ phones, be aware that more than 70% of kids delete messages or photos before giving their parents their phones for checks, according to research from the Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center. (More on Time.com: A Glimmer of Hope in a Bad-News Survey About Bullying)

Help your children respond appropriately if they are cyberbullied. First, talk with your children about what happened and how they feel about it. Be supportive. Remember that your kids feel that they are under attack. Second, report the abuse to the website on which it occurred. This can often be done via an “abuse” or “report” button or link on the site. Lastly, report the bullying to school administrators and ask them to look after your children.

Parents must monitor their children’s use of technology.

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

 

Parents must exercise oversight of media use by children

7 Jul

In Monitoring the media use by kids, moi said:

Bullying is increasingly a problem in schools and the new venue for bullies has become the Internet. Kristanda Cooper writes in the Florida A & M student paper about Social Media  is New Venue for Cyber Bullying of Children

With the emergence of Facebook, Twitter and even MySpace, bullying has moved from the schoolyard into people’s homes via the Internet.

There are more children enduring harsh harassment from their peers that they are deciding to end their lives to escape the verbal and physical abuse.

In January, 15-year-old Phoebe Prince, an Irish native who moved to Northampton, Mass. with her family, ended her life due to pressures of being bullied and harassed at school. For five months, Prince was harassed verbally and via the Internet. According to CBSnews.com, the day Prince ended her life, was the day she was “pelted with a beverage container and cursed at as she walked home from school.” Nine teens are currently facing charges of stalking, criminal harassment and violating Prince’s rights.

Sadly, Prince’s story is not the first.

Stephanie Clifford has an article in the New York Times, Teaching About the Web Includes Troublesome Parts It is important for parents to know how their children are using social media not only for the prevention of the child becoming a victim of bullies, but also to ensure that their child is not the aggressor. https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/01/02/monitoring-the-media-use-by-kids/

Michele Molnar writes in the Education Week article, Does Parents’ Role Include Close Monitoring of Online Activities?

In “It’s Modern Parental Involvement,” National PTA President Betsy Landers recently wrote for the New York Times expressing her view that parents should “try to stay a step ahead—or at least keep up with—new media and technology to protect their children.”

Well, good luck with that! I suspect some of the most technologically adept among us adults can still be stymied by a savvy teen bent on circumventing our social media prowess. But, I digress. Landers’ points are interesting and earnest.

She continued that it’s the parents’ responsibility “to protect their children, at least until these children become adults. Parental use of all available resources, including electronic monitoring tools, should not be considered an invasion of privacy; it’s simply modern involvement….”

Other viewpoints in the series include:

http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/parentsandthepublic/2012/07/does_parents_role_include_close_monitoring_of_online_activities.html?intc=es

Many parents are asking the question of whether they should spy on their kids?

Perhaps the best advice comes from Carleton Kendrick in the Family Education article, Spying on Kids

Staying connected

So how do you make sure your teens are on the straight and narrow? You can’t. And don’t think you can forbid them to experiment with risky behavior. That’s what they’re good at during this stage, along with testing your limits. You can help them stay healthy, safe, and secure by doing the following:

  • Keep communicating with your teens, even if they don’t seem to be listening. Talk about topics that interest them.

  • Respect and ask their opinions.

  • Give them privacy. That doesn’t mean you can’t knock on their door when you want to talk.

  • Set limits on their behavior based on your values and principles. They will grudgingly respect you for this.

  • Continually tell them and show them you believe in who they are rather than what they accomplish.

  • Seek professional help if your teen’s abnormal behaviors last more than three weeks.

A 1997 landmark adolescent health study, which interviewed over 12,000 teenagers, concluded that the single greatest protection against high-risk teenage behavior, like substance abuse and suicide, is a strong emotional connection to a parent. Tough as it may be, you should always try to connect with them. And leave the spying to James Bond. It will only drive away the children you wish to bring closer.

In truth, a close relationship with your child will probably be more effective than spying. Put down that Blackberry, iPhone, and Droid and try connecting with your child. You should not only know who your children’s friends are, but you should know the parents of your children’s friends. Many parents have the house where all the kids hang out because they want to know what is going on with their kids. Often parents volunteer to chauffeur kids because that gives them the opportunity to listen to what kids are talking about. It is important to know the values of the families of your kid’s friends. Do they furnish liquor to underage kids, for example?  How do they feel about teen sex and is their house the place where kids meet for sex?

So, in answer to the question should you spy on your Kids? Depends on the child. Some children are more susceptible to peer pressure and impulsive behavior than others. They will require more and possibly more intrusive direction. Others really are free range children and have the resources and judgment to make good decisions in a variety of circumstances. Even within a family there will be different needs and abilities. The difficulty for parents is to make the appropriate judgments and still give each child the feeling that they have been treated fairly. Still, for some kids, it is not out of line for parents to be snoops, they just might save the child and themselves a lot of heartache.

Related:

Protecting your child from predators                      https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/06/24/protecting-your-child-from-predators/

Social media spreads eating disorder ‘Thinspiration’ https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/06/19/social-media-spreads-eating-disorder-thinspiration/

Children’s sensory overload from technology https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/06/03/childrens-sensory-overload-from-technology/

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©