Monday, October 5th, 2015
Mental health is a touchy subject, and youth are very confident about searching for information via the internet. So it is not surprising that a recent article via BBC News featured a concern that teens are seeking mental health advice from the internet and not involving the adults in their lives. But more interesting to me is that parents were not mentioned as one of the “go to” resources for youth seeking assistance with mental health issues. This made me wonder how parents can realize their role in their children’s mental health.
Saturday, September 12th, 2015
This Tuesday evening, 6:30 p.m., St. Joseph Marello Catholic Church is hosting a parent training on Strategies for bully prevention and intervention at home and school. Free of charge and open to the public welcoming all faiths, this presentation will explore the nature of hostility youth are experiencing in the cyber social realms, feature how to recognize signs that your child may be experiencing or participating in a bully situation, and strategies for prevention and intervention at home and at school.
Monday, May 11th, 2015
Anonymous apps like Yik Yak and Ask.fm are very popular and also attract people who are seeking opportunities to be vicious and cruel. Young hearts and minds engaging in these “communities” without full understanding of the best and the worst of human nature are putting their mental and emotional health at risk. The bullying and hate speech can be horrific, and all consuming if not checked by a disciplined mind. These sites are also associated wreaking havoc on school campuses and have been linked to youth suicides in response to the intensive level of personal attacks made possible.
Monday, January 26th, 2015
...Granting schools access to the social media of a child suspected of bullying may complicate things and create more harm. It would, it seems, make more sense to mandate the parent provide access to the account without giving up the password, so as to facilitate the investigation of an incident and limit access for that purpose alone. If the school’s mandate is to stop bullies because of the threat of lawsuits or career black eyes, and the fearful mindset is to seek control of individuals rather than teaching all students involved to expect accountability with compassion and to seek the justice for all involved, then we are at risk of perpetuating the “blame” mentality which inspires more bullying by the “righteous”...
Monday, September 29th, 2014
There are cyber device settings and apps that parents and kids can deploy as a part of your anti-bully strategy. The aim is to create boundaries in the cyber tools and in your child’s own hearts and minds embrace the correct thinking and actions in confronting a bully mentality. The most important thing parents can do is use these tools to inspire open dialogue about recognizing and responding to mean-spirited, nefarious or unkind communications in the children’s cyber social realm.
Monday, September 22nd, 2014
Back to school is a time of excitement as well as insecurity and uncertainty. And in the cyber social realm, where it is easy to be mean, the cyberbully phenomenon surfaces as a topic of concern and conversation. While bullying is not new, the level of hostility and persistent invasiveness that mobile connectivity inspires in the social networks our children navigate on and off line is unprecedented. And the children need socialization to help them overcome the lack of empathy that can happen from behind the screen. It is a challenge that has inspired legislation across the nation to make cyberbullying cause for disciplinary action in schools.
Monday, March 31st, 2014
Bullying is learned behavior. Children do as we do, and so I have learned that if our own personal strategy is to use intimidation and anger in response to bad customer service or in reaction to the things that family members do that are annoying or disruptive, we in turn are disturbing the peace, not contributing to it.
Sunday, March 2nd, 2014
So let us be clear. Worrying is not the same thing as caring because it is the product of fear, not love. And worry is in my opinion the most toxic temptation of the modern parent given the truly perilous network culture that encompasses the modern childhood.
Wednesday, November 13th, 2013
Six or seven years ago I came across a prophetic quote from an anonymous teacher regarding the emerging new norm of student conduct in the classroom:
“There are a few more bad apples in the classroom, and a lot more swing voters.”
These swing voters are more commonly known as bystanders who stand for nothing. Bystanders allow simple acts of rudeness, cruelty and hostility to disturb the peace, making it difficult to learn whether it be in the classroom or on the sports field. Bystanders allow the escalation of hostility powered by texting and social media that convinces a child that there is no surviving it.
Wednesday, November 13th, 2013
...Whether your child has suffered trauma from bullying, being exploited sexually, failed relationships due to cyber-powered gossip and betrayal, or suffers from addiction to drugs, porn or devices and apps including video gamming, our challenge as parents is to respond to the human condition with a heart at peace so that your child can believe you are a trustworthy resource for prevention and recovery support. Parents who criticize others outted for risky choices and conduct (such as sexting or drug abuse), for example, send strong signals to your own child that is is not safe to talk about what is happening in their world on and off line without fear of retribution; and then it is not possible to impart wisdom. It is not possible to provide the prevention and recovery support kids need from parents for all the experiences in their life that make up critical decision points impacting their personal security. So I have come to appreciate the following clarification for the modern parent when it comes to understanding our role in prevention and recovery for all of the risks life presents our children:
Prevention and recovery are the arms of God’s love. It is a big bear hug that wraps our compassion around the person who is our child; it is our passion for our child to be free from the bondage of any relationship that keeps them aimed far away from the heart of a healthy relationship with God and family.
The big question for the modern parent is: what do you believe about the human condition? Really, how do you perceive sin? Is it a judgy thing that does not apply to you and your child? Do you believe that your sincere parenting will guarantee your child will be safe from the pitfalls? How do you understand the mighty, cyber-powered pressures of the world that intensify bullying, addiction and exploitation?