Cyberbullying and a Fathers Role
Today I attended a workshop on cyberbullying. It’s not the first time I’ve attended one of these kinds of workshops and they always cause me to leave feeling like I’m not doing enough to protect my children. On some level, I feel like there’s nothing I can do. I’m always intrigued that social workers and other practitioners believe that the teacher has the ability to recognize when its happening and can do something about it. When in reality most teachers don’t have a clue when bullying is taking place via social media. Parents certainly don’t know.
Most times its not until someone gets hurt or an incident occurs that we even begin to explore that being bullied has something to do with the conflicts between youth. I often wonder if we as parents are even equip to raise children to keep themselves safe while engaging in technology. Especially given that all of this cyber stuff is new. Its something that baby boomers have never had to deal with and the kind of socialization we had to learn to maneuver school, doesn’t have a chance in hell, working today.
As a father and fatherhood advocate I questioned myself regarding how my role or engagement can be critical to helping my children negotiate conflict via social media. After having left that workshop hours ago, I’m still not sure other than to ensure an open line of communication with my children. To be in tune with any change in their social behavior and to deal with it at the beginning before it has the change to turn into anything more or dangerous.
I do know and understand that this phenomenon is serious and can certainly have really bad outcomes for both the victim and perpetrator. Technology is quickly and forever changing; so much so that a solution has to have the ability to transform in the same manner. Until it does, we will increasingly have this issue elude us.