Are you struggling with the amount of time your kids are spending on computer, TV, handheld games, console games, YouTube and cell phones?
Kids who spend less time on-line experience fewer incidents of on-line bullying and are generally more well-adjusted. Are you looking for ways to be pro-active against cyber-bullying? Are you wondering how to get your children to spend less time on screens?
Luckily there is a solution which is not complicated or difficult. The method I’m talking about does take time and discipline in order to be effective. Implement this system and you’ll be glad to did.
I’m talking about schedules and lists. Sit down with your kids and talk about how much time you are going to allow them to spend on screens. You may want to give them more time on the weekend so that they can carry out their regular routines throughout the week without screen activities getting in the way.
One parent I know has decided their children will not participate in screens from Monday to Friday but on the weekends they can spend as much time as they wish doing screens activities. There are times when the children express frustration about not being able to be on screens during the week, but now that they’re used to it, the schedule is working successfully.
Anger can really affect how we act and treat people.
I’m sure this statement is obvious to you, but when you live with people, namely your brothers and sisters, you get to know them in a way no one else does. Sometimes this is good and sometimes not so good. If power struggles develop, then bullying can start to happen. Anger can be a result.
One of the characteristics of bullying is that it can take place when there is an imbalance of power. Maybe you think you are better, stronger, smarter or wiser than your brother or sister. Or maybe that’s how they feel about you.
If you realize you are mistreating people in your family and maybe you are feeling a bit more powerful or better than them, you can make the decision to change how to treat them. If you do, you will notice a big change in how you are treated as well. You will start to be respected more. Family members might even ask you for advice.
If you feel someone else in your family is mistreating you and they think they are more powerful or better than you, it can be tough sometimes to change that situation. You may be able to talk to them about how you feel. It may be necessary to talk with your parents about the situation.
Try to control your anger about the situation and also try not to be a know-it-all. Don’t be bossy or arrogant. Just realize it will take time to change the situation, especially if it has been going on for a long time.
Remember, the way you treat others is often how they will treat you. It is usually easier to judge others than it is to see how you appear to other people. Your brothers and sisters need to be treated with respect just as everyone else is.
This is an ongoing project. Aim to be kind and peaceful and think about how you’ve achieved this at the end of every day.
Bruce Langford is an anti-bullying advocate who offers school presentations on bullying & respect.
Schools have a role to play when it comes to children and their online activities. Parents and schools working together can greatly improve the online safety of children by teaching them the ropes of internet safety. Teachers should be aware of the following information so that they can advise parents and children when the opportunity arises.
Favorite Online Activities
Ask kids what on-line activities are their most favorite. This will give you a heads up as to what aspects of internet safety you need to be most concerned with. Is it email, instant messaging, gaming, facebook or others that I haven’t mentioned?
Keep track of what websites your child or student is visiting by reviewing the history files. Open Internet Explorer and click on the toolbar at the top of the page for history files. In some editions of Internet Explorer simply click on Tools > Toolbars > History. To adjust the number of days that Internet Explorer keeps the history, go to the tools button and select Internet options. Then click on the Gen. tab. You will find the history section at the bottom. If you are unsure how to check the history on your computer, just use Google search. Check to see what browser you’re using and then search by typing in the ‘browser name’ and ‘how to check search history’.
Tell your children that you will monitor their instant messaging conversations, just as you would be aware of their live interaction with friends.
Here’s an example: Open live messenger and login as the user you want to track. Select Tools > Options > Messages, and see the message history setting in the bottom. Make sure the box is ticked next to “automatically keep the history of my conversations”. The location of the saved conversations is shown here. Open the folder where the conversations are saved to review what has been said.
Games Parents and teachers need to understand that games can be taken very seriously by children and they can become so much a part of the game that they almost lose touch with reality. Some kids even have trouble determining the difference between fantasy and reality. Gaming time should be kept under control as some children will become obsessed and play for hours and hours, sometimes it even taking a break.
Parents and schools can use filtering software to help ensure that kids are going to safe sites. Search ‘Internet filtering software’ on your browser to find out what options are available.
Children should not be searching the Internet without supervision. That means an Internet connected computer at home should be in a central place like the kitchen or family room where everyone goes. Students at school should also be supervised while on-line.
Parents and Schools CAN help to control what children are doing online.
Bruce Langford is a bullying prevention advocate located in Canada.
As an anti-bullying week event we visited Sir Wilfrid Laurier public school in Hamilton on November 19, 2012 to present a parent/child presentation called ‘Stand up – Keep Your Kids’.
Dayna Liddle, Parent Council Rep Sir Wilfrid Laurier PS
We had a great audience of receptive parents and children who were eager to learn more about bullying prevention. A group of enthusiastic children arrived early to practice role-plays, which they did with sincere conviction. Parent Council representative, Dayna Liddle, was one of the parents in charge of arranging and overseeing the event. Dayna is obviously adamant about bullying prevention.
We talked about a number of concepts which parents can use to help safeguard their children at home, school, and in their communities. Here is an overview of three strategies we discussed.
The energy a human being exudes often comes across as being positive or negative. It is important to ensure that our children are sending positive vibrations to the world, as in my opinion, this positive energy will also attract positive energy. As parents, it is important to encourage our children to walk with confidence and show confidence in the way they carry themselves. If we are constantly criticizing our children or finding fault with the way they do things, they will develop a low self-esteem that will begin to be apparent wherever they go. Instead, it is important to lift up our children, encourage them, look for the positive, and help them to understand that they are valued individuals who can make a decided difference with their friends or in their community. I strongly believe children who carry themselves in a positive manner, will be targeted less often in bullying situations.
As a parent myself, I understand that it is my job to direct my son if he makes a mistake or does not follow directions. I know I need to be firm and definite about my expectations, however, it is vital that I also help to build up his self-esteem on a continuous basis.
Be Aware of your Child’s Online activity:
When police officers do presentations about cyber bullying, one of the things they talk about is making sure that the computer is in a central place in your home. I also emphasize this very same idea. The computer should not be located at the back of your family room, the corner of your basement or in your child’s bedroom if it is connected to the Internet. Make sure the computer is in a central place like the kitchen or family room where everyone goes. As an adult we are all responsible for making sure we know exactly what our children are doing online. This includes games, research, online chatting, and social media websites such as Facebook or twitter.
Be aware of what your children are doing on-line
Cell phones, video, and YouTube:
Many parents are concerned about their child’s safety, and rightly so. As an effort to keep our children safe many of us provide our children with cell phones. However cell phones usually have many capabilities including cameras and video cameras and GPS. These functions while being very useful can also complicate life and provide interesting tools for would be cyber bullies. If a fight breaks out at your child’s school, someone is likely to pull out a cell phone and start videotaping the event. We all know that it is popular to upload these kinds of videos to YouTube or similar sites. Videos such as this often get a high number of hits and it can be a real perk for a student who is trying to get attention. Also what many parents don’t realize is that YouTube will pay users who get a large number of hits on their site. This can also be incentive to upload videos such as I have described.
As a presenter and anti-bullying advocate, I appreciate the fact that this anti-bullying event was made possible by an Ontario government PRO grant. Thanks to everyone who helped organize and support this event at Sir Wilfrid Laurier Public School in Hamilton.
Cyber-bullying has become such a concern with parents that many are looking for ways to monitor their children’s activities while on-line.
I recommend limiting the amount of time your children are on the web, and stay nearby while they are surfing. Show interest in what they are doing and encourage them to ask questions if they are not sure about something. Keep their on-line experience positive.
Be supportive and upbeat about the internet. It has tremendous potential as a tool for learning as well as powerful social benefits.
If you still feel it is necessary to use software monitoring, here are some suggestions: SpytechSpyagent.com
WebWatcher.com SpectorPro.com Learn about the above monitoring products before purchasing them. Read some reviews and understand that these tools have the potential to be misused. Use them with care and realize the best parental monitoring is simply being there.
Bruce Langford is an anti-bullying advocate who presents talks and presentations on bullying and cyber-bullying
Bullying will decrease when everyone starts to care. That is the belief of the Blenheim Neighbourhood Watch Group which started looking for a guest speaker on the topic last spring. Kim Dagenais is the president of the group and was instrumental in locating a speaker with experience and knowledge in the field of bullying prevention. Bruce has been presenting workshops in Ontario for a number of years.
The information covered in the Neighbourhood Watch workshop was cyberbullying, family dynamics, facebook and how to cope with tough bullying situations.
Here is a tip that Bruce shared during the talk in Blenheim:
Sit with your children and discuss the ground rules for internet use in your home. Talk with your family about expectations on the web and regarding the use of cell phones.
This tip can make a big difference later, if a complicated challenge arises involving cyberbullying.
Visit Blenheim Neighbourhood Watch on Facebook!
Bruce Langford does talks and presentations across Ontario on the topic of bullying and cyberbullying. He can be contacted at 1-800-901-8831 or through ‘Stand Up Now Productions’.
1. Assess the situation rationally by writing down the details in a factual way
2. Talk over the dilemma with a trusted adult. This could be a parent, teacher, councillor, friend or other relative. Call a confidential counseling service like ‘KidsHelpPhone’ if you don’t have anyone else to talk to.
3. Continue to eat regular, nutritious meals and snacks. Stress can cause many people to lean to junk food or foods and drinks containing ‘uppers’ like caffeine. So called ‘energy’ drinks can also throw your body out of equilibrium.
4. If you have pets, they can help lower your stress level. Walk your dog, play with your cat, watch your fish or ride your pony. Spend extra time caring for your pets and you may start to feel more relaxed.
5. Make sure you maintain your sleep schedule so you don’t get over tired. That can add more stress to a situation that is already difficult.
6. Keep up your regular schedule of physical activities. Consider adding more activities if you are not a very active person. Even a simple walk can help you feel better.
We offer ideas to help kids deal with bullying situations and other challenges. Visit our website at www.standupnow.ca
Barbara Coloroso is an internationally recognized speaker and author who talks about parenting and bullying. I recommend her books and agree with many of her ideas about how to deal with bullying.
She believes there are a number of ways to stop bullying.
After reading her books, I was left with some ideas which made me feel very positive and hopeful about what we can all do to help eliminate bullying.
It is important to encourage empathy and friendship skills in children and to closely monitor screen activities. She says that adults should help create opportunities for children to do good and help others. Discipline including restitution, resolution and reconciliation should be considered when dealing with bullying behaviours.
I encourage you to google Barbara Coloroso and read her materials. Barbara has extensive experience and expertise on the topic of bullying. Check out the writings of Barbara Coloroso!
I totally believe we can all make a positive difference by working together and making the right choices.
How do my actions affect others?
How do I learn to think before I speak?
How do I make the right choices?
These are questions that your children may be asking themselves more often than you think.
The answer is to remember to show consideration to others. Try to practice empathy. Try to imagine what the other person is feeling. Just remember that these are skills we can practice every day. We all teach children to build character by our own example.
We have taught these character ed concepts through music, videos and role-plays at hundreds of elementary school presentations across Ontario. We will present bullying prevention programs at your school. Contact Stand Up Now Productions at 1-800-901-8831 or email Bruce Langford at firstname.lastname@example.org
Bullying on the bus can be a real problem. Here are 5 tips to deal with bullying on the bus:
1. Tell somebody you can trust – it might be the bus driver, a teacher, a parent or even a friend on the bus.
2. Find a friend to sit with if you can. Look out for each other. It’s even better if you can get more than one friend on your side.
3. Stay away from the bully if you can. Sit as far away from them as possible.
4. Some bullies are just trying to get attention and feed their ego. Sometimes these people will stop if you just ignore them.
5. Try to be as confident as you can – don’t let the person know they are bugging you. Sometimes just speaking up and talking it out can be the best way to deal with this kind of thing.
We will come to your school to share stuff about bullying & respect in a fun way. Check out www.standupagainstbullying.com and remember: ‘Stand Up Against Bullying’ on the bus!