NEW YEAR, NEW SCHOOL, NEW ISSUES?
An important topic or problem for debate or discussion.
It’s the start of a new school year, and everyone is anxious – parents, children and probably teachers, too. There are concerns about what teachers or classrooms the children will get – will they have any friends in their new class? Will they like the teacher? Is the backpack they’ve picked “cool” enough; do they buy highlighters or see what the teacher asks for? If they’re starting a new school, these worries are compounded: will I have any friends? Will people like me? What if I do something wrong, like forget where my classrooms are? Will my old friends still talk to me? Will my new classmates accept me? Are they on Facebook? Will they get along with my old friends?
Although we’d love to keep them close, as our children grow so does their circle of friends and influences – what their parents think, say and do becomes less important, and we have to hope that our sway over them is enough to keep them out of trouble and away from harm. We don’t want to see them hurt, but we can’t protect them everywhere they go. While they’re at school, they are safe to a certain extent from certain offenders. Bullying is rife in the school yard, however, and while it’s the law that they receive an education, unless we home school, then we need to leave it up to the school itself to regulate. We do our best to report it and repair any damage, but what if the bullying is out of school hours? What do we do when our children are at home, in what should be their sanctuaries, and are still suffering at the hands of bullies?
It’s sad, but our children might not always tell us if they’re being bullied. They may want to protect us, or they may feel that they warrant it in some way. Maybe they’re embarrassed or ashamed; they may fear reprisals if the bullies are reported and reprimanded. They might want you to think they’re enjoying school. Whatever the reason, they may be a victim of bullying and you may be unaware. Without asking outright, there’s not much more you can do to find out if it’s occurring.
With cyberbullying, it is it insidious and relentless. Your child turns on the computer to complete a homework task, chat to friends or listen to music and they may become victim of online bullying. Over 50% of children won’t tell their parents if they’re being bullied online, and 25% of children admit to having been bullied online.
Thankfully, however, there are monitoring applications you can use that notifies you when your child is being cyberbullied (in real time) and alerts you to the problem, to deal with it before it gets out of hand. The monitoring program will send an alert notifying you that your child is experiencing a negative online event, giving you the opportunity to take action.
Speak to us today about our solution to cyberbullying, and take some of the stress out of back-to-school.