Your Kid, Teen and The Wild Wide Web

Your Kid, Teen and The Wild Wide Web

cyberbullying meaning the use of electronic communication to bully a person, typically by sending messages of an intimidating or threatening nature. “children may be reluctant to admit to being the victims of cyberbullying”

I have been casually strolling these internet streets and I believe that to some extent they have scarred me. I have silently observed as the internet raised some people up and then tore them down with the same fervor. We have all witnessed first hand how brutal and harsh the internet can be. It loves you one day and hates you the next. I for one have a phobia for posting online because I am afraid of it backfiring on me, I wonder how kids feel when they post. Now more than ever, we’ve witnessed how one simple comment can be turned into a mountain of an issue. Or how one post can lead to all sorts of people distancing themselves from you.  

With that being said I understand why parents are pulling their hair especially when it comes to their children’s online safety. I recently watched ‘Cyber Bully’ the movie. The movie follows the story of a woman who tries to help her daughter after she falls victim to cyber bullying. If I do say so myself, the movie is a work of art and it beautifully tells the story of the parent and the child. If you ask me, this movie came before its time. Another show that has talked about this issue is Blackish on their latest season. In the episode they try to explain to Diana about the dangers of posting a certain type of content.  

I think we as a collective need to talk to children about the pros and cons of being online.  For most of us we have had to figure out this online scene on our own but that shouldn’t be the same case for our kids. It’s important to educate them so that they make informed decisions. Let them know about the dangers of posting certain types of content and the effect of being to each other online. I know we don’t like seeing our children as the offenders but it is important to talk to them about both sides of the spectrum. Also, it’s important to tell them that people mostly post the good things online. Rarely do they show when they are struggling. This will enable them not to feel pressured to keep up a certain appearance.  

We also need to have open communication channels with them so that they feel comfortable sharing with us what they come across online. This will make it easier for the kids to approach you when they are facing a challenge. Else, they’ll turn to their friends in a bid to find a solution to the problem. A great way to jumpstart this, is asking them scenario questions e.g. What would you do if someone you don’t know asks to meet up with you? Listen to what they have to say and build up from there. If they come to you seeking advice for a friend just flow with it. Don’t try to figure out who the friend might be as this will make them shut down.  

It is also important to advice them against certain sites and applications. Explain to them why they shouldn’t go there in a way they’ll understand as opposed to commanding/telling them not to do it. There is no way to control what they are consuming online. All we can do is be their guiding voices and impact as much knowledge as we can on them. Watch with them realistic movies that explore the cyber bullying, bully, bullying computer and web, teenage life themes. Here are some movies that run along that theme that you can explore. They can also act as a great conversation between adult and kids.  Parental guidance is advised when viewing these movies.

  • Cyberbully
  • @urFrenz 
  • A girl like her 
  • Wasted on the young 

As a person who found herself immersed in the internet almost ‘unknowingly’, I really struggled at the beginning. To make it worse I didn’t real know how to navigate it. For a while, I felt pressured to be in almost all the sites people were joining because I didn’t want to be left behind. If you have experienced FOMO (Fear Of missing Out) you definitely know what I’m talking about. I really wish I had someone to guide me or a place to find such information. Therefore, this is my way of helping curb the monster that is cyber bullying, helping to shine light on the issue while offering information that would work towards curbing the issue. I hope this helps you out in some way. Let’s keep our children safe, mentally, emotionally and physically. 

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Comments (4)

  • Bahati G Reply

    The terrible new parent

    December 9, 2020 at 2:06 pm
    • Dee Reply

      It has definitely taken over our lives.

      December 10, 2020 at 10:09 am
  • Norah Ndonga Reply

    An apt account of the horror of internet gone wrong. What has worked for me since I’m a mom of young adults and pre teens is the open discussion and just teaching them about being humane and empathetic towards others…being kind and overall just placing themselves in the ‘other child’s’ position.

    December 9, 2020 at 7:38 pm
    • Dee Reply

      This what we are advocating for. It is easier to make good decisions when one is informed. Please keep those communication channels open.

      December 10, 2020 at 10:10 am


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