I guess we all have had a bully or two in our life and have been pushed around much like Clark Kent. My concerns now are how do you teach your children to engage with those who are not going to hurt them or even better yet ignore and stay away from those who are already hurting them.
In my case, my Dad gave me the security to fear no one. He also gave me the privilege of letting him know if I feared someone so he could take care of the issue. My dad would tell me to stay away from violence but to stand up for myself and fight back if needed.
I remember on one occasions, a student who was a lot older and bigger than me, was bullying me and had picked me up through the throat. He usually got his way with other students, until he made the big mistake of marking my throat with his nails. I got home and my dad asked me what happened. I have never been a good liar so when I told my dad the truth he gave me a piece of advice I would never forget. He said “Raul if you are scared of this guy I can take care of it for you, It’s ok to be scared. I have been scared many times and I have asked for help but if you are not scared then you better stand up for yourself because if this guy hurts you again I will be very disappointed”.
I told my dad I could handle it. Just the fact that my dad said it was ok to be scared made a huge difference in building my confidence to stand up to this bully. That was good enough advice for me. When that bully came to me mess with me again, we got into a fight. I confess I got my butt kicked but the Bully was so surprised that I fought back that he decided to bully other kids and left me alone. (Just in case I am not promoting violence. Each and every person handles the situation in their own way. In this case it was pure self defense).
From that moment on I realized that other kids (and later on people) would try to force things upon those who appeared afraid. Till this day my Dad is always there for me and I am there for him. I have never used my Dad to defend me but I know he has my back. That feeling of conveying to your children that someone is behind them while letting them make their choices, where some of the lessons I learned from my Dad.
I guess now with cyberbullying the game completely changes.There are so many ways of approaching cyberbullying. For those parents that choose to let there kids use them, it opens up another channel of bullying for your kids and log of what messages are being sent to your kid. So it brings the good with the bad. Just a few days ago @lucymfel was able to catch some strange behavior on a family member’s site. The kid that was bullying our family member was doing the same at the recreation site they visited. I guess pre-internet we would not have been able to make a correction and take action unless the kid spoke up.
Hopefully here in Papaheroes.com we can help you tweak your monitoring skills to make sure you are at the top of your game when it comes to protecting our children.
Have you had any experiences dealing with Cyber Bullying? How do you think it should be handled?
photo credit by lovstromp