I shared early on in my blogging, about my experiences with school bullies back on Day 7. (link provided for your reading pleasure, if you like. wink, wink) Funny, now that I think about it ... I have not given it a second thought since I released all those memories in a balloon that day.
Come to think about it, most of my bad experiences which I have shared and placed a balloon... haven't thought about them. That's right. I told myself to forget the bad experiences once I let them go, and I more or less did.
Note to self... remember to really thank Aleah for that analogy... for some reason it made sense. Thanks Als!
Back to what I started to share with you... I hadn't thought about those "bullies" in school, until yesterday. Yes, you guessed it... we watched another movie! (only so much you can watch with a sick five year old)
Even though Calley is only five, I thought it was good subject matter to discuss. So... we watched Cyberbully, on Netflix (We have Netflix through our wii ~ too cool, gotta love it!), which I think may have been originally an after school special on tv. (evident from the badly edited pauses in the movie for a commercial break. lol!) Actually, Calley was either coloring or playing most of the movie.
I want to preface my thoughts by saying, that I highly recommend for all parents to watch this with all their computer using school aged children, followed by a family discussion afterwards. Warning: There is some not nice name calling, and maybe some of you may want to watch the movie without your young children first to be prepared, and then decide for yourselves what you share. Regardless, a family discussion on "bullying" need not a movie to preface.
I know first hand that bullying is mean. Bullies say mean, ugly, hurtful words. It is real. I wanted Calley to see some of it. It starts at a young age too. So when I saw something that Calley could relate to, I would call it to her attention. Explaining to her that if someone is mean to her, that she needs to tell mommy or daddy. Even going further telling her that she can also go to her grandparents or uncles, if that makes her feel comfortable.
I wanted Calley to know and understand that she has a huge (Christian) support system within her family. That she has a family that loves her and wants her to be safe. A family that is never too busy to listen (a great point to stress), and will always be there for here.
I'll be honest with you, at first I thought this was going to be too heavy of a subject, yet I decided I would watch and pull her in when deemed. Worse thing would be that she would get bored and go play. Well, guess what. Calley may have been playing during most of the movie, but she did take notice to kids being mean. She did ask questions... there was the use of the word "slut" a few times (it was written), but she was clueless to it. Although one of the girls called another one a "bitch", I jumped in and said, "wasn't that mean that the girl called her friend a "witch?" One word... smoothe! Calley... Not a clue.
I know this movie was more about cyber-bullying, however a bully is a bully, period.
Do not get me wrong, cyber-bullying is a little more intense. After all this is on the WORLD WIDE WEB for the ENTIRE WORLD TO SEE! Not like in my day, where I could go home to get away from it all.
Today there are 48 states with anti cyber bullying laws, with Georgia being the first state to have the laws back 1999. I was also surprised to learn of all the sites available on the subject, here are a few. www.bullypolice.org , socialsafety.org , and there's even a cyber bullying research center.
Bullying has now gone to an entirely new level with the internet. As a former computer teacher, I could not stress it enough to my students about safety on the internet. As well as teaching them internet etiquette. I even taught them to always give their parents their passwords. Your welcome. wink, wink.
Please take a moment to sit with your family about this serious matter. Some of our children are not strong enough on their own to handle bullying. Some of our children have taken their lives because some mean kid has made them feel like they did not want or deserve to live anymore.
As parents we love our children and want to keep our children out of harm's way. Please check on them often when they are on the computer and on the internet. Keep a list of their passwords. NO password. No use of computer. Simple.
It is our responsibility to keep our children safe, and discussing this serious issue is one way to do so. Who knows your children may share something with you that you never expected.
Lets teach our children, to love and respect one another's differences. To learn, understand and embrace those differences.
After all we are all God's children.
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. ~James 4:10 (NIV)
Blessings to all!!
134 days to go...
PS... Sons, I love and miss you. To the moon and stars above and back. You are my sunshine(s).
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