A few weeks ago, I went to hear parenting expert Barbara Coloroso speak. This is the second time I have been to hear one of her lectures and I was equally impressed this time as I was the last.
Speaking specifically to her book ‘The Bully, The Bullied and The Bystander’, she spent two hours addressing the current state of society our kids are growing up in, the impact of social media on bullying and providing concrete and helpful examples on how to raise strong, respectful and independent children.
I took many notes during the lecture, but some of the key tips I walked away with were:
- Teach your kids to do good because doing good is good to do, not because they will get a reward
- If your kids have mobile devices, they should only be able to charge them in your room overnight. A high percentage of sexting and cyber bullying occurs in the late hours of the evening. Kids are also loosing sleep by staying up on social media sites or playing online video games.
- Conflict is inevitable, violence is not. Teach your kids how to deal with conflict so it does not escalate to violence.
- Teach your kids that their words have to pass through three gates. Are the words true? Are they necessary? Are they kind?
- If your child is being bullied online, here is what they should do – stop the interaction, copy the comments, block the bully from their account, tell a person they trust
- Websites that can help parents navigate the internet and social media world are Wiredsafety.org,commonsense.org and netlingo.com
A final message she left us with was to try and get kids to care deeply, share generously and help willingly. These practices would decrease the society of mean our kids are currently growing up with and would hopefully help reduce the number of awful bullying stories we seem to hear on a weekly basis.
Oakville seems to get a fair number of really great parenting workshops and I look forward to attending more in the future. Being a parent leaves you with so much to think about. Even if you don’t agree with everything said by a parenting expert, I find it helpful to hear other points of view and to take the time to focus on what your parenting values and beliefs are so you can reflect on how things are going and what things you may like to change.