I caught an episode of Oprah’s Life Class the other night which made me realize once again that Oprah is the best. Every weekday afternoon at 4:00 PM I still think of her and miss watching her show as I did for so many years after school and even as an adult.
On a really serious note yet sort of related because we could use Oprah right now, an 8th grade girl in our school district committed suicide last week.
Without fully knowing all the details, reasons, the family, and exactly what went on beyond what we hear, I can tell you that bullying is a real thing right now, as it always has been. However, in today’s world, social media is making the power and reach of bullying that much worse. Social media gives kids (and adults too) the extra platform to hurt the feelings of others.
It’s not easy to be a kid today and it’s certainly not easy to be the parent either. I talk to my son very openly about life as a teenager, what’s taking place within the schools, in his life, on social media and beyond. But do I ever really know everything?
It’s really scary! Even though I trust he wouldn’t bully anyone, and even though he is pretty open with me with what goes on (did I mention he went to his first open house party?!), I still freak out like WE are not ready for this just yet.
When my son was a baby, I would look out the window to see kids waiting at the school bus stop and think to myself that I would never allow my baby out there.
Oh, no. No way. My child would never take a school bus. I would never let him out into the world with a driver I didn’t know to take him off into the outside world of school without my supervision.
As annoying as my son can be to me (trust me, he is annoying. He thrives on being annoying to me and he knows it) just the thought of letting him out there back then was scary to me, and it still is today.
But the kids don’t even have to leave the house today to experience the outside world because of social media. They see and hear the other kids 24/7 via text, group chat, snapchat, and whatever else. While sometimes it’s great to connect with your friends, the dark side of this is the bullying and not niceness that can take place via these platforms. As a parent said in our district recently, just because you see your kids happy on social media with their group of friends, there is always someone being left out who is seeing the image too and they feel really bad.
I have a dear blog reader friend who I email with over the years since starting my blog. She often says something that sticks with me when it comes to raising my son:
Roots and Wings.
You have to be confident in how you are raising your children while letting them grow to experience and live their own life.
I’m doing the best I can.
I signed my son up for next summer’s teen tour which will take him out to the west coast. A trip I swore I would never let him do BUT, roots and wings I guess.
He wants to go and I can’t deprive him of the experience just because I prefer to know he is under my supervision and asleep in his own bed here at home.
Remember last summer how I tracked his every move with his teen tour via shared location on his phone?!
The only other thing I can do right now is know my child well. I have a good read on him (I think) and on his personality to know if something is off at which point I would need to investigate further. Otherwise, I guess I have to let him live his own life the same way I was allowed to live mine at his age, even if it means he sometimes gets upset or faces challenges. I just have to trust that I have raised him well enough to tell me what’s going on, not to bully anyone or make them feel bad. Except me, he likes to make me feel bad on a daily basis but I can handle it. I just hide in my room.
It’s such a scary world out there though.
On This Day:
10/26/16: WIAW/Out of Cookie Dough –The last time I checked, Cold Stone started offering cookie dough again as a topping but it was never as good as the kind of cookie dough they had before they were out of cookie dough last year. They switched vendors and the current cookie dough is just not as good!
10/26/15: Weekend Sentence Per Picture –I recall this weekend well. It was the last time I tried making my own chocolate caramel apples using dates as the caramel!
This was also the weekend after I ended a relationship and I remember feeling so FREE. I’m not the type of person to need their freedom so much as just need the right person around me I guess.
10/26/14: Workout Recap – This was a recovery week after the Runner’s World weekend of races. I even took a spin class!Thinking Out Loud #Oprah #lifeclass #bullying #socialmedia #thinkingoutloud Click To Tweet
Thoughts on social media and bullying?
Have you ever tried making chocolate caramel apples using dates as the caramel?