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Posts Tagged ‘children’

Parenting In Social Media Age- Keep Kids Safe Online (Guest Expert)

Friday, December 6th, 2019

technologysonParenting has changed drastically in the past decade. Instead of dinner bells ringing children home, they now have cell phones. Social media has become an obsession and a favorite past time. With the changes in technology, changes in parenting become necessary.

You can keep your child safe in the social media age with a few tips to help you stay up to speed with today’s technology and your child’s plugged-in world.

Learn the Technology

First and foremost, for parents to be able to help, it is important that they understand how technology works and accept that technology is a big part of young people’s lives, says Silje Vallestad, CEO and founder of Bipper, a mobile safety app company. As cyber bullying situations continue to increase, parents must know how to operate and monitor apps, social media networks and various technology to ensure that their children are acting appropriately and that they are treated respectfully in what is a 24/7 public environment.

“For kids today, being stripped of their access to the social communities and technology in general is considered so bad that they won’t ask for help or tell parents about negative experiences,” says Vallestad. “Parents need to understand that there is a difference between the digital childhood of kids today and their own upbringing, and that access to technology is as important as access to paper and pens.”

Although social media is extremely important to your child, it doesn’t mean they should have full reign of the technology. “Parents should never grant kids access to technology without guiding them in the world of technology and to be able to guide their kids, they need to understand technology and online services,” says Vallestad. “I believe in parents spending time educating themselves, combined with frequent conversations between parent and child about the use of technology in general and use of specific services in particular.”

Use Technology to Bond with Your Child

Monitoring your child’s social media use does not have to be a negative experience, wherein you are acting the part of a spy. Use technology as an opportunity to learn something new from your children and brush up on your own skills. Vallestad, the mother of three kids all using technology, says she uses mobile app alerts that provide information on which social media applications her children are downloading.

“When I see that they have installed apps I either don’t know much about or that I’m worried about (such as SnapChat or Instagram), I make a point of having a good conversation about these services,” she says. “They teach me a lot about technology and the services while we talk about how things can be used for good or bad.”

These conversations can help to create trust between a parent and a child and allow opportunities to talk about how technology can be used to harm others and how to react in those situations. “With our frequent talks on tech, where I show that I’m both interested and involved in their digital lives and also allow them to use technology, I believe we have fostered an atmosphere where they will feel safe to tell me if something bad is happening,” says Vallestad.

Have a Plan of Action

As you are learning the technology, it’s important to remember the top three actions to take when your child is engaged in social media, according to Vallestad.

  • Technology is Important to Your Child: Understand that your kids need to use technology and be part of the online communities where their peers are. It’s part of their lives and if you remove it, you will probably create a growing gap between you and your child instead of fostering an atmosphere of dialogue.
  • Open Conversations are Necessary: Engage in open and trusting conversations with your kids about technology. Let them tell you, show you and teach you. Reacting with anger or shock to things you might see could result in your kids closing down conversations. Try to stay calm and ask questions. Together, you can agree on rules. Sometimes you both may come to the conclusion that a particular service is not ok. Other times, it is ok but you may require that you will be a friend or follower.
  • Research is Key: Do your own research on services and use that research to ask your kids the right questions. However, don’t automatically assume that your kids are using a questionable service in a wrong way simply because there is a lot of information online about that service being used negatively. Do keep an open eye and make sure you are neither naïve nor ignorant about social media.

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New Ways Of Responding To Bullies

Monday, May 2nd, 2011


We are glad you are choosing to spend your precious time
with We will bring you tips,advice and
encouragement. We want to be on your support team.

Empower Yourself and Your Children

Next time you are watching cartoons or a video with your kids
have them monitor the body language. You may need to turn
off the sound so you concentrate on non-verbal communication.

Help them to try different body language so they look more confident
and sure of themselves. Have them put their shoulders back, hands
at sides (not crossed as that indicates defiance) open smile and a
confident walk.

You will find more information on this subject in an article I wrote on
body language.

Victims Look Afraid

Teach your children to imagine themselves inside a protective bubble
that bounces off the bullies words. This will give them some control
in a situation where they may feel helpless.

When choosing a victim or target, bullies typically target children or teens
who have few or no friends. Make sure your children have chances to
make friends away from where the bullying takes place.

Claim your free e-course on social skills today at

When Should Adults Step In?

If bullying is persistent, or your child is injured, take action. If
bullying happens at school, take the matter up with a suitable
teacher and work upward until the matter is taken seriously
and addressed. Keep written records which may be used as

But remember, You are an adult, so don’t try to bully the
other child or the school. You want to follow the wishes of
your child before barging in to do battle.

You will be glad you did.

Judy H. Wright

Judy Helm Wright is a parent educator and child advocate

Family relationship author and speaker
2400 West Central, Missoula, MT 59801 USA

PS. Teach social skills that will help your child navigate the
playground politics. Claim your free e-course today

Rules for Respect-Boundaries of Behavior

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

Rules for Respect-Boundaries of Behavior

© Judy H. Wright aka Auntie Artichoke, family and relationship coach

Do your kids think you have too many rules?  Do they push the limits and boundaries of respect? Do they think it is funny to pick on someone who is different than they are? Perhaps you have had similar conversations that started like these in order to teach respect for others.

“What’s the matter with that word, they say it all the time on television?”

“We were only teasing her, we didn’t mean it.”

Though children and young adults will get mixed or conflicting messages from the television, magazine and friends, they need you to set and enforce clear, respectful rules and limits. They need to know that you expect them to do and be their best.

By providing this guidance you will help them learn how to be responsible, contributing members of society.

Consistent boundaries within the family are pretty predictable;

Consistency in discipline is the number one factor in successful families: It is important that love, respect, cooperation and expectations are unconditional and not dependant on circumstances or behavior.

Here are some common boundaries your family may have;

  • The car will not start until the seat belt clicks.
  • Parents must always know the 4 Ws before they are allowed to leave with friends. WHO are the friends, WHERE are they going, WHAT are they doing, and WHEN will they be home.
  • We do not speak in derogatory ways about anyone.
  • A child can count on dinner being at six o’clock or there about.
  • Bedtime is 8:30 on school nights and homework is done before playtime.

Consistent boundaries and standards give a child and the whole family a feeling of security and safety. It is within this safe environment that self-discipline and life skills begin to flourish and develop.

Be Partners with Schools and Community Organizations

As a community, as well as a family, we need to give consistent messages to our children concerning dangerous, unacceptable and unkind behavior. When they understand hateful teasing or name calling is not acceptable it will be easier for them to forgo temptation to participate.

It is our responsibility as adults to help them learn and live by the basic rule that actions have consequences. By teaching and enforcing family, school and community rules, you teach respect and tolerance for all.

Thank you for doing a good job

You are doing the most important job in the world, raising self-disciplined, thoughtful and contributing children.  Thank you for your time and effort.  We will all be blessed by having members of society who work within a framework of acceptable behavior.

This article was written just for you by Judy H. Wright, author and international speaker on parenting and family issues. Feel free to share with friends and associates, but please include this resource and contact box.

Judy Helm Wright, of Missoula, Montana has become “The Bully Advocate.” As an author, keynote speaker and family educator, she has seen the damage done when bullying occurs. Her blog is filled with information and a free report for parents and teachers. The goal of the blog is to: 1. Empower the bully to gain empathy and gain new ways of communication 2. Empower the victim or target to gain assertiveness skills and how to set boundaries. 3. Empower the bystander or witness to speak up or find help. 4. Empower the group, school, family or community to adopt a no-bully, respect for all policy.

For a full listing of books, articles, tele-classes and workshops go to  http:// You may also sign up there for FREE articles and Newsletters having to do with “finding the heart of the story in the journey of life” by clicking on You will be glad you did and so will we.

Facts About Bullying In Schools

Monday, August 16th, 2010

Bullying is much more common in schools, churches and organizations than most adults realize. Children or teens who are harassed in this way or watch as others are victimized will often keep quiet about the matter, feeling that they may be in danger if they were to alert an adult.

When it comes to facts about bullying in schools, one should first realize that there are many different types of bullying, including, physical bullying, psychological bullying, and social bullying and of course cyberbullying, which is becoming more violent and threatening each day.

Definition of Bullying

Bullying is an act or pattern of acts to humiliate, intimidate and embarrass others in an effort to gain power or status.  Goals and methods  of bullying may take varying forms depending on the situation.

Traditionally, bullying has taken place in person, between two individuals or small groups.  Most bullies do not want to be observed or the incident to be reported. However, there are times when larger groups or gangs of people gather to observe and inadvertently contribute to the victimization by their inaction or encouraging of the bully.

School should be a safe and nurturing enviroment. For many children and teens it is filled with violence and intimidation.

Cyberbullying or online bullying is when someone uses electronic methods to post or share intimidating, embarrassing photos, threatening or cruel statements. This is a method that is also used to manipulate feelings and encourage others to do something they ordinarily would not do.

Because this is a fairly new problem for families and individuals around the world, there is a lot of controversy on how to best deal with the offenders.

Playground Politics

Bullies are usually very easy to identify. Ask the children.  They are very much aware of the playground politics and can name the different groups easily. They know who is in the   popular group, the academics, the jocks, the neglected, the accepted and the unaccepted.

Kids tend to have an instinct on who is “in” and who is “out.”  This division is one of the underlying causes of bystander bullies.  Many kids who are on the fringe of a group are hesitant to rock the boat by standing up for the victim for fear they will lose their standing in the group and the bully will then turn on them.

Combating School Yard Bullies

There is ample research  which shows how children have historically victimized each other in both large and small ways. Children are often oblivious to the rights of others. Only on rare occasions do they defend other children who are being victimized by bullies.

In a study done in Canadian schools in 1995 researchers discovered acts of bullying took place at a rate of 4.5 times each hour, by placing video cameras on school playgrounds. Of the sample group in this study it was found that 54 per cent of the students passively stood by and watched the bully victimize another student, while 21 per cent actively modeled the bully and only 25 per cent actually intervened on behalf of the bully.

Please ask your school district to invest in Bully Prevention Programs.

My Child is Being Teased – Mama Mouse into Mother Lioness

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

“He is picking on me because I have big ears.” “I hate school.” “Nobody likes me.” “My friend called me fat.” “Someone texted lies about me.” “Mom, you have to do something.”

As I teach parenting classes around the country, many lovely well-dressed, calm and intelligent women confide in me that they turn into a Mother Lion when their children are threatened. They are embarrassed to admit to the whole group but share privately that no holds are barred when a bully picks on their baby.

They say that all of their protective instincts rise up and they become ready to do battle. I know how they feel, because I have felt those same feelings when my child was teased or bullied. But my children let me know in no uncertain terms that if I over reacted, they would not share any more confidences with me. This may have happened to you as well.

What’s A Mother To Do?

It is so easy to have a knee jerk reaction when our children are being teased, taunted or bullied by others. Our minds immediately jump back to sixth grade when we too were teased or picked on. We remember how horrible we felt and we want to protect our son or daughter from going through the same pain.

We want to expose the bully and teach him a lesson. And while we are at it, we are going to say the things we couldn’t say 25 years ago. We want to fix this problem and we want to make the world a safer place, or at least one little corner of the playground.

Remember We Are Adults

No matter how angry we are about teasing, taunting or bullies, we need to support our children as a rational sounding board. Focus on your child by asking questions (not interrogating) and remain calm.

Tell your child that you are concerned about him or her and will do what you can to help. Perhaps the child will simply want to talk about it, or may want to do some role playing on words to say. Empower your child by asking what they want your next step to be.

You may want to talk to the teacher or principal and ask them what they have observed. They will be in the best position to understand the relationships between your child and others. They may want to keep a closer eye on things or bring the subject of empathy and kindness up in the classroom, without using names or specifics.

Big Problem or Small Conflict

It is scary for children to see their parents act like children. They are embarrassed when an over-protective parent scoops down to save them. It makes them feel even more victimized and helpless.

They need adults who will help them solve problems and to find solutions. They do not need or want their moms to attack or bully the bully. It may have been a one time incidence or a misunderstood rough housing on the playground. By next week, they may very well be best friends.

They want their story to be heard and they want to have the power to say what happens to them in their lives as much as possible.

Fine Line of Parenting

As parents, we walk a thin line between being nurturing, loving and understanding role models. If we are too over protective, they will not learn the negotiating skills necessary to survive socially in life. However, if we react too strongly to tales of teasing, we may miss giving them some necessary social skills.

However, if we ignore what they are telling us, or dismiss their concerns they may feel we don’t care.

Mother Lioness nurtures the inner strength of your child and follow his/her lead in making sense of the Playground jungle.

I have confidence in you. Listen to your heart and your child and you will know what to do next if your child is being teased or picked on.