Keeping Social Problems Off Social Media

As a parent it can be so frustrating to see your child mistreated.  Hearing that your kid is being relentlessly teased, left out, or has a rumor being spread about them is so hard to deal with.  It may make you want to scream, lash out, or even publicly post to bring an awareness to the behavior.  Here's why... 

1. It Tells Their Enemy That They Are Winning

The goal of someone who is being aggressive and displaying dominance is to make the targeted person upset.  By getting upset and posting this online, not only do you give them the satisfaction of upsetting your child but they also learn that they can make you, the parent, upset through their actions.  They also get attention from the public posting where many more people can see it.  If hurting or humiliating your child is their goal, your public posting only helps accomplish it.

2. It Raises Hostility

People are more likely to fight back when you are upset and accusatory then when you are calm and kind.  Often posts about issues like bullying on social media are posted by parents who point fingers at their child's school.  Schools aren't perfect, just like workplaces, churches, community meetings, parks, etc.  While the staff may be neglectful in some areas they might also be doing there very best to address the very issue that you are upset about.  

Pointing fingers at a school or an individual often drives distance between you and them at a time where you need their help the most.  A honest private conversation in the spirit of love and understanding goes much further and helps the other party empathize with your position.

3.  We Don't Need Awareness, We Need Solutions

When it comes to issues like bullying, aggression, and violence, we are aware that there is a problem.  While raising awareness about an issue (especially in the areas of diversity and social justice) it does little to help without a proven solution of how to solve the issue and make the negative behavior to stop.  Often raising awareness can make things worse.  For example, sharing suicide stories in the media is proven to increase the rate.  While good-intentioned people think they are helping by raising awareness they are unknowingly making the issue worse.

4. It Exploits Your Child's Issues and Can Make Them a Bigger Target

Consider this... if you were having an issue in your marriage would you want your mother or father to post something about your spouse on social media?  I'm guessing that your answer is "no".  Why?  You likely went to them in confidence and trusted that they would give you advice on how to solve it yourself.  Yes, they may try to protect you, but you would hope that it would be within the privacy of your family.  You certainly wouldn't want the world to know, not to mention, be able to weigh in and give their opinion.

If you want to build a relationship of trust and mutual respect with your child you must ask yourself how you would feel if you were placed in their position.  The Golden Rule states that you should "Treat Others the Way that You Want to Be Treated".  I believe that we can give the Golden Rule a parent remix  (see below)...
 

The Golden Rule Parent Remix

"Parent in the Way That You Would Like to Be Parented"

 
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Jeff Veley

Jeff Veley is youth speaker, bullying expert, and social skills educator.

His mission is to equip students with the social and emotional skills that empower them to face adversity, grow in resilience, and solve their own social problems by exercising the Golden Rule.

To date, Jeff's message has reached over one million people.  Jeff and his program have been recognized by the Interfaith Peace-Building Initiative of the United Nations and are a recipient of the Golden Rule International Award for effectiveness in teaching conflict resolution.  The United Nations officially recognizes Jeff as a Goodwill Peace Ambassador in over 120 nations of the world.