My guest post today is from Collett Smart of Family Smart. Collett provides positive solutions for families in all different areas.
Collett has been working with children and their parents for almost 20 years and has had the unique opportunity of working with families on 3 continents, with a diversity of ages and cultures. She holds a Bachelor of Education degree, as well as an Honours Degree in Psychology with a specialisation in Special Needs and is currently completing her PhD.
Collett is a psychotherapist, keynote speaker, parenting expert and director of Family Smart. Collett provides counselling to children, adolescents and their families, both in private practice and as a school counsellor. Her Life Skills workshops cover various topics and are aimed at mental health professionals, teachers, parents and teens. Collett assists both schools and families embrace the positive aspects of living in a cyber era, while also providing resilience building strategies for dealing with the negative effects of online behaviour.
One of her posts that I found really informative and wanted to share with you is this one on Cyberbullying. In this article, Collett talks about how cyberbulling effects boys and girls differently, and provides some great, practical tips for parents. I hope you enjoy it, and go visit Collett and learn more about her work at Family Smart.
Gaming and bullyingAs Maggie also found, boys get together to plan vicious attacks on someone else in a game. World of Warcraft is known to be a particularly addictive type game, as boys play in teams and they do not want to be offline and let down the team. Boys are often kicked off the team if they have not been online to play and are criticised online if their playing skills are not up to scratch. They are also pressured to play in the middle of the night when ‘the team’ is playing against other countries who are in daylight hours. Germany, I have been told by boys, is one of the strongest online gaming countries. Boys lose track of time and they don’t want to be the first ones to take a break and appear weak.
- in a speech bubble it said you “suck you new one”
- on Club Penguin I went to the Pizza Plaza and there was a mean person calling me names. eg. loser
- 2 personal to say
- Bullied alot of times too many to remember on xbox games and internet, but i just normally block them or just hope they go away
- emails send to try and scare me and worry me
One terrible place in cyber space currently is Formspring, which is similar to a Twitter account but is used to post comments on another person’s profile. The issue here is that Formspring is anonymous and has become used predominantly for slander. So, youth are going to school the next day not knowing who the ‘mean girl’ comment was from.Some of my own students wrote:
- on a website called ‘formspring.me’. people were saying bad things about me
- this girl was swearing to me
- my sister was on the internet and a boy was very unkind to her
- KEEP CURRENT e.g Use logging software: http://www.x3watch.com
- KEEP COMMUNICATING e.g Have a family ‘cyber contract’
- KEEP CHECKING e.g Monitor your child’s online presence and maintain transparency – No Spying.