Bullying has always been an issue throughout the school system. This simply is a matter of life. Just about every child, at some point, while growing up, is going to be bullied about something. Children can often prove to be rather brutal with their bullying, as anyone who stands out as different often receives the blunt of the bullying. However, unlike in years past, bullying has moved away from just staying on the playground to the Internet as well. With easy access to social media accounts, email and other services, children continue their barrage of attacks on other children even after school. Online bullying is a real situation and, while Bill C13 attempted to change this in the Canadian Parliament, most changes and protection from bullying are only really going to come about from the interaction of parents and the school system. Learn about Cyberbullying and Bill C-13!

Outlawing Bullying

Some lawmakers are pushing for bullying, both in online form and in direct form, to become illegal. However, this is a truly problematic issue that really has no way of resolving itself. Children at a younger age do not know always what legal and illegal means. They already face repercussions at school for bullying, so any sort of legal matter is not going to do any good as an additional method of preventing it. On top of this, children are only going to seek out other ways to start bullying, which means more out of school activities focusing on this sort of a situation, so children will have to look out for bullying at almost every stop and routine of their day. Children who want to bully are simply going to bully. They already know the potential consequences, so making it illegal is not going to do much to prevent it from taking place.

Understanding How to Cope

Children have always been bullied. You probably went through a bullying phase at some point growing up, whether other kids made fun of your glasses, braces, wearing a certain color backpack or just about anything else. The difference between previous generations and current generations of children is these children do not know how to cop with the situation. Far too often parents go into the school and demand the school does something to the child responsible for the bullying. This causes two different situations to transpire because of it. First, it might reduce the amount of initial bullying, but it increases online bullying. Now, the location where a child thought they were safe is no longer the case. Second, and possibly more importantly, when a parent does this, a child does not learn how to cope with bullying. This is a very important skill to develop, as bullying and teasing does not stop simply after grade school. It can continue on throughout life, and someone who does not know how to deal with bullying is not going to know what to do as an adult. As a parent, it is very important to teach your child to not let what they say bug your child. While this can be difficult, most bullies derive pleasure from the discomfort, crying and embarrassment of the target. However, if they no longer show this sort of discomfort, the bully is no longer going continue picking on your child. Once a child learns these methods of defusing the bully, they are going to be better off for the rest of their lives.

When a parent constantly rushes to the rescue and rushes into the school, the child is just going to learn that going to a parent and having an adult fight their battle for them is going to sort out everything. With the fear of school shootings more and more prevalent these days, schools jump on the situation as quickly as it can. While attempting to prevent school violence is very important, teaching a child they just need to tell on the other child is not the desirable answer. Eventually, when they enter the work force and someone starts to tease them, they are going to have no idea how to deal with it. This is when gun violence truly becomes more of an issue, because the individual who did not learn how to deal with bullying is going to look for any means necessary to stop it.

Online Bullying

Online bullying is a situation that is becoming more and more prevalent. Whether it is because a child no longer is able to do it at school or they are simply tracking their target and wish to continue on with their bullying after school, all too often you hear stories of children being bullied online. As a parent, this is something you can help with, and while you probably never had to deal with this sort of a situation growing up, there are a few ways you can assist your child, without becoming their defense mechanism with whom they rush to every time they have a single problem. First, it is important to understand social media is designed for adults. Facebook has a 13+ feature on it, although this is easy enough to get around. Facebook originally started for individuals in college to stay connected. Perhaps it might have been better for it to have stayed in this capacity, as now the world of online bullying has drastically increased because of it. You need to watch your child and prevent them from having such an account when underage. After all, a 12 year old only has contacts inside of the school system and nearby areas and with many children now having cell phones, it is easy enough for them to call in order to stay in contact. By monitoring what your child does online, you can stay on top of any sort of online bullying. As long as your child is not on these particular websites, they are not going to deal with the bullying at all anyway. Plus, the school is going to have the social media websites blocked at school (if you don’t know, check to make sure they do), so if they are not able to access it at school, you can completely help avoid online bullying.

Bill C-13

Bill C-13 in the Canadian parliament was designed to help prevent children from online bullying. However, it did not pass due to several key issues. Many representatives thought the bill would allow the government, police and other agencies to directly monitor online interactions. You might feel a bit uncomfortable knowing the government is watching what your child is doing online, as after all, that is your responsibility and up to you what your child accesses and does not access. The bill would have completely overhauled the entire system that is currently in place, allowing the police and other government agencies to no longer need warrants from a federal or state judge in order to monitor the movements and actions of a person online. Basically, it allows the government to obtain personal information in a far easier way, so opponents of the bill pointed out it really did not keep children safe, but instead would just give the police additional powers to monitor Internet usage. With the current spying issues with the United States and other countries around the world, there is a large distrust for the amount of monitoring the government is allowed to do on individuals who use the Internet. This is the major reason why Bill C13 did not pass.

Bullying is always going to be a problem that persists inside of the country and in schools. This is just the nature of children and how they grow up. You went through bullying growing up, as did your parents and your parents’ parents. It is human nature, so you need to be able to work with your children on how to deal with bullying. It now is important to deal with bullying inside of the school and online. While running to the school and informing them of the situation is one way to deal with the situation, you also need to work with your child so they know how to cope with it and how to deflect what a bully might say. The faster they learn about this situation the better off they are going to be, both as a child growing up and as a professional as well. By working with your child and preparing them for any sort of problem that might come up later on down the road, you are going to do more for them than any sort of passed legal bill that outlaws bullying. Being their for your child and helping them grow from their experiences is what being a parent is all about. While you want to protect your child at all times, you also need to take advantage of learning opportunities when presented. So, it is possible to take a bullying situation and turn it into a teaching opportunity for your child in order to improve their life.