google-site-verification: google935433b691795853.html KRISTY BERRIDGE: 2017-05-28

Sunday, 28 May 2017

It would appear that cyber bullying has become a major issue, predominantly for teens and upcoming adults. Years before the internet it was schoolyard antics that drove children home in tears, now it’s the pouty-mouthed, snap-chatting, selfie-taking figure-heads of popularity that rule the bullying domain.
Suddenly suicide rates have increased and rates of depression among teens is skyrocketing. But what can we do to prevent this almost ‘normal’ state-of-affairs from reaching our future children?
Now I’m not talking about books and academics or putting the task of educating and also punishing the kids into the already overly-laden hands of our teachers, I’m talking about putting the responsibility of our children’s behaviour into our hands … parents, friends and family … the people who are supposed to care about the nature of our youths the most!
It sounds like a whimsical, tried and tested approach and yet, I still see parents allowing their children to wear inappropriate clothing for their age, roam the streets at darkened hours and speak as if they’ve earnt the right to abuse the English language with their texting shorthand and ways of naivety. The truth is we seemed to have stopped disciplining, supporting and encouraging as well as promoting the self-love and self-respect that kids these days are sorely lacking.
Along with fish lips and cleavage shots, it has become relative to trade sexual favours for popularity, discard self-respect and completely belittle intelligence or originality. We have bred a bunch of drones incapable of positive human emotion and this is somehow acceptable. When did children get pigeon-holed for their looks, their parent’s finances, sporting abilities or creative differences? Never mind race or gender equality. It seems we’ve stopped encouraging free-thinking, emotionally nourished children with self-respect, dignity and moral constitutions. What would have once been highly praised is now bullied via a coward’s platform … the internet.
Unfortunately, I don’t believe that cyber or bullying of any variety will cease in the near future. As long as there are those that find it socially acceptable to berate or belittle another human being for their differences, education and discipline will only reach so far.

Kristy J