Online Bullying – by Adults, to Adults

Adult Bullies

Today, on LinkedIn, I found myself on a re-shared message where one month ago, someone had shared an experience in the world of recruitment. I read with interest and then went to make a comment and what I found astounded me.

It’s an eye-opener to see¬†how many adults are bullying other adults online. ¬†I thought that adult-to-adult bullying was reserved for the non-professional world.¬†Perhaps I’ve been unaware of the extent because I’ve had my head buried in the world of child abuse. What kind of example is this setting for our children?

To see how nasty some of the LinkedIn¬†comments were shocked me – and for no good reason. Here is a bunch of people, who have their careers, contact details, current place of employment, and position in their company, wide open for people to see, and yet they bully very, very openly, and probably without penalty. Here is a place where people are representing companies they work for; where future employers can take information from; where it’s open to be scrutinised and as someone suggested doing: naming and shaming.

It seems that for some, the internet is just another playground for bullying in, where they can’t be “seen” and there is no way to get caught. I think there is as¬†online comments can and have been used in court – even Facebook remarks which have been “deleted” but which were screenshot are admissible in disciplinaries, just as emails are considered legal tender¬†in court.

Set the right example, Adults!

We need to make sure that we educate our children about these dangers and to bring them up to respect themselves as well as others. And where possible, to stop bullying where they see it happening; to show them the right way to communicate with people online because this behaviour by adults is unacceptable.

I’ve been¬†in touch with the organisation AntiBullying and arranging for them to come to the South West. I’m now thinking that I should arrange for them to have a class for Adults as well as for Children.

To find out when the Anti-Bullying workshops will be in Bristol leave your details here: 

Kidpower Book for Caring Adults & Communities

Community of Protection

Are you a Caring Kidpower Adult?

I must say, when I got my copy of this book, I felt a bit daunted by the size of it.

the-kidpower-book

Talk about value for money! I looked at it, rather than read it, for about 2 months. It just sat there next to my chair on the sill. I did eventually flick through it Рwithout reading Рand saw a colourful, organised, picture-inclusive book in which there proved to be a huge amount of helpful, life-changing information.

The Kidpower Book for Caring Adults: Personal Safety, Self-Protection, Confidence, and Advocacy for Young People

I wanted to train with Kidpower on the Instructor training and this was also my pre-course text book. When I have to do something and¬†I’m afraid of failure, I tend to not do it – not until I have to or time’s running out and the pressure is on!

I was grateful for the generous amount of pictures which made me smile, taught me with visuals, sometimes without even having to read anything, I could see what was going on. But then I became engrossed when I started reading the text. It was so interesting and informative Рthen I had to know everything. I bought every single Kidpower book and also ordered the books by Gavin de Becker, who wrote the Foreword, which are incredibly hair-raising and honest.

Don’t be Afraid to Learn in different ways

Learning new things makes us wiser. Reading about how to protect your children is the textbook version of learning from¬†someone else’s life lessons. Going to a Workshop allows you to interact with others and to learn from lots of people, and they can learn from you. It confirms for you that you are not alone! How many times do we need to hear that, my friends?

Know Thy Neighbour

Talking to your friends, or even strangers, about child protection and sharing great ideas and safety skills you’ve picked up, helps to create a community of protection around our children. Getting to know your neighbour rather than living in a bubble is a far safer way to live.

I wish you a delightful read.

Share with your community – Go On, be a STAR!

Ursula

Highly recommended, add these books by Gavin de Becker to your collection.

Stranger Safety and Kidnapping Prevention Skills

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Stranger Safety & 

Kidnapping Prevention Skills

There are hundreds of resources available for everyone to learn from and share on the Kidpower.org website. ¬†I spent over a year learning about child safety and advocacy and chose to train with Kidpower. I went to America in January 2016 and did my Instructor Training and now have a couple of workshop videos I need to record to complete my certification. We¬†had the most wonderful time together. Such wonderful, inspirational people. I’m very proud to have been a part of the group¬†in California this year, to have met the team and to have been trained by a lovely group who came from far and wide to train us new recruits. I think it was the children we taught who were training us!! Boy do they keep you on your toes!

I also met a wonderful South African lady who has taken Kidpower back home. I hope to share some stories about SA through her. So watch this space.

I’ve chosen the topic of stranger safety and kidnapping prevention skills because I’ve been reading articles about the awful trafficking that has been going on in Nepal since their earthquake a year ago, where the papers say government officials have been accepting bribes to traffic people into slavery, forced marriages, and the sex trade. It reminds me of my constant awareness of kidnapping and teaching my children about trusting their¬†instincts with strangers, wherever we¬†are. I hope you find this article informative and please keep browsing and learning from this incredible resource.

If you’re interested in attending a Kidpower workshop in Bristol over the next couple of months then please let me know so I can get you booked on.

Keep Safe.

Shocking Child Abuse Statistics – YOU do the math!

I was listening to a podcast yesterday where Professor Jane Barlow was discussing a document published¬†by Jessica Kingsley: Safeguarding Children from Emotional Maltreatment. ¬†It states¬†that the number of children on the Child Protection Register is around 6% but that Child Abuse is believed to be around 10% of children, with statistics saying that¬†emotional abuse is at least¬†30% of children. These figures were from¬†2009‚Äď10, with a known number of 88,700 children.

>>>>>>>FAST FORWARD 2016

The NSPCC, who probably have¬†the best-documented statistics on child abuse in the United Kingdom, more recently estimated that there are more than likely eight times the number of reported cases of child abuse¬†per annum – over 500,000 children – but admittedly,¬†they¬†“don’t know exactly how many children in the UK are victims of¬†child abuse” because it¬†“is usually hidden from view and children may be too young, too scared or too ashamed to tell anyone about what is happening to them.”

Demographics show that there are almost five times as many Americans (319 million) as Britons (64.5 million). American National Child Abuse organisation Childhelp.org currently reports that “yearly, referrals to state child protective services (CPS) involve¬†6.6 million children,¬†and around 3.2 million of those children are subject to an investigated report.”

America has been collecting far more robust figures than the UK for a much longer period of time.

So I thought I’d do¬†the math:

6.6m and 3.2m of 319m is 2.07% and 1% respectively.

If the UK followed the same ratios, then

2.07% and 1% of 64.5m would be 1,335,000 and 645,000 children respectively.

Imagine if I’m right, and there are not “more than 500,000 children” as the NSPCC reports, but closer to 650,000 children requiring investigation EACH YEAR.

The words “THIS HAS TO STOP BEFORE IT STARTS” are ringing in my ears.

Please support me in my MISSION to get my workshops “out there” to your networks. I am working on getting them recorded and they will be up soon.

Resource: NSPCC

How Safe Are Our Children video

Jutte, S. et al (2015)  How safe are our children? The most comprehensive overview of child protection in the UK. London: NSPCC.

Preventing Abuse – Child Abuse and Neglect

Resource: Childhelp.org

Child Abuse Statistics

Resource:¬†Safeguarding Children from Emotional¬†Maltreatment. What Works … by¬†Jessica Kingsley¬†Publishers

“… Child development indicators of¬†emotional abuse¬†or neglect. 39 ….. most recent government statistics show that, in¬†2009‚Äď10, 88,700 children and …… The¬†Lancet¬†371, 1595‚Äď1602; and Cuijpers, P. (2002) ‘Peer-led…”

Safeguarding Children Across Services Series

 

- Informed. Safe -

The author is not a mathematician nor a statistician and reserves the right to have incorrectly calculated the number of children. It still needs STOPPING!

WHAT IS BEING DONE?

I’d like to encourage all parents to be courageous and to follow their instincts when it comes to the safety and wellbeing of their children at school.

So often, I’ve heard parents complaining about:

  • their child’s moodswings and strange new behaviours and attitudes
  • terrible incidents that have happened at school
  • bullying
  • teasing
  • inappropriate behaviour between children.

When I’ve asked: “What have you done about it?” and I’m answered with: “Well, nothing, really,” it makes me wonder why they’ve done nothing. Are they:

  • afraid
  • complacent
  • unsupported
  • uncomfortable¬†communicating
  • unaware of current issues
  • unable to cope with conflict?

If you feel that your child is not behaving normally after a school day, don’t be complacent. Find out if everything went okay that day. Often schools try to deal with issues and the parents never get to find out. A child who is afraid to say what’s wrong could easily develop new behaviours (usually undesirable as they’re acting out). They may be influenced by their peers at school and not even realise they’re behaving differently.

When you see your child after their day at school and you ask them what they did that day, and all they can do is shrug their shoulders and say, “Nothing…” then you know something’s up. Something has probably happened to preoccupy your child’s mind above and beyond the education of the day. ¬†A happy child will more than likely want to talk.

Bullying is often not understood by children. They might be the nicest of kids¬†and not want to “tell” on their friends or school mates in case they get bullied further, or taunted; they could already be afraid of the bully.

Abuse in any form will affect a child’s mood and behaviour. The important thing to do is to¬†NOTICE!¬†Too often our children start to change and we put it down to:

  • a phase
  • growing up
  • hormones
  • boys
  • girls
  • etc.

The most important things to do are to:

  1. NOTICE Рthat your child is behaving differently to usual.

  2. ELICIT¬†– often the best way is the¬†straightforward, honest way: You could say: “I can see something’s wrong. I don’t want you to feel like you have to tell me right now but until you do, I can’t do anything to help you, and I really want to help you to feel happy and safe. Come and tell me when you want to feel happy and safe.” All children want to feel happy and safe and it’s our duty as their parents/carers/adults to ensure this.
  3. REMAIN CALM¬†– there is no point in getting worked up. Your child needs to know that you are¬†in control¬†of the situation and you won’t be showing that if you’ve lost the plot! They need to know that they can come to you whenever they have a crisis.
  4. REASSURE¬†– your child needs reassurance that they aren’t going to be in trouble for telling, and they need to know that if required, you will¬†be discreet¬†so that they won’t be victimised further.
  5. TAKE ACTION¬†– always¬†do something¬†about it! Whatever the problem is. Show your child that it was worth telling you and that you have taken them seriously. (If you don’t, who will?) You may need to speak to the school, or in less urgent situations, write to the school and follow up with them to ensure that they have taken on board what you’ve said so that they can act in the best interests of your child when your child is in their care. It is always a good idea to follow up with the teacher/office/head teacher and if necessary, meet with them and your child to show solidarity and so that your child knows what the next steps are.
  6. FOLLOW UP Рalways let the child know what action has been taken so that they can prepare themselves (mentally and emotionally or academically Рdependent on the situation).
  7. SUPPORT Рalways let the child know that they have your support and that the right thing to do is to always tell you straightaway if something is wrong because their happiness and safety is most important to you. Find support for yourself too.

Remember that we’re not alone in the struggle to keep our children safe. We are ALL IN THE SAME BOAT!

Please share any extra great ideas to help support parents/carers.

Email me: ursula@childprotectionacademy.co.uk so that I can send you updates and useful information.

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