It’s not an invasion of privacy to “snoop” in on your teenager’s (or younger child’s) social media activities.
Though to what degree this should be done is open to debate even among parents and bully-experts who endorse this practice, one thing is clear:
It should be done, because social media has made it easier than ever for kids to be relentlessly harassed by bullies—but also for the bullies to wield their power (e.g., they feel safer behind that computer screen).
Now don’t go there, that is, thinking that today’s kids are “weaklings.” Certainly, the adult critics who accuse parents of “coddling” their bullied kids would be singing a different tune if they themselves, on the job, were the targets of ongoing harassment!
Yes indeed, I’d love to see how long these adult critics of the anti-bullying projects could tolerate being jeered all day long for their ethnic background, body weight, religion, hair style, big teeth, the way they laugh, their lack of speed on the job, their odd first name, etc.
But back to the so-called invasion of privacy in which parents monitor their teens’ social media activities.
“First of all, parents need to stay on top of their teen’s social media because it’s a jungle out there,” says Carole Lieberman, MD, a forensic psychiatrist, expert on bullying and author of Bad Girls: Why Men Love Them & How Good Girls Can Learn Their Secrets.
“So many kids – on both sides of the tracks – are living in dysfunctional homes, where they’re neglected or abused,” explains Dr. Lieberman.
“These kids take out their pain and rage by bullying other kids. So, keeping tabs on your teen’s social media is not invasion of privacy; it’s being a parent who wants to protect your child.”
It’s not whether or not a teen is a coward. Kids CAN be cruel. Just like adults at the workplace can.
The comments I read to anti-bullying articles, that accuse today’s parents of “coddling” their children instead of teaching them to “grow some balls,” tend to be from men.
I wonder how quickly these men would redact their position if they learned their wife was being sexually harassed at the workplace.
“Bullying is increasingly resulting in teens committing suicide because the hurt and shame make them feel hopeless and afraid,” says Dr. Lieberman.
So it’s not about raising kids with no backbone. It’s about the increased ease at which the bullies could seep out of the woodwork.
And by the way, adults can be just as nasty on social media, simply because social media allows the bully to act out behind the safety of a computer screen.