When I was a child I was called 4Eyes, Teacher’s Pet and various other names that caused me a lot of emotional pain. As we all know, kids can be mean. But, since the advent of the internet we have come along way from “fatty fatty 2 by 4.” Today, our children are telling each other to kill themselves…and kids are doing it.
In investigating the latest “fad” in schools (yes, it’s in yours too) where kids tell each other ‘KYS” I found this song and many others on YouTube. Note the number of times it’s been viewed: millions. (Again, warning, only watch this if you want to know what is running through our children’s brains. It is vulgar with a catchy tune and it will get stuck in your head – ugh!)
We know that what we put in our brains affects how we think, feel and act. That’s why billions of dollars are spent annually on advertising. Videos like this are all over the internet and people are watching them repeatedly hour after hour, day after day.
So, what can we do? Be Aware, Protect, Prepare. Treat the virtual world like you do the real one. Know where your kids are online, every click. Parent them by controlling their access internally and externally. Talk to them about what they are experiencing in the virtual world and what they may encounter. They need to know that you are there for them in both worlds.
I recently heard a 5 year old say the words “Kill Yourself” and shuddered. Did he know what it meant? Does it matter? Will we address this issue in our homes and schools now, or wait until someone takes the direction seriously and lament about how “we should have done something”?
If we don’t parent our children, who, or what, will?