You know that saying "time marches on"? Well I wish it would stop. Now. I have just been informed that cyber-bullying, that scourge of the Internet, has stretched into the kindergarten set.
Kids as young as 6 years old are being bullied online. Six! My kid is 6, and she can't even tie her shoes yet (I know, I know, we are working on it). And now I have to worry about somebody stealing her self-esteem?
Now I know what you're thinking.
You're betting I'm one of those lazy moms who let her 6-year-old set up a Facebook account and doesn't bother to check what her little computer wizard is up to online. You know the type -- they sue computer companies for "addicting" their kids to games instead of taking the gadget out of said kid's hand. Their kids are practically begging to get into some kind of bad situation online, aren't they?
Not my kid. We've had our issues, learned from our mistakes, and that laptop is loaded down with so many locks that the most common complaint from her desk is "It's moving so slooooow." She doesn't Facebook. She doesn't Tweet.
So I'm doing pretty much everything "they" tell you to do. Which is the problem. While we're all focusing on how great we are because we've kept the little ones away from social media, the bullies have found ways around us.
Here's what you DO need to know: if your kid has a cellphone, it turns out they're more likely to be getting mean messages via text. And if they don't have a cellphone (really, at 6? mine doesn't), the messages are coming through systems like the Nintendo DS (yes, my 6-year-old has one). And then there's FaceTime and iMessaging on their iPod. And it goes on.
They're even saying kids are at risk on the Kindle Fire. We can't even let them read without somebody coming to harass them!
Message for parents? No one's safe. Watch them like a hawk on EVERYTHING.
I know I've heard it loud and clear. How about you?
What kind of bullying has your child encountered?
Image via DeclanTM/Flickr