Seminar to Address Cyberbullying
Can you believe it?
Cyberbullying can happen to your child, in your own home, while you are at home?
Technology in the world of teenagers today is a fundamental way of life. It has the ability to help children learn, create, share, and connect. However, there is also a darker side to technology that can harm as well. Cyberbullying in particular, is one threat to children across the country that is being battled in significant numbers. Acknowledging this cyberbullying pandemic, CISSE identified a need: to help parents support their children in dealing with cyberbullying situations both proactively and reactively, and to educate them on ways to better communicate with their children to build a safer online experience.
Cyberbullying Workshop was delivered on December 3, 2016 with 30 parents in attendance at the Sathya Sai School of Canada. The workshop carried parents through five modules:
- Social media and cyberbullying education;
- Cyberbullying triggers and psychological factors;
- Identifying non-verbal signs that your child is being cyberbullied or is the bully, followed by an in-depth talk by an expert speaker (doctor, psychiatrist) on the subject, and sharing valuable insights and analysis with the group of attendees;
- Learning effective communication strategies to build trust;
- Reviewing proactive and reactive measures to combat cyberbullying and educating parents on the legislation and policies around cyberbullying. A toolkit including important information, FAQs and resources for future references was also distributed to all participants.
To children, online life is real life. We have joined together to help parents explore and understand online life as kids know it. Let’s keep kids safe online. Those in attendance were encouraged to become ambassadors, spreading this awareness and their new-found knowledge. Ultimately, the hope is that fewer kids experience the scarring effects of cyberbullying because parents will be able to take a more proactive stance and empathetic approach to helping their children stay safe online.
The seminar was a huge success. Here is what some of the participants have said:
The Cyberbullying seminar was an excellent event. I am glad that I registered and attended it. It was an eye opener in some ways, and in other areas it reinforced what I was already aware of. Most importantly it was a “one stop shop” for all relevant information related to this extremely important topic that impacts our kids and young adults… the future of tomorrow. For me personally, it made me stop and think. Life is so busy that sometimes we miss out on the signals we get from our kids; even though we think we know everything about them. All panelists were amazing. The biggest take away for me was from Dr. Kamna Handa’s section and the interaction with her. The concept of “normalizing” a situation/event before proceeding with any suggestion – I have indeed put that into practice right away, consciously. The second learning was in the section on Communication strategies. I would definitely register for any more of such sessions if made available.
I would definitely recommend something on these lines for the students of SSS as well. I am not sure to what extent it is being taught in the curriculum right now. The kids are the one to actually face it. They to be made aware of it – to take charge, to stand up and to be responsible. A parent educating their kids on cyberbullying is not the same as the information being passed to the kids by a third party of authority. (Most kids would think that their parents are just being over concerned.)
I recommend it for even parents of grade four and five. As kids these days have gadgets at a young age. And the younger they are the more vulnerable they are as well.
Thank you for the opportunity that CISSE gave the parents to attend this eye-opening workshop on Cyberbullying. It’s a burning issue for the families with teenagers and we learnt things that are possible to implement in real life and was not just theory to read and discard. Dr. Kamna Handa’s cases and her suggestions really helped me as parent to understand from the child’s point of view. The video showed during the communications strategy session was also an eye opener because as a parent I do react emotionally first, even though I think it’s for the protection of the child. But it does backfire sometimes. I feel the workshop should be out there for all parents and if possible mandatory for teenager parents who use social media extensively. This certainly will help the parents empathize with their kids. It will help parents build positive relationship with their children. A Big Thank You to the team, and school for organizing this seminar.
We parents are really grateful and thankful to entire team of talented volunteers who were so thoughtful in enlightening us with lots of information. The event was well organized, planned and executed. We parents were so glued to the seats and did not feel like leaving even after the event was done. Having Dr. Kamna Handa, a child psychiatrist, on board was simply great. Salute her efforts for flying down all the way from States just for this event. Job well done!!