3 MORE THINGS you can do to stop bul­ly­ing

Good Housekeeping (South Africa) - - YOUR LIFE -

‘Many of the fam­i­lies we fea­ture on our net­work are dif­fer­ent on the sur­face – whether they are lit­tle peo­ple or are rais­ing a trans­gen­der teen – and have been bul­lied be­cause of it,’ says Nancy Daniels, pres­i­dent of TLC TV net­work. Jen Arnold, star of The Lit­tle Cou­ple, says, ‘We want peo­ple to know they are not alone and they do not have to tol­er­ate be­ing picked on.’ Here are three wise words of ad­vice to help pro­tect your­self – use them and feel em­pow­ered.

HAVE THE TALK EARLY ‘Lots of par­ents don’t un­der­stand that even re­ally young kids en­counter on­line neg­a­tiv­ity,’ says Lau­ren Coaxum, 22, who, with her younger sis­ter, started Think Be­fore You Type in 2012 ( www. thinkbe­forey­outype­inc.org). ‘Maybe they’re watch­ing a harm­less YouTube video on your phone, then they scroll down, and now they’re wit­ness­ing some­one be­ing cy­ber­bul­lied. You want to be the one to in­tro­duce the topic and tell them it’s wrong and what to do be­fore they stum­ble upon it.’ EN­COUR­AGE YOUR CHILD’S SCHOOL TO USE THIS APP STOP!T, an app that lets stu­dents re­port bul­ly­ing anony­mously, is now be­ing rolled out in South Africa, af­ter enor­mous suc­cess in the US, Canada, Sin­ga­pore and Aus­tralia. Once a school has sub­scribed to the app, chil­dren are able to down­load it, al­low­ing for two-way anony­mous com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween a learner and an ad­min­is­tra­tor. ‘We are ex­tremely proud to be able to bring a much-needed so­lu­tion to SA’s schools,’ says War­ren Hick­in­botham of Blankpage Pub­lish­ing. DO WHAT YOU KNOW IS RIGHT

In 2003, John Hal­li­gan’s 13-year-old son, who’d been bul­lied for years, took his own life. Hal­li­gan says too many par­ents ig­nore the rules around min­i­mum age for join­ing so­cial-me­dia sites. For Face­book and In­sta­gram it’s 13, ‘but there are 10-year-olds on them who aren’t ma­ture enough to use them re­spon­si­bly,’ says Hal­li­gan. No mat­ter how much your kid begs, ‘don’t give in be­cause ev­ery­body else is [giv­ing in]. It sends the mes­sage that it’s okay to lie on­line.’

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