29th Apr 2021
With our children once again in face to face education, we are again faced with the challenges that accompany that. Bullying in all its various forms takes place on the playground and face to face bullying, despite the noticeable increase in online bullying, remains the largest form of bullying being reported to us. Keeping our children safe and protecting them is, for parents, our top priority and yet when it comes to their experiences at the hands of others within school and youth settings, we find ourselves feeling helpless to assist.
What we are noticing however, is an ever-increasing blurring of the lines between home and school brought about by the changes in usage of digital devices over lockdown. So, for example, if we take teenage girls and their use of TikTok. At home, on their digital devices, they are learning the dances, sharing clips, chatting and commenting. When they enter school their communication there simply becomes an extension of that digital contact. They do not separate out contact between home and educational settings, it simply continues on. And so they then re – enact those same dance moves whilst they wait for the bus, or in the playground or between classes. In effect, meaning that if you were not part of that online contact or at the very least, if you haven’t learned the dance moves they are copying, this puts you at a disadvantage in that face to face contact.
Likewise, gaming and gaming chats have that same continuing aspect to them. What begins at home gets carried over into the playgrounds and so it can be easy to feel excluded from a playground interaction simply because you were not part of the interaction the night before online.
What we are seeing therefore is a blurring of the lines in the contact between our children. A blurring between online and face to face, of home and educational. And so, what then follows, is a blurring too in the types of bullying behaviour displayed. A new form of bullying appears to be emerging blending together the face to face and online sides and meaning if you haven’t been part of one you can then be excluded from the other.
As parents, understanding and awareness are key in supporting our children manage the conflicts of both the playground and the online world.
Let us help you to help them. Together we can.
Lucy Howard, BulliesOut Digital Communications Officer
Would you like to Guest Blog for BulliesOut?
If you have exceptional writing skills and would like to share your expertise with our large audience we’d love to hear from you.
Please submit your article details, with a covering letter or email which should include:
Before submission, please take some time to review our Guest Blogger Guidelines – they should answer any questions you may have about what kind of content we’re looking for and how the submission process works. Submissions that do not meet these requirements will not be considered.
Due to the high number of requests, we are not able to respond to every contributor. Content is reviewed on a weekly basis. If your content is chosen for publication, we will contact you with more details.