If you are a grown adult who has never used a blog to demean, slander and gossip about someone else’s teenager, feel free to move on from this post.
If you realize that you have, in fact, used your time and energy to publicly shame a child, I have a few things I’d like to say to you.
I am here for you and I mean that. I am willing to sit down over a cup of coffee, absolutely not tea, and have a conversation about what might be going so wrong for you that engaging in this type of activity was an option. I know exactly how it feels to find yourself engaged in behavior that keeps you from being the best version of yourself. I am willing to share the name of my wonderful and beloved therapist. I’ve done a lot of personal work over the last few years and I highly recommend it.
Writing nasty stuff about people on the internet sucks. Adults are fair game, though, if it’s how you choose to be in the world and on the planet ~ have at it. Slam your neighbors and complain about your boss. But, when this behavior extends to children, you cross a line and that type of abuse won’t be tolerated.
Being a teenager is hard. Don’t you remember? What they need is a wide berth to make mistakes and be provided with grace and forgiveness at every turn from supportive adults in their environment. Do you not want that for your teens?!? Even when you think someone else’s child has wronged your child – no matter how flat you make a pancake, there are always two sides. (I really appreciate what Dr. Phil has brought to my life).
Teens have done terrible things to themselves over internet harrassment. My God, can you imagine being party to something like that?
I will tell you that my kids have made some poor choices and engaged in what I like to call ‘less than desirable behavior’. Ugh, when it happens. They have also been accused of doing some things that in the end, turned out not to be what it initially looked like. These situation are always difficult enough in themselves, never mind with some watchful adult ripping it apart on the internet. See that? It’s gross.
Schools, parents and society in general are attempting to teach children that the idea of what we post on social media can be extremely hurtful and permanent. We as adults need to provide them with examples of how to navigate issues without posting them publicly and passing around rumors and inuendo.
If there is something weighing on your mind and causing you to consider posting it to a public venue, I suggest – NOT. Call up the other party, make a pot of coffee. I promise these situations do not call for tea. Have a discussion and illustrate for our teens what great conflict resolution looks like. Show them that we handle these incidents with empathy and integrity. Teach them about facetime and personal interaction.
Cease and desist. Pull that shit down. Erase it and apologize. Make amends. Mistakes are redeemable and people are forgiving.
See this here? ^^^^^^^^ This is what I want my kids, your kids and all kids to know.