Tag Archives: parenting

The Ho’ohiki Pilina Program (HPP) is an online class on healthy relationships and pregnancy prevention for youth on Oahu ages 14 – 18. Unhealthy relationships, dating violence, and risky sexual behaviors are a serious threat to the well-being and futures of many young people. Love Notes is a federally approved curriculum that addresses these issues by building conflict resolution and coping skills for healthy relationships of all kinds: romantic, friendship, family, school, and work. Parental Permission required.

Go to https://hpp.koka.org to see more detailed information and enrollment form.

Need a quarantine challenge? Get the whole family to make an instrument, recreate a Hawaii Artwork, and write your own hip hop rhymes! Then, take the Arts Quarantine Challenge! Join the Zoom webinar to find out how to participate!

Click here to register for the webinar: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register

The internet is a great technological advancement, but doesn’t come without the negative. Today bullying goes beyond physical harassment at school – it’s on a worldwide platform now. Cyberbullying is the new form of bullying.

Understanding cyberbulling

So, what is cyberbullying? It is the use of technology to harass, threaten, embarrass, or target another person. With most kids using technology differently than adults do, it can be hard to understand how online bullying occurs. Starting at an early age, teens spend a significant amount of time in the digital world – playing games, sending texts, and engaging with peers on social media.

Cyberbully can involve embarrassing or private images as well as negative or hurtful language. It involves sharing information intended to cause embarrassment or humiliation. What makes cyberbullying even more difficult for teens is that content shared online is persistent, and sometimes permanent. The pervasive nature of technology reduces safe spaces for teens. Youth can be harassed, threatened, intimidated, or humiliated by peers even when they’re at home.

Cyberbullying has become pervasive because the technology makes it easy. “Faceless” bullying occurs anonymously when someone creates fake account for purposes of trolling or harassing. Unfortunately, sending a mean text, leaving that harsh comment, posting that embarrassing picture is easy, fast, and simple.

Recent studies about cyberbullying rates have found that about 1 in 4 teens have been the victim of cyberbullying and about 1 in 6 admit to have cyberbullied someone. In some studies, more than half of teens surveyed said that they’ve experienced abuse through social media. Here in Hawaii, over 20% of middle schooler reported that have experienced cyberbullying.

Impact on youth

Cyberbullying can happen anywhere and at any time of the day. If your child is experiencing cyberbullying, they may exhibit behaviors indicating there is a problem. Signs of cyberbullying may vary but can include:

  • Being emotionally upset during or after using the Internet or the phone
  • Being very secretive or protective of one’s digital life
  • Withdrawal from family members, friends, and activities
  • Avoiding school or group gatherings
  • Slipping grades and “acting out” in anger at home
  • Changes in mood, behavior, sleep, or appetite
  • Wanting to stop using the computer or cellphone
  • Being nervous or jumpy when getting an instant message, text, or email
  • Avoiding discussions about computer or cellphone activities

If you are seeing these behaviors, talk to your child about what you’re seeing. Express your unconditional support. Take the time to listen and find out what’s happening without overreacting. If necessary, seek help. Kids sometimes feel more comfortable talking to a third party like a school counselor or mental health therapist.

What parents can do

When children are given access to devices that provide a window to the online world, it’s important the interaction is monitored. For younger kids, know their passwords, use search blocks, and be aware of what apps they use. For older adolescents, set the groundwork for safety, follow your child’s social media accounts, and encourage them to interact with their friends outside the digital sphere. You can’t fully protect your child from becoming a victim of cyberbullying, but it could minimize the opportunity. Many youth logged on their Instagram, snapchat, or twitter and chatting or sending direct messages most of the day. Sometimes kids are posting things of themselves in a manner that might be inappropriate for their age level. Staying involved in your child’s cyber world is where protecting can start. As as parent, you can set guidelines and boundaries around technology use, educate your child about online risks, and encourage them to discuss when they feel intimidated or shamed by others.

Encourage your teen to not respond to cyberbullying because by doing so it adds more fuel to the fire and may make the situation worse. But document all conversations, threatening messages, pictures, texts, etc. so it can be used as evidence with whoever the other party, school, parents, or even the police.

So what if your child is the bully?  Deal with the issue at hand, straight up, no sugar coating it. But don’t be too harsh on them. Find out the story, and what is really going on. Be firm about their actions not being okay, and the consequences that come with those actions. Try to make them see that if it was the other way around how they would feel about it. Help them see the whole picture not just their version of the story. Bullying in any form isn’t acceptable and there can be serious consequences at home, school and in the community. They might not see all the damage they are causing, help them put it into perspective. Be sure you are modeling healthy online behavior for your teens.

Overall, be there for your teen and help them grow into mature adults. Family support goes a long way as teens try to find their way in an ever-changing world. If they are struggling with things you might not know how to help with, encourage them to talk with a therapist. Bottom line, be involved in their cyber world, and in the real world.

Most of us learn about parenting through our experiences being parented. It’s where we get our first cues about how we ought to feel about ourselves and the world around us. Parenting is a big responsibility and it’s not easy. There is no perfect child and there is no perfect parent. Having made a mistake doesn’t mean you a failed parent. It’s about taking responsibility, forgiving yourself, and moving forward. 

When challenge arise and things don’t go as planned, you can recover. By being self-aware and having compassion for yourself, you can overcome common parenting missteps.  

  1. Taking out your anger and frustration on your teens. There will be certain behaviors that will make you want to lash out at your adolescent. Feelings of frustration, anger, and disappointment can arise when a teen fails to engage in expected or desired behavior. When this happens, it can sometimes be challenging to remain calm. When parents lose it, kids catch on and learn what will make their parents respond. After an angry reaction, taking responsibility for your own actions can be a learning opportunity for your teen. Even when kids misbehave, it’s alright to acknowledge it when you wish you had responded differently. Let them know the next time you get frustrated with a decision they make, that give yourself some space, and then come back to discuss the situation.
  2. Inconsistent Discipline. When your teen is acting angry and defiant, it can be challenging to implement consequences. Learning to establish consistent responses is an essential part of effective discipline. Reflect on how you discipline as a parent and become aware of the areas of inconsistency. Was it because you forgot what limit had been set, were you too tired, or maybe you felt like you were being too hard on your teen? Whatever the reason, identify your challenge and make a plan to change. As the brain continues to develop during adolescence, remember that it’s normal teens to test boundaries. It’s a parent’s role to set limits and enforce them. You are there to help guide them through this transitional time.
  3. Doing too much. When a teen ends up not doing their chores after being told six times, it begins to feel like it’s easier to just do it yourself. However, this teaches your teen they don’t have to follow through on what’s expected and they’ll be rewarded for that behavior. When your teen doesn’t follow through or listen, don’t rescue them. Instead, set clear consequences for not following chores or being accountable. Make sure the consequence will teach them, not punish them.
  4. Ineffective consequences. In a moment of frustration, it’s very easy to blurt out, “You’re grounded for the rest of the summer” or “I’m taking away your cellphone for good.” Stop and ask yourself if such consequences are effective or realistic. Consequences need to teach your teen to change his or her behavior. Forgive yourself as a parent; learn to walk away when the conversation is heated and come back calm. This will help to create well-thought out consequences that will be realistic and appropriate, creating a teachable moment for your adolescent.  Better yet, sit down with your teen and develop consequences for certain behaviors ahead of time, so they are also aware of your expectations of them and the consequences for not following through.

When you notice you’re being hard on your parenting self, remember to not place blame, but to extend compassion to yourself, take responsibility, and plan to make a change. Have realistic expectations or yourself and your teenager. Modeling accountability, self-awareness, and growth will help instill those values in your child.