Cyber Bullies or Cyber Friends?

Alex typed fast and furiously, cheeks pink, his labored breathing almost matching the rhythm of his fingers on the keyboard.  He was upset.  He and his best friend had just posted a video  on “You Tube.”  They were very proud of their masterpiece and expected to receive rave reviews from thousands of viewers.  Imagine their shock when they began to read the reviews and discovered they were being made fun of.  He just couldn’t believe it!  Well, he would show them!  Mustering every bad word he could remember, nine-year old Alex spewed forth expletive replies to all those “haters” out there.  Unfortunately, his vocabulary was rather limited, as compared to the many teen-agers and young adults responding to his post.  After about 30 minutes of frustration, Alex gave up.  Grabbing his favorite trophy from the dresser he flung it across the room and watched it shatter on the hardwood floor.

The “ether” energy of the internet creates an environment with far too little structure for children in the early energetic stages of development to maneuver unsupervised.  The high speed, interactive technology that is available today requires the guidance of a responsible adult.  You wouldn’t think of leaving your child alone in a room with a handgun, for you know the destructive power such a weapon is capable of.  For children ages 4-11, the high-powered energy of fire combined with the “gaseous” quality of ether creates a combustible situation.  Just as the mixing of unstable chemicals in a laboratory requires a steady hand and an understanding of chemistry, children in the fire stage of development require the balancing wisdom of parents who can help them channel their “fire” energy constructively.  The internet provides wonderful opportunities for our children to create cyber friendships.  And if we remain involved as parents and teachers,  little opportunity for our children to suffer at the hands of a cyber bully.

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