Adults Acting Badly: When Bullying Behavior No Longer Is Child’s Play

BigWomanOnLaptopIn a recent survey by Anti-Bullying Alliance, children aged 11 to 16 believe that adults are setting a poor example by behaving badly to each other face-to-face, online or in the media.

The majority, 97 percent said they would like to see more respect shown between grown-ups.

Who are the role-models?

This same month Ireland released a study entitled The Cyberbullying of Post-Primary Teachers by Pupils.  

Parents, who are supposed to be the role-models to their children, as well as pupils (their children) are engaged in cyberbullying of school teachers according to the above referenced study.

It starts at the top.

With these two recent reports, isn’t it about time adults check-in with their behavior? Many people like to blame it on the political climate or the rise of incivility, however we all need to start taking accountability for our own online and offline behavior.

When our children are now asking us to take control of ourselves, and we are witnessing parents and students harassing professionals (teachers), it’s time to stop this insanity.

Implementing digital wisdom.

At all ages using digital wisdom grounded in civility is where we need to start.

The 3-C’s of online behavior starts with your keypad.

  1. Conduct: We’re living in contentious times. The fact is, your keypad can be used as a tool or a weapon, it depends on how you use it. Your keystrokes can be used 4 ways – to help, heal, hurt, or harm. Be sure before you pick up your keypad – you check-in with yourself, become self-aware of your emotions before you post your comments.
  2. Content: We’re living in a world of post remorse and tweet regrets. Everyone is quick to post for short-term gratification and may suffer with long-term ramifications. Is what you’re about to post going to embarrass you or humiliate someone? Take the time to consider your content before putting it on the permanent Internet.
  3. Caring: Most of us know to treat people online as you would offline, but many tend to forget this when you have a screen between you. I like to tell people to “care enough about yourself” to know when it times to click-out if you feel  you’re about to say something nasty or snarky.  You are the role-model, this is your online presence – and it’s likely you will regret it later.

Want more insights for digital wisdom? Read my latest book Shame Nation.