The first tweets? Audience goes wild. By the end? No one's laughing.

This parody of the popular sketch "Celebrities Read Mean Tweets" from "Late Night With Jimmy Kimmel" isn't funny at all. And it's not supposed to be.

<span class="redactor-invisible-space"></span>

Bullying looks completely different in the digital age.

Back in the day, being a bully required size and/or confidence. Bigger kids with even bigger personalities had to do their intimidating in person, either in the classroom or on the playground. Essentially, the end of the school day also meant the end of the taunts and torments. These days, social media has completely changed the bullying game. Kids are plugged in to their smartphones 24/7, which means they have access to each other on networks like Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat long after class ends. And while social media has proved to be a great way to make and stay in touch with friends, it's also a breeding ground for those looking to harass and torment others nonstop, all behind the veil of anonymity.

When teens are asked about their experiences with online bullying, the responses are quite scary.


Cyberbullying isn't just "kids being kids." The consequences can be extremely painful and even fatal.

Too often bullying is downplayed as just a part of growing up. And while bullying isn't new, in many ways online torments are even more painful because the Internet gives tormenters 24/7 access to their victims. Not to mention, once those nasty messages and photos are online, it's almost impossible to have them removed.

In recent years, numerous young people have taken their own lives after being tormented by their peers online. Amanda Todd and Tyler Clementi are just two of too many young people whose lives ended in suicide after struggling with online bullies. And in 2013, two teen girls were charged with felonies after a 12-year-old they had bullied on Facebook committed suicide. So while some kids are able to recover from being picked on, not every case has a happy ending.

What can parents do?

Sometimes there are clear signs that something is wrong, such as failing grades, irritability, insomnia, and unhappiness or depression. But many kids who are struggling with bullies are afraid or embarrassed to talk to their parents or teachers and instead keep it to themselves. That's why it's important for parents to talk to their kids and check in with them regularly so they know they have someone to turn to if something is wrong. Here are a few tips for parents to make sure their kids aren't dealing with bullies and aren't bullying others:

• Talk to teens about cyberbullying, explaining that it is wrong and can have serious consequences. Make a rule that teens may not send mean or damaging messages, even if someone else started it, or suggestive pictures or messages or they will lose their cell phone and computer privileges for a time.

• Encourage teens to tell an adult if cyberbullying is occurring. Tell them if they are the victims they will not be punished, and reassure them that being bullied is not their fault.

• Teens should not share anything through text or instant messaging on their cell phone or the Internet that they would not want to be made public — remind teens that the person they are talking to in messages or online may not be who they think they are, and that things posted electronically may not be secure.

• Teens should keep cyberbullying messages as proof that the cyberbullying is occurring. The teen's parents may want to talk to the parents of the cyberbully, to the bully's Internet or cell phone provider, and/or to the police about the messages, especially if they are threatening or sexual in nature.
bullyingstatistics.org






Thankfully, organizations like the Canadian Safe School Network, which created this parody, are working to increase awareness and find new ways to combat online bullying. Here's hoping that more parents, students, and faculty can work together to keep our kids safe online and give them the confidence to stand up to bullies online and off.

Joy

Man uses TikTok to offer 'dinner with dad' to any kid that needs one, even adult ones

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud.

Come for the food, stay for the wholesomeness.

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud. His TikTok channel is dedicated to giving people intimate conversations they might long to have with their own father, but can’t. The most popular is his “Dinner With Dad” segment.

The concept is simple: Clayton, aka Dad, always sets down two plates of food. He always tells you what’s for dinner. He always blesses the food. He always checks in with how you’re doing.

I stress the stability here, because as someone who grew up with a less-than-stable relationship with their parents, it stood out immediately. I found myself breathing a sigh of relief at Clayton’s consistency. I also noticed the immediate emotional connection created just by being asked, “How was your day?” According to relationship coach and couples counselor Don Olund, these two elements—stability and connection—are fundamental cravings that children have of their parents. Perhaps we never really stop needing it from them.


Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Jimmy Conover on Unsplash

Mom with newborn baby on her chest

Giving birth can be serene and magical, filled with swear words, death stares and some serious contemplation on why you thought having a baby would be a good idea. Preparing for birth is often meticulous; everything is planned out months in advance, bags are packed by the door and your favorite doctor or midwife is on speed dial. You worked hard to get things in place and everything should run as smoothly as a well oiled machine. But for one mom in Kentucky, that birth plan went out of the window.

Heather Skaats, 34, is no stranger to having babies and likely can tell a doctor a thing or two about how her deliveries are going to go after after six children. Heather was three weeks away from her due date for her seventh child when she started having light contractions. When in labor with her older children, the mom labored for hours so she was not terribly concerned when she started experiencing mild labor pains. Skaats told Today Parents, “I thought I wouldn’t have a baby in my arms until eight or ten hours later.”

Keep Reading Show less

TikTok about '80s childhood is a total Gen X flashback.

As a Gen X parent, it's weird to try to describe my childhood to my kids. We're the generation that didn't grow up with the internet or cell phones, yet are raising kids who have never known a world without them. That difference alone is enough to make our 1980s childhoods feel like a completely different planet, but there are other differences too that often get overlooked.

How do you explain the transition from the brown and orange aesthetic of the '70s to the dusty rose and forest green carpeting of the '80s if you didn't experience it? When I tell my kids there were smoking sections in restaurants and airplanes and ashtrays everywhere, they look horrified (and rightfully so—what were we thinking?!). The fact that we went places with our friends with no quick way to get ahold of our parents? Unbelievable.

One day I described the process of listening to the radio, waiting for my favorite song to come on so I could record it on my tape recorder, and how mad I would get when the deejay talked through the intro of the song until the lyrics started. My Spotify-spoiled kids didn't even understand half of the words I said.

And '80s hair? With the feathered bangs and the terrible perms and the crunchy hair spray? What, why and how?

Keep Reading Show less