Matt's Crow Country: Parents can put a stop to cyber-bullying
WHEN I was at school the only bullies you had to look out for were the kind that would pinch your dinner money. But these days it seems a new type of menace is terrorising our children: cyber bullies. This may sound like something out of Doctor Who, but a
WHEN I was at school the only bullies you had to look out for were the kind that would pinch your dinner money.
But these days it seems a new type of menace is terrorising our children: cyber bullies.
This may sound like something out of Doctor Who, but apparently it is a real. A study published by the Anti-Bullying Alliance (ABA) this week revealed that one in five of the 10 - 11 year olds questioned had been bullied online or by phone.
Now I don't have children on my own, but what are 10 and 11 year olds doing using Facebook, or Twitter, or whatever, in the first place? And why on earth would they need a mobile phone?
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It seems to me this is a form of bullying which could be easily avoided with some responsible parenting. In this country we have developed a culture of wanting to give young people rights and responsibilities as soon as possible. Why can't we just let them children for a while? Surely they can do without a phone at least until they become teenagers?
The internet, too, is a wonderful thing - I don't know how I'd get through my working day without it - but children need boundaries, and if they are allowed to peruse these sites unchallenged it's no wonder that they run into trouble.
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Christopher Cloke, chairman of the ABA, said: "It is crucial that we ensure they [children] know how to stay safe online, and that their parents know how to help them. Clearly more research is needed on this emerging issue."
I think he is spot on. Half the problem is that some of these 10 and 11 year olds probably know more about using computers than their parents, and more education is needed if we are to ensure that our children keep the bullies at bay.
Rugby sevens and golf were added to the Olympic roster last month.
It is surely only a matter of time before darts goes on the list too.
Large parts of my weekend were spent watching the early stages of the Grand Slam of Darts, which is taking place this week in Wolverhampton.
If you have never experienced the sport, I'd advise you watch the finals, which will be on this coming weekend.
It is easily one of the most compulsive spectator sports going. So much of it is played in the mind that matches can turn on one big check out or missed double, and seemingly invincible competitors such as Phil "the Power" Taylor or Raymond van Barneveld can be reduced to quivering wrecks.
And seeing such fine athletes at the Olympics would be a sight to behold. I would urge Lord Coe to try to make it happen ahead of London 2012!