It’s always a pleasure to meet people who are passionate about something, and in today’s world, it’s nice when that person just happens to be passionate about the safety of our children. Recently, a friend and co-advocate of mine on Facebook, Jeffrey Rinek, referred me to a post that he called “Deadly Bullying”. He shared it with his friends, and even mailed it to the editor of People magazine, and I thought that it was worth sharing with you as a guest blog post here on YoursphereForParents.
First, a little background info about Jeffrey, and why I think he’s in a prime position to talk about the issues he addresses in his post. He began working for the FBI in 1976, retiring as a Special Agent in 2006. While working in the Sacramento division, Jeff found his passion in addressing Crimes Against Children and followed that passion for the next fifteen years. He has participated in many cases involving child abductions, child homicides, and the sexual exploitation of children, including internet related crimes involving children. He was certified as a Criminal Profiler by the FBI, and served as the Primary coordinator for the National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime which was also known as the Behavioral Science unit.
So enjoy his blog. And if you want to learn more about Jeffrey, you can follow him on Facebook via the link above. Thanks, Jeffrey!
Deadly Bullying -
Bullying is the malicious act of taking a person’s value through a deliberate, assault, such as gossip, spying, slander, or libel. Current day, bullying is enabled by, and on, the Internet. The goal of the bully is to gain value, at the expense of the bully’s victim. The end result is the perception of whether the value has been affected. The bully feels empowered by the act; the victim senses a personal loss, often seen as embarrassment. Until the Internet, bullying was limited to personal contact, letters, and phone calls. The Internet has enabled bullying to penetrate into the very core of our private, personal space, and at the same time, enabled it to be broadcast to the entire world. In today’s Internet, the click of a computer button can reach any, and all, of us. It can open the very essence of our lives to public review by broadcasting our deepest, most intimate secrets to all. Just as with a weapon, the computer is a tool; the bad intent, is of the user.
What we call bullying in children becomes extortion in adults. It reflects the morality, belief, and values nurtured in the home which become the foundation of an individual’s public behavior. Everyone seeks a sense of value. How that value is achieved, is a direct reflection of the child’s first interaction with both family and others. A child instilled with little value at home, seeks the value from public sources. They act out in society, the reflection of the behavior observed at home. If a parent exhibits disrespectful and demeaning behavior, the child goes into public believing that to be the norm. If a child is taught value, they seek and acknowledge the value in others. In the end, we are all a product of where we come from.
In society we perceive ourselves, and others, by the value we interpret through judgment of innocence and responsibility. A child is at the highest level of innocence and value by virtue of little, to no assignment, of responsibility. Every victim child contends with the struggle of taking responsibility, and believing their value is reflected in their victimization. A family, offering unconditional, unwavering love and respect, is the best measure, and deterrent against a bully. A bully cannot take value from a child who realizes their value cannot be taken. The child who does not question the love, respect, and devotion of their family is the strongest answer to the bully. I have seen many child victims re-victimized by the anger of their loved ones toward the offender, when all they wanted was the reaffirmation of their parent’s love and acceptance. No parent ever questions the love they have for their children, but children always need to be reassured of the love from their parents.
The lesson of “Deadly Bullying” is that our child’s sense of value begins with their social interaction. The values we instill in our children become public at a much earlier age due in large part to the technical advances in communication. Just as toddlers are now able to read, they are able to start typing, and clicking buttons on a computer. It is up to us, as parents, to teach value, and respect to our children. It is up to parents to make respect the first and never ending lesson in life. As our child’s lives expand, it is incumbent on us to reaffirm value and respect in schools, athletics’ and all social interaction, whether group or individual.
Jeff now has a new mission. After years of working with child victims and their families, Jeff has applied his experience toward developing software that will help parents protect and guide their children as they engage in social networking and other Internet activities. Jeff established Parental Options on the belief that empowering parents with the same ability to observe their kids in the virtual world, as in the real world, would help parents to detect and prevent problems children experience in both worlds.