July 24, 2011

Rise above

I've been writing a series of posts about cyber bullying. First, I shared some things I have learned since I began The Mom Pledge. Then I talked about some of the reasons people bully. Today, the big question - can we really make a difference? What can we do about cyber bullying among moms?

Rise Above - In my opinion, the best way to combat bullying is to rise above it. Refuse to engage in bullying behavior or to be goaded into responding when it occurs. Set a better example than those who would hate and attack. This is much easier said than done. I know. But as I have said many times, attempting to take on a bully directly does not work. We should stand up and speak out, let others know bullying is not OK. And we can show how it should be through our own actions.

Spread the Word - The more women who take The Mom Pledge, and refuse to give bullies a platform, the fewer places they will have to attack. Sure, they can create their own online spaces. And they do. I don't believe we can stop hate. But women who choose a different path can be in control of their online space and activities. Those members of our community who have been victims of cyber bullying in the past say that has been the best part of The Mom Pledge for them - taking control and refusing to allow bullies to hurt them.

Live The Pledge - The Mom Pledge is about more than addressing cyber bullying among moms. The overall goal is to create a culture of understanding, where we work to build each other up. It is about supporting one another. We are building a community together where judgment and attacks do not occur. In many ways, a refuge. It is intended to be a place we can discuss our differences in a respectful manner. Then accept them and take the opportunity to learn from others.

Can we truly eradicate cyber bullying? In all honesty, I don't think so. But we can ensure that for every negative interaction you may have online, the positive ones far outweigh it. The internet can be a wonderful place to connect with people, to find resources, and to share with and learn from others.

Unfortunately, there are times when cyber bullying becomes a very serious problem. One that can and should not be ignored. I am working to build a list of resources for those women who may be facing such a situation, and will be sharing it soon.

Thank you for all you do to support our mission!
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