Mean Games Girls Play on Boys

HateGuest blogger, parent and teacher Damien Atkinson-Buck writes: As a parent of a toddler, I’m fortunate that I don’t have to worry about his adventures in the cyber world for now, but I do have nieces and nephews in their early teen years whom I love and try to look out for.  An impassioned letter below from a desperate Mum, appeared this week on the popular blog site mamamia and left me feeling hurt and disturbed.
I’m the mum of a 13-year-old boy.  He’s not cool but he’s innocent, kind and sweet…. and maybe a little dorky.  I’m a strict parent but I’ve let him open an account on Facebook and Instagram – on the condition that I always have his password and he knows that I check both accounts daily.
And this is where the problem starts.
He is not at risk of being stalked by a pedophile. The real danger to my son online is a slow growing tumour of peer pressure and in some cases, bullying. And the filth that permeates so many of the pages that his peers follow.
Last year my little boy was at primary school, laughing and playing (yes, still playing) with his friends at school. This year he’s at high school and it’s all so different.
Now, each time I check his Facebook or Instagram account, I inhale and I feel like I can’t exhale.
I feel like this every day.
The ‘F*#$, Marry, Kill’ game is what has tipped me over the edge tonight.  I flip through his Facebook and take a look at the number of teen girls writing “FMK:” and then listing three names.
It’s up to the recipient of the post to decide which of the three names they would choose to FMK.  My son’s name has come up 3 times. Each time the response has been “kill”.
I know it’s not literal. Of course these are children who are would not physically kill him. But they do choose to push him down the list and tag him. He gets to see where he places. Just like I do.
And it hurts me as his mother.
I strongly recommended to my family that they ensure they have access to their child’s Facebook account, as every parent should. What if it were my brother or sister going through this turmoil when reading their child’s Facebook account? How would I respond? Has the horse already bolted on their child’s happiness?
Yes, viewing their accounts on a regular basis is a great idea, talking to your child and letting them know that participating in what they might see as harmless rating “games” is a more proactive response. Let your little one know that these games are a form of bullying, and are illegal, if they’re doing it or are the victim of it, now is the time to stop. Don’t be the mother in this gut wrenching call for help.

About Renata Rowe

Deputy Head of Campus/Head of Secondary, Ivanhoe Grammar School, Plenty Campus This blog is the School's way of helping our parents and teachers understand and experience the cyber world that their children live in. We post stories about the latest cyber safety issues, and the latest social mediums that their children and teens might be using. We believe that teaching children and teens to be good Digital Citizen from a young age will protect them and their reputations. Our parents have been delighted and have subscribed so that they can receive our updates - we post about once or twice a week. So subscribe - its easy to do, just enter your email address in the box in the top righthand corner of the home page and posts will automatically be delivered to you.
This entry was posted in Cyber Bullying, Cyber Safety, cyberbullying, cybersafety, Dangers, Digital Citizenship, Digital Reputation, Facebook, Internet safety, Parental Controls, Parents, Social Media, Teens, Tweens and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Mean Games Girls Play on Boys

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