Recently I had the pleasure of joining Telus at WE Day for their #RaiseAbove Cyberbullying campaign and to say I left feeling electric and inspired would be an understatement. WE Day was cofounded but Craig and Marc Kielburger to empower youth to be the example and be the change on both a local and global scale. Kids can earn their ticket to WE Day by demonstrating how they are making a difference charitably in their communities and internationally. Once they earn a ticket for WE Day, they get a day off of school to join thousands of their peers and hear inspiring stories from other youth about their accomplishments and of course some killer musical performances by award winning artists.
For the past six years, TELUS has been a sponsor of WE Day and this year their campaign focuses on how to #RiseAbove Cyberbullying to empower youth to take a stance against it, as well as empower them to act when they witness or experience it. TELUS wants to ensure that digital space is a safe place and want to do their part to help end cyberbullying because let's face it, it's something that we can all do without in this world!
Mía may only be two years old but she can already navigate my iPhone and our iPad better than my parents can. This fascinates me and scares me at the same time. It makes me think about what she will be facing in the digital and social media world when she gets older. I mean, she isn't going to be watching Peppa Pig and Paw Patrol forever, although I wouldn't hate it if she did! Eventually she will ask for her own smart phone, and I'm assuming she will be decades younger than when I had my first iPhone and then I will worry about who will be connected to her and if anyone is making fun of her or saying cruel things to her online. Would she feel comfortable enough to come to me if she was being picked on? Would she feel comfortable enough to ask me for help if she needed it or if someone she knew needed it? I hope the answer is a big fat YES but you never will know for sure and this is why I love that events like WE Day are creating a safe environment for youth to share ideas and communicate with each other and more importantly, to celebrate each other. I think starting the conversation early with our kids and making sure they understand the ramifications of cyberbullying and more importantly knowing that they can come us for safe and open communication is key.
Here are some cyberbullying tips for youth and parents from Telus Wise:
Cyberbullying intervention tips for youth:
If you see someone bullied, comfort them privately and offer to help.
Tell an adult, parent, or friend who can help you handle the situation.
Save the evidence so you can show a trusted adult or report it.
Cyberbullying intervention tips for parents:
Learn online slang and acronyms to understand what your kids are really saying on social media or in text conversations
Recognize the personal nature of the online world.
Have open conversations and make it known that you’re there for support.
Remember that the law applies. Stay accountable, and keep accounts.
You can visit the TELUS.com/RiseAbove to find more resources to help empower youth to stand up to cyberbullying. They have some amazing teaching tools, videos and articles that I can see working well in a classroom setting if you are a teacher to our youth. If you are, you should definitely check it out and start that conversation with your students.
One day I hope that Mía earns her own ticket to WE Day and get to experience this empowering, inspiring and life changing event. To learn more about WE Day and how to get involved, visit we.org to get all the details.
*This blog post was sponsored by Telus but as always, all opinions expressed are solely my own. Thank you for supporting the brands and companies that help support my family.