Day 24 – helplines – and pathetic parenting

Today, I have published a handful of pages to accompany this blog – helplines.

One of the things that struck me during the research into the Amanda Todd story was the absolute ignorance of people who got involved, or were involved.

Parents in general – don’t get me started. Lots of them seem to have no clue about what their teens do or how to tackle it. I struggle to remain calm here. I was a wayward child – I would leave the house as a little angel and by the time I was out of sight I was the local villain. It was only when the police called that any of it became known. But it was dealt with. So I know how easy it is to fool parents. And, regarding aspects of this story – I’ve been there, seen it, done it, on both sides of the equation.

But I am horrified by some attitudes. At one extreme (sometimes mine) I feel that the only way to protect kids is to lock them away from puberty onwards until they are about thirty – and maybe not even then! But more and more I’m seeing an attitude of ‘Meh! What can you do?’. Adults can’t be bothered!

To a certain extent, I can sympathise. Adults have problems too. We live in a stressful society. We can’t watch kids 24/7. But to simply shrug shoulders and say ‘What can you do?’ is shameful.

I have seen articles referencing the Amanda Todd case that seem to dismiss her activities as just another example of sexting – the story that the video likes to portray. ‘Hey, they all do it, so what can we do? It’s no big deal.’ But wait – there are kids DYING from this stuff. Getting fucked up. ‘What can we do?’

It sickens me. In just briefly setting up the helpline pages, I can see that there is a TON of information out there. People can no longer claim ignorance. It seems that these days everyone has access to the Internet – it’s just that most people use it to view fluffy kittens doing cute things. People no longer have to struggle alone in dealing with problems – there are hundreds of organisations out there offering help and guidance. And yet stupidity still prevails.

I was astonished by the reaction to the Amanda Todd video. Kids sexting was seen almost as an innocent pastime. And OK, maybe it isn’t such a big deal. It’s become part of the mainstream for kids – times change. But when the truth came out – the BlogTV escapades – most adults opted for the ‘close my eyes this isn’t really happening’ approach. They simply do not want to hear about it, let alone have to think about it.

And it was the same for other aspects. Under-age sex? ‘What can you do?’ Drugs? ‘Well, you can’t watch them all the time’. Drink? ‘Holey moley, who cares?’ Addicted to BlogTV, Facebook, YouTube? Well, you simply CAN’T take that away from them or supervise them, can you?

It’s just all too feeble. Parents, adults, carers, teachers – you have a RESPONSIBILITY. Instead, you are behaving like lazy fuckwits. The solutions don’t lie in stupid Facebook pages – liking an R.I.P. page achieves nothing, and supporting pages run by unprofessional lunatics creating their own anti-bullying or anti-suicide or pro-vigilante pages is ludicrous. And neither is the solution to be found by starting yet another foundation or fund – there are already many, much better ones out there like ChildLine, the Samaritans, the NSPCC – all of which have been around for years, and all of which need financial support and help. Believe me – the ‘Amanda Todd Legacy’ will not last. It will be forgotten very soon. How many people know of Marjorie Raymond? And yet almost as many said they would never forget.

The Amanda Todd story will fade. These stories always do. Sanctimonious idiots run around as if it’s never happened before, they get on the bandwagon. The world will change! It rarely does.

Kids will continue on BlogTV. They will continue to take drugs and drink. All the Amanda Todd stuff will blow over. Why? Because tackling the problem is too much of an effort. Supervising your child? Too much effort. Grounding them or punishing them? Too much of a pain in the ass. Getting educated and taking responsibility? Someone else’s problem. Facing the truth? The truth is too horrible, better to believe in a fairy story.

What can be done? Well, I can’t solve that one. Here’s a few suggestions, ranging from sensible to mad:

Get your kids off Facebook! It’s a cesspit! Or at least supervise them.

Fight for better education. Join in with local schools – suggest lessons on ‘The Perils of the Internet’ and the kids can’t leave school until they’ve passed! (The idea that anti-bullying has to be done by teachers and the Government is ridiculous. Any decent parent will tell their child that bullying is not good, surely?)

If you suspect your kid is in trouble GET EDUCATED or GET HELP. Even better, get educated first and try to PREVENT your kids getting in trouble.

Tell your kids you will always be there for them, by all means, but whatever happened to chastisement? If your kids experiment with things, fair enough. That’s part of growing up. But so is learning right from wrong. Kid gets drunk once – part of growing up. Does it again? Grounded with no privileges for a month. Set boundaries – not basically tell them they can do what they like! ‘But my baby won’t like me if I tell her off’ Tough.

I could go on forever. But I’ll finish with this:

If your kid sexts, or may do so, sit them down and explain things, give them a few warnings, don’t shout and scream. Treat them like mini-adults.

If your kid is naked all over the Internet, the police arrive, there is BIG trouble – don’t let it continue. Don’t allow your kid unfettered access to her webcam. Don’t let her continue with her dangerous activities.

Common sense, surely?

18 thoughts on “Day 24 – helplines – and pathetic parenting

      • Your welcome & no sweat, I really enjoy reading your posts & I live in canada and I totally agree with you, there as been no updates on this story cause we would get it long before other parts of the world… have a good day what your doing is great 🙂

  1. I have a 13 yr old son & im always checking his stuff, if hes on the computer he stays at the kitchen table where I can see what hes at & hes given lots of respect & love therefore he doesnt venture to do this crap and thats called being a good mom. Most people dont deserve to own kids its whats wrong with todays world 🙂 thought id add that in

    • Thanks for the comment, newfie. Sometimes, when I’m writing, I’m conscious that I tend to get angry and say things like ‘all parents are useless’. But of course, that’s not true. There are, thank God, many parents out there – like yourself – who are doing a good job. However, at the beginning of all this story I fought against overreacting. Most things that hit the headlines tend to make mountains out of molehills. But in my research, I kept on being dumbfounded – not just by the events in the story, but by the extent to which some of this stuff goes on. It’s not a case of a few kids flashing online, there are hundreds, if not thousands. It’s not just the odd case of online problems – we have already seen more cases since then. And I was also dumbfounded by how many adults seemed to be totally unaware. Parents HAVE to be vigilant.
      I’m getting on my soap box again! So I will get off it now.
      Thanks for the comment. I hope you are finding some of what I say useful.

      • I pondered about allowing this comment, but I have to keep to my rule – all comments are allowed. I just have to apologise to newfie for letting ‘BS buster’ be quite rude.
        Please – can I just ask people to try and show some manners in commenting? There are far better ways of putting things. You can say what you like about me, but it would help if you were more constructive if you feel the need to be negative.
        I assume that the BS in your name stands for bullshit, and you are a BS Buster. So, in a way, you’re like me. Thanks for following and taking time to join in the debate.

    • Thanks again for the feedback, Colin. It’s a bit weird, but praise takes me by surprise – I’m sort of conditioned to getting bullied by the anti-bully crowd! They are strange folk. I’ve even received messages that suggest that it is ME making all the comments! Like I’ve said before, I’m kind of torn between just doing my own thing or responding to what people want – hopefully, I’ll end up somewhere in between. But I’m a bit bothered by a couple of things – was the investigation of the hypervocal article too long and boring and am I droning on too much about the same sort of things? I don’t know. Anyway, now I’ve got to think about what I’m going to post today! Thanks again!

      • The hypervocal article was good but it did seem to go on a bit. Personally I would rather have too much than too little but I could see why someone might switch off.

        The blog has always been interesting and same points have been made more than once but I feel it has been relevant at that particular time.(It’s usually been done as a little reminder of a previous post)

        Some of your observations have been quite comical, i.e. Amanda’s “he hooked up with me” part of video. That has proven a bit relief from some of the more depressing parts of the story. All in all job well done so far! 🙂

  2. Thank you Philip… To bs buster I was only making a harmless comment, people from different places speak different ways. That was disrespectful.

  3. You wrote “Kids will continue on BlogTV” but by the time you wrote this, you already knew that Stickam had ceased operation and BlogTV was preparing to disappear in a merger with, an even more dreadful development in the BlogTV disaster.

      • I don’t think anybody knows. The Stickam announcement seemed to have caught everyone by surprise and opinions differ. They range from declining revenues ever since they eliminated the Private (aka CP production) room option back in 2009 to some sort of legal trouble because of the illegal activities there to some sort of massive law enforcement operation that is even now perusing the servers in preparation for a massive van party.

        As for BlogTV, it was always a much smaller endeavor than Stickam. Opinions also seem to circulate around declining profits. There used to be an EXCELLENT blog on which chronicled the irresponsible (and possibly criminal?) behavior of the site moderators. Sad to say, the blog went away about a year ago and now even the blog’s author’s e-mail account is dead. Perhaps the negative publicity had an impact. I think some people took it upon themselves to notify advertisers and they slowly pulled their ads. The cappers have posited the idea that they simply overmined the site, played it out to the point that few juniors (the targets of choice) went there anymore. Some blame the overabundance of incompetent (teen?) blackmailers.

        This link speaks volumes, if it’s credible:

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