Mums advice to kids and parents after being bullied herself
FOR Hervey Bay mum and childhood bullying victim Sara Drew, protecting her kids from the pain she endured is a balancing act.
She knows in this digital age, online interaction will be part of her two boys' lives but says it's about monitoring their online activity closely and limiting what they can and can't watch.
"I block apps and websites and make sure they only have You Tube kids access which I still monitor," Mrs Drew said.
"My kids have screen time but they get a lot of outdoor play time with soccer and sports."
Life experience has helped Mrs Drew to recognise the warning signs of both schoolyard and virtual bullies.
"When I was 15-years-old there were a lot of tough times and while I was sensitive, the bullying and the pressure of school lead to anorexia and bulimia," she said.
"I also had a friend who identified as a lesbian...her locker was destroyed, she was always taunted and had stuff written about her on the mirror at school."
The mum also pre-warns her kids about the potential dangers lurking behind the screen.
"I say 'you're going to meet people online who are not nice like you do in the real world but it's about how you react'," she said
"They know they never deserve to be treated like that and don't have to react and take part in these conversations."
Mrs Drew encouraged parents to teach children the signs to recognise bullying, take note of any behaviour changes in and strive for an open and honest relationship.
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