Childraising In The Internet Generation…

Dear Virginia,

My daughter, who is 10, made a stupid joke on Twitter the other day and now she’s very upset because lots of people at school have been tweeting back saying she’s stupid and even worse. She’s apologised for it, but it doesn’t make any difference. I’ve told her just to ignore it but she says she can’t and she’s crying all the time and won’t eat. I’m so anxious about her. I keep reading of children who have killed themselves when they’re attacked like this, and obviously this is worrying. How can I help?

Yours sincerely, Mandy

Oh, boy. #firstworldproblems

Virginia says

You’re right to be worried

*sighs* There is, however, some very useful advice to follow:

On the odd occasion when I’ve received a cruel letter, I haven’t kept it, to mull over. I’ve chucked it straight in the bin. Every time you reread cruel remarks aimed at you, you are traumatising yourself once again. It’s like accidently cutting yourself on a knife and then recreating the pain by deliberately cutting yourself just to remember what it was like.

Excellent! Sadly, the rest of it is the sort of advice we could all do with seeing less of – the idea that those in ‘authority’ need to know (and deal with) personal problems:

Then, I really would tell her teacher – presumably these unkind remarks are made mainly by peers at school, unless the tweet has spread further afield.

Really? You don’t think they have enough to deal with..?

The advice from others that the paper also prints is even worse!

Another way to help your daughter – which is useful for other painful situations, too – is to encourage her to put her worries on some kind of internal mental shelf, to look at later. Tell her to make a specific worrying time – between 4pm and 4.30pm, for instance. Then she can worry and cry all she likes.

Yes, that’s going to help in later life, isn’t it? And we wonder why we seem to be creating a generation unable to cope with the slightest difficulty or setback…

5 comments for “Childraising In The Internet Generation…

  1. Bucko
    May 20, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    How can I help?

    Take her bloody iPhone off her, you dumb broad

    • May 31, 2015 at 5:56 am

      That’s against her ‘uman rights! Innit?

  2. Budvar
    May 20, 2015 at 4:25 pm

    FFS Bucko, do that and she’ll be straight onto Childline.. It’s childs abuse I tells ya!!

    As for telling tales to the school, that *ALWAYS* works doesn’t it? But as a first course of action, and their inability to do fuck all about it leads to the second course of action which is basically get your kid to nonchalantly walk up to the kid who happens to be the ring leader and punch him/her as hard as they can in the face.

    Then when the school gets in touch because young Shelby has punched young Jemima in the face, you take the same line as the school did when it was your kid on the receiving end and say “Yeah, kids huh, what can you do?..”.

    I had this problem about 15 years ago when my lad was about 8, being hit and bullied by a group of other kids, it was never a one on one thing.

    I had a talk to my dad, and he told me what to do, so the main kid was sat down in the play area with all his little buddies next to my house, the young un just casually walks up to him and bang right in the face. This kid just burst into tears, with blood pissing out his nose, and ran home. That was the end of that, no more bullying.

    • May 21, 2015 at 4:20 am

      Yep. Violence, judiciously applied, has always worked. Perhaps a temporary fix but really quite satisfying. 🙂

      • May 31, 2015 at 5:57 am


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