There was always that worry that you would say or do something stupid and end up being bullied. Or that someone just took a dislike to you because you were a bit different and again, you ended up bullied.
Now imagine living as a teenager in today's world, and that fear is multiplied times a thousand. Where it's not just at school, but online as well. You could literally be a target of bullies 24/7.
You don't even have to be online at the time, there is always the chance that someone leaves you a comment or message.
I really think it is hard to win as a teenager. There are all the usual things - you are too fat, too thin, not pretty enough, too pretty, too quiet, too loud, too studious - the list goes on.
Now there is also that you're not on the latest social network, you don't have enough followers or friends, someone starts because you didn't follow them back. Again, the possibilities are endless.
But it doesn't stop at one comment. It becomes a constant written assault. Sure you can block them, but they will just set up a new profile.
You could leave the network, but why the hell should you have to? Plus then the bully thinks they've won and they will be even more obnoxious.
The people who hide behind keyboards to bully someone are cowards. Simple as that.
The trouble is, these kids are usually the ones people seem to flock to in case they become the next victim. Also, they only need to make one insult a bit funny and every kid in school is talking about it, and commenting on it, many of them not even thinking they are bullying someone.
Can you imagine how horrible it would be if every time you went on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, your email, or checked your phone there was people making fun of you, and calling you names.
There is no where to go to get away from it and not a lot anyone can do to stop it. Generally, if a parent steps in and comments, the child gets hammered even more. Schools are pretty much powerless to deal with it.
Of course, parents need to step up here. I am not talking about the parents of the victim here.
I have read so many posts about how to monitor kids social media to make sure they aren't the victim of bullying. Of course this is a good thing, and can maybe help stop it, but ultimately, it is the parents of the bullies who need to take action.
No one wants to think their child is a bully, but the fact is, some kids are bullies and those kids have parents (or primary care givers, I use the term parents for simplicity sake, but please understand I mean whoever has a legal responsibility for that child).
Next time you are checking your child's social media for signs they are being bullied or just a general check, check their comments to others too. See what sort of message they are putting out there.
If your child is bullying someone, take responsibility and take action.
Take their computers and phones away if necessary.
Work with the school and the parents of their victims to get it stopped.
Find out the reason they do it (often it is through low self esteem) and try to help them deal with the underlying problem.
It could be that they have jumped on a bandwagon and don't even realise they are victimizing someone.
Not only are you saving your child from being an obnoxious child that no one likes (fear of someone is very different to liking them, even if they have a large social group, how many people really like bullies deep down?), you are saving them from the day they get pick on the wrong person and get a smack in the mouth.
There is a very real danger that the constant torment can lead to victims of bullying becoming withdrawn and depressed and even becoming suicidal.
As the parent of a bully, you don't want that on your conscience or your child's conscience, so if you think your child is a bully, please step in before it becomes too late!
I found this video on YouTube, I have no idea if the boy in it was really in this situation of if it's acted, but either way, it is harrowing to watch, and shows how one little thing can lead to the whole school jumping on the band wagon.
Has you child ever been bullied/been a bully? How did you deal with it? Let me know what you think in the comments :)