Parents are without a doubt their children’s most important role models.
The way we interact with our friends, the way we deal with problems and the language we use all become our children’s subconscious ‘how-to’ guide.
Of course, none of us are perfect – although don’t tell the kids that! We all make mistakes and possibly even let a little rude word slip now and again…
But overall, we’re doing OK.
However it seems as though some parents may need a little reminder of their influence.
This week Babyology – one of Australia’s leading online parenting communities – took a stand against ‘mummy trolls’ after a spike in nasty comments on the site’s Facebook page.
Yes – mummy trolls! You read correctly. Mothers making spiteful and rude comments about other mother’s parenting strategies and even their nursery decorating styles.
Babyology stated that it will delete “any negative or abusive comments made on our Facebook page …we believe that unless you would make a comment face-to-face, then this negativity does not have a place in our online space.”
Whilst it is disappointing that Babyology had to intervene and put a stop to mummies behaving badly online, the greater concern is the example that these ‘mummies’ are setting for their own offspring.
Children see their parents’ behaviour – positive and negative – as a pattern for the way life is to be lived. How can we expect children to be considerate of others and not engage in bullying behaviour when that is the example their parents are setting?
Unfortunately, some people’s manners and good intentions evaporate the minute their fingers touch the keyboard. And while there are many causes of this from lack of empathy to a desire for control, the greater concern is the effect on the children.
Parents who engage in this anti-social behaviour are effectively telling their kids that it is OK to be a bully.
And it clearly isn’t.