Protect Your Kids Online: Clean Start Challenge Week 5

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This week’s Lifetime Moms Clean Start Challenge assignment centered upon an important statistic that I’ve learned about kids and self esteem. As my kids begin to navigate the web and converse via text messages, what I was shocked to find out was how many kids are cyberbullied. According to StompOutBullying.org, 97% of middle schoolers are cyberbullied when they are online. That number is staggering considering that parents who are not cyber savvy have no idea how to protect their kids and a child might not want to confide in their parent because they may feel embarrassed or ashamed by what is being done to them via Facebook, Skype and mobile phone.
Over at Lifetime Moms, check out my video which offers important tips to parents on how to monitor your child while they are online. I am not saying you should be a helicopter parent, but you should definitely be made aware of the ways you can protect your child before they are even ready to open a Facebook account. Some important facts you should know:
* A child is not allowed to join Facebook until they are 13 years of age.
* If your child is on Skype and you do not have parental controls in place, your child can be contacted by anyone both domestically and internationally as well as receive objectionable spam while they are online.
* If a child sends a suggestive photo of themselves to another minor via a mobile phone, in certain states (such as Pennsylvania) “sext-ing” is considered an illegal offense.
* Do not allow your child to keep a computer in their room. It is best to have a computer in a common area so that you can monitor what they are doing or who they are conversing with in plain site.
* Always have access to your child’s passwords on email, Facebook, Skype, etc. Your child should be made aware that while you’re not snooping, you do want to monitor that they are safe.
For more tips and information about protecting your child online, please visit StompOutBullying.org.
Plus, Shaina, my amazing coach for the Clean Start Challenge, offers valuable advice about the importance of family dinner playing a role in boosting your kids’ self esteem. Make sure when you visit us at Lifetime Moms, you cast your vote for Team Beth as we help raise funds and awareness for Love Our Children USA and Stomp Out Bullying. And you can even enter to win prizes up to $5000 too! So what are you waiting for? Visit Lifetime Moms today and if you’re a parent of tween or teen, make sure that you are Cyber Savvy!!!

Mean Girls 2…Movie Alert

If you are a fan of the first “Mean Girls” film, you’ll want to tune into “Mean Girls 2” on ABC Family on Sunday, January 23rd at 8PM ET/PT. Be sure to stay tuned at the end of the movie for a special PSA with actress Meaghan Martin on bullying and its impact. ABC Family has partnered with STOMP Out Bullying™ to help speak to the heart of the issue. For more information on “Mean Girls 2” visit www.abcfamily.com.

Week 2: Clean Start Challenge

Our second video for the SC Johnson Clean Start Challenge is currently airing on the Lifetime Moms website and it features an interview with Ross Ellis, the founder of Love Our Children USA and Stomp Out Bullying.
After a successful career in corporate events, Ross reached a point in her life where she wanted to devote her life to giving back to those in need. While she first began volunteering at organizations dedicated to helping families, Ross soon decided to start her own non-profit organization that would help protect children while providing important resources to parents. I’ve known Ross for more than a decade and am proud to serve on the advisory board of Love Our Children USA. I am also so excited to be working with Ross and her organization on a bullying prevention event for children and parents and can’t wait to share all the details with you! For now, check out the latest video and don’t forget to vote for Team Beth!

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Let the Clean Start Challenge Begin!

scj-300x250-t3.jpgI am really excited to share that I will be participating in a 12 week challenge on Lifetime Moms to help boost kids’ self esteem. The topic is near and dear to my heart since I grew up battling a weight problem, bullies and mean girls – starting at the tender age of 10. Fast forward several decades, and as fate would have it, my own daughter has unfortunately, experienced bullying first hand.
As a mother, you instantly want to whip into action and protect your child the moment someone hurts their feelings, gets rough in the school yard or wages a war of words on their Facebook wall. But the problem is, as our children get older, we can’t be with them 24 hours of the day (nor should we be). Instead, it’s the responsibility of parents, teachers and community leaders to help guide our kids towards making responsible decisions. And that’s why, as part of the Lifetime Moms Clean Start Challenge, I plan to host an event in my community that will inspire kids to support one another by not doing hurtful things to their peers.
Over the past decade, I’ve been a board member of Love Our Children USA, the national nonprofit leader that works to break the cycle of violence against children. Love Our Children USA works to eliminate behaviors that keep children from reaching their potential. It redefines parenting and creates kid success by promoting prevention strategies and positive changes in parenting and family attitudes and behaviors through public education.
In 2005, Love Our Children USA launched Stomp Out Bullying, a campaign that focuses on reducing and preventing bullying, cyberbullying, sexting and other digital abuse, educating against homophobia, racism and hatred, decreasing school absenteeism, and deterring violence in schools, online and in communities across the country.
I hope to help kids and parents in my community at an event where they can get much needed advice from bullying and cyberbullying experts, as well as hear from teen ambassadors who have become role models in their own communities by standing up to bullies and advocating on behalf of kids. It is my hope, that kids will think twice when they taunt another child physically, verbally or online. It’s time we empower our children to Stomp out Bullying once and for all!
The Lifetime Moms Clean Start Challenge is sponsored by SC Johnson and will also offer readers the opportunity to enter a sweepstakes that begins on 1/4/2011 and ends on 3/31/2011. Three monthly prizes of $1,000 and a Grand Prize of $5,000 will be awarded. All winners will also receive a gift basket of products from SC Johnson. Five entries per day are permitted.
The Clean Start Challenge Overview:
Follow three teams of real moms as they bring positive change to their communities.The Clean Start Challenge 2011 is a video contest and sweepstakes presented by SC Johnson and hosted on Lifetimemoms.com. Over the course of twelve weeks, three teams of Mom bloggers tackle the causes they are passionate about and work toward bringing positive change to their communities. Each team will reach out to experts and regular people who have been affected by their target issue in an effort to gather information and learn about available resources and strategies for making positive changes. The knowledge and tools the teams acquire will be shared at a local event they’ll organize to engage and inspire their communities to get involved in achieving solutions that will improve the lives of others.
Every week as they work toward their goals, the teams will share their progress in brief videos on the Clean Start Challenge 2011 microsite. The American public watches and votes on these video updates, learning about the issues at hand and getting involved by lending their support to the group they feel is making the greatest impact. The winning team will receive $10,000 to donate to the charity of their choice; runners-up teams receive $2,500 to donate to their chosen cause. Click here for the official sweepstakes rules. And to support Team Beth, visit this link to find out more, Like our Facebook page and vote!

STOMP Out Bullying

STOMPOutBullying_Small_lorez_LOGO.jpgIn light of the recent news involving a Rutgers student who committed suicide after being cyberbullied, it’s time as parents, we take a stand against bullies once and for all.
I hope you’ll check out this post at Lifetime Moms where I share the story of my own experience with bullies and how I’m working to teach my own kids on how they can protect themselves.
To signify the importance of bullying and cyber bullying prevention Love Our Children USA™, STOMP Out Bullying™ and Lifetime Moms is asking kids, teens and adults to make Monday, October 4th the day that bullying prevention is heard around the world by joining us for blue shirt day in solidarity to STOMP Out Bullying. Americans across the country will wear blue shirts as they make their way to school or to the office as a grassroots national campaign to STOMP Out Bullying. Additionally, Love Our Children USA™ is hosting The Third Annual Celebrity Stomp Out Bullying auction – offering everything from Two VIP Tickets to Dancing with Stars and a meeting with Host Tom Bergeron, to a meet and greet with Barry Manilow after attending one of his Las Vegas shows, to a 30 minute pitching session during spring training with a major league pitcher and more! Visit the Stomp Out Bullying auction page for more info and to help us raise funds to help children in need.