This is not the first time that such groups appear hereand are inspired by foreign series for teenagers in which girls or boys are popular at school they praise their new things they bought (phones, wardrobe, motorbikes, cars…) or exotic places they’ve traveled to, citing the price of those arrangements, while at the same time gossiping about those who can’t afford it.
Mother of teenage girl shocked by level of cruelty
As the mother of a girl tells “Blic” who, as she says, was neither guilty nor obligated to join that group, she was shocked by the level of cruelty of some children in the group.
– They write all sorts of things about other children. And this boy comes to school in the same sweatshirt that he bought at the market for three days, and that girl has a used phone that she inherited from her older brother because she doesn’t have the “money” to buy a new one, and that boy didn’t go to the beach this year because his parents are “poor people who work in a grocery store for a pittance”, and that girl is a miserable cook and only whines sponsors who will pay for her drinks when she goes out. Then, of course, those posts, which is creepy to me, cause bursts of laughter from many members of the group with the obligatory, only funny to them, remarks in the comments where they add “fuel to the fire” and insult even more the children who are currently their target – our interlocutor says glumly.
She says that certain gossips reach those who have been targeted, so fights also occur, but luckily, as far as she knows, there has been no physical violence or calls for violence in the group.
– I saw through an application for mobile phones that my daughter has been spending a lot of time on Viber lately, and I decided to check what she was doing there. When I saw it, I almost fainted. We didn’t raise her that way. Both my husband and I come from normal, average families. We inherited a large apartment, and currently we have higher than average incomes because we both work in the IT sector. However, we never taught our children to they neither belittle nor belittle other childrenespecially not because of their material condition – our interlocutor points out.
She left the group, and threats followed
She adds that when her daughter asked her where she was from in that group, she said that a friend had put her there and that she does not participate in such gossip.
– I looked through the correspondence and it really was like that, but it turned out that she “liked” some posts and I got mad, scolded her and reacted impulsively by taking her phone and leaving the group, which turned out to be a big mistake – explains the teenage girl’s mother.
He adds that they are some popular girls who founded the group they started asking why my daughter came out of it and then they started threatening through mutual friends, not with violence, but that they will tell those who were gossiped about that she did the same and liked some of those posts if she tells others what is happening in the group.
We consulted with a friend who is a teacher, and she told us that she supported the fact that I deleted my daughter from that group, but that I should have done it a little more subtly.
– She told us that maybe we could come up with a story that might “drink water” for those children. Maybe after leaving the group we could have said that she lost her phone so she hadn’t installed Viber yet, or we could tell her to tell her friends that I realized that she spends a lot of time on the phone and that I restricted her use of the phone via the aforementioned application, among other things, because , let’s say, bought something too expensive that she doesn’t need. She warned us that there is a fine line that in such groups, simple threats of revealing some secrets can turn into violence. – says our interlocutor.
As she reacted impulsively and in an affect, kicking her daughter out of the group, our interlocutor did not even manage to take “screenshots” of the correspondence, in order to warn other parents.
Some groups can go to extremes and cause violence
Dunja Topalski, a family psychologist and psychotherapist under supervision, confirmed this for “Blic”, who says that there are usually leaders of each group and that it depends on them whether it can go to some extreme. If the leader is only eager for attention in the sense of praise, but does not have an aggressive streak, it does not necessarily mean that he will resort to some kind of violence. It can even happen that the group shuts down by itself because most of the members can get bored.
She adds that gathering in groups is a natural phenomenon since time immemorial that had its evolutionary purpose in terms of survival and in this case in terms of social relations. At that age, young people are “searching”, they join various groups in relation to their preferences, so they can be groups of fans of a certain band or music genre, an actor or a sports club…
– It’s a normal thing and part of growing up, and that’s what older people do too. However, the leaders of these groups are very important. If the leader is a relatively stable person and comes from a stable family environment, it will not go to the extreme, but if the leader of the group is an alpha male or an alpha female, dominant who likes to fight, he can go to the extreme and create a serious problem, which fortunately is not the case here – our story interlocutor.
Parents, do not scold your children, but explain to them what is good and what is not
Since children are insecure and are still building their personality, parents should definitely pay attention to what kind of groups their children join and explain to them in a nice way why certain groups are not good for them.
– In this particular case, parents should explain to their children how important material things really are. It should not be our goal to scold and criticize children, especially not to judge them. They need to come to the conclusion that material things do not define a person in the sense that someone is better than another because of that, and that a better material condition does not automatically make a person good and that, once they understand that, they should act accordingly. And since the parents don’t know what the leaders of those groups are like, it is better to advise the children to stay in the group but not to participate in the debates, so they will probably forget about them and then they can get away without any consequences, i.e. not to be ostracized from society – explains Topalski.
The fact that there is no call to violence in them creates a big problem in stopping and abolishing such groups or ostracism from society, but only occasionally insulting some children and classic “gossip” which is not punishable.
This is precisely why neither the school authorities nor any other authorities can ban such groups, but at parent meetings they can warn parents that such groups exist and ask them to talk to their children and teachers and professors to do so and to explain to them that what they are doing is wrong.