Haven’t you ever wished there was a foolproof safe place where you could just say what’s on your mind without anyone judging you? To find out if there are others who are as frustrated as you with are with a guy who dumped you, or your kids’ smart-off mouths, for instance? Maybe you don’t want even your best friend knowing how close you are to running off to Portugal. (Well, you could be tracked to there, so maybe not.)
Safety without judgment is the goal of most counseling services, such as I and others provide. But sometimes you just want to air something, get it off your chest, and be heard—but not identified.
Social media isn't the solution in most cases because just like with those airline tickets to Portugal, you can be tracked. What if you could just say it, let the person who’s hurt you know just how deeply it cut?
Ah. Your teen probably feels the same way, has the same need to be heard when he or she is hurt. And where there’s a perceived need, someone will come up with a “solution.”
There’s a new app that almost overnight became the #1 free app, called YOLO, a third-party app that works with Snapchat. (Your kid probably has Snapchat.) YOLO cloaks the user in anonymity so they can say whatever they want to the questions others on the app ask. It’s not the first such app, and previous ones have been banned. Will this one? And why?
Because anonymity and crowds lead to bullying. But apps like YOLO are a great chance for you to talk about these issues with your kid! Give them a safe place so they don’t feel they need to seek out strangers for validation. Ask some questions and listen without judgment. Does your kid know the difference between reporting a fact and gossiping about someone? Do they know how to use the advice of Jesus in Matthew 18 when He said that if a Christian sins against you, the first response is personal (non-public) conversation about it?
If your teen needs to blow off steam about someone who’s bugging them, are you willing to be the safe place where they can talk without hurting others?
Don’t know how to start? Here’s a helpful video.
What has been your experience with trying to help kids avoid gossip and bullying?