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'Wag Ang Anak Ko': Melai Claps Back At Netizen Who Called Her Daughter 'Pangit'
PHOTO BY instagram/mrandmrsfrancisco
  • It goes without saying that parents would do everything just to keep their children out of harm's way. In Filipino, we even have the saying, "ako na lang, 'wag lang ang anak ko." Melai Cantiveros recently put this saying into action when a netizen left a nasty comment against her daughter.

    The celebrity mom of two shared on Instagram a screenshot of her response to a social media user who called her daughter "pangit." Melai warned to track the basher down and sue the social media user.

    "Humanda ka [account handle] papahanap ko sa nbi ang account mu mahahanap kita at dedemanda kita sa sinabi mu sa anak ko, ako sabihan mu ok lang wag ang anak ko, kahit itlog ka kahit magdeactivate ka," the Magandang Buhay talk show host wrote in the caption.

    On the same day, February 3, 2022, Melai gave an update on the altercation, posting a series of screenshots from what seemed to be private messages from the basher, who denied posting the malicious comment but still apologized to the actress.

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    For her part, Melai said she already forgave the basher and reminded social media users of the value of respect. "Sinu ba ako para di mapakinggan ang side nya at di cya mapatawad, hayaan maging lesson yan na wag basta magpadala sa feelings tapos pipindot na lang na di inaalam kung may mahuhurt ka ba na damdamin."

    Melai adds, "Matuto tayu rumespeto ng tao. Respeto is the key para sa matiwasay na buhay."

    Time and again, netizens are reminded to 'think first before you click.' Just because social media affords us some veil of anonymity, it's not a license to hurl insults freely at anyone.

    When faced by a basher online, stopbullying.gov's no. 1 advice is to ignore it. It also helps to "Remind yourself that comments from a hater are a reflection of them and aren't really about you."

    Negative effects of negative language on children

    Whether online or offline, it's not okay to use negative language towards others. As we all know, words carry immense power and influence.

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    Children must learn this value as early as possible. This is why experts have advised against the use of negative words as a form of discipline.

    Blaming and shaming children, telling them words like "madamot," "tamad," and pangit," are not only ineffective but also hurts and will likely stay with your child as they grow. 

    Melanie Greenberg, Ph.D. explains in an article for Psychology Today that "Kids internalize these negative labels and begin to see themselves as 'not good enough.'" (Read more here)

    Licensed marriage and family therapist Karyl McBride, Ph.D echoes this sentiment saying, "Shaming and humiliation causes fear in children. This fear does not go away when they grow up. It becomes a barrier for a healthy emotional life and is difficult to eradicate." (Read more here)

    Making social media a safe space for children

    The pandemic has only accelerated the rise of digitalization, forcing many to go online. Given this, it's high time to push efforts in ensuring the Internet will become a safe space for children.

    CyberWise, which advocates safe and wise use of technology, offers tips on how parents can make the digital world safe for their children.

    3 ways to make social media a safe space for children:

    1. Be aware of what social media platforms your children are using

    Knowing what platforms your kids are in will give you, as a parent, a heads up on what to look out for. 

    2. Set privacy settings and rules for the whole family

    "One thing to remember is that you make it clear to your kids that there is a difference between "private on the internet" and "private in real life,"" CyberWise stresses.

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    Parents must clearly explain what they can and cannot share online to children. Enforce these privacy rules and make sure that you can set a good example for your children as a parent.

    3. Be vigilant with signs of distress or concerning behavior

    Aside from policing screentime, parents must also monitor any sudden changes in their children's behavior.

    According to Cyberwise, "Kids having a bad experience online may start to become more withdrawn or secretive about their online use. You may see habits begin to change, or a sudden loss of interest in things that were previously important."

    Parents should address the issue immediately and encourage their children to open up about their experiences when these happen.

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