Golden nugget of parenting advice

Tina Meier, Executive Director of the Megan Meier Foundation, offers her best parenting advice
Parenting Advice | Golden nugget parenting advice from Tina Meier, Executive Director of the Megan Meier Foundation
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Golden nugget of parenting advice

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My advice to parents would be to take each day as it comes. As parents, we put so much pressure on ourselves, pressure that our children are doing well, that their grades are doing well, that they're succeeding, that they're not involved in things that are negative or can hurt them. We look and make sure is our child doing well at high school. Is our child accepted at a four-year university. Has our child succeeded?And we compare ourselves with everybody else out there. And sometimes we feel like failures, like I wasn't there enough. I didn't do enough. And at the end of the day we have to stop comparing ourselves to the other families that are out there, because we truly don't know what's going on. We have to look at our family, our child, each individual, and take each day as it comes. And if there are people out there that are naysayers and tear you down, then they really aren't good to be in your life. We work in our family and do the best we can do, and we all have hurdles to climb. I think as a parent we want to make sure that we also get support when we're struggling with a child who is going through situations such as depression. Maybe they're going through situations in school such as self-harm or suicidal ideation. As parents, we need support so that we know the best way to support, we know how to handle it with the other siblings in the house. And again, going to bed at night, taking a deep breath, giving yourself the strength so that the next day you know you're going to wake up and you're going to work through this again. Because we all have that chance to make a difference every single day, it's just giving ourselves a little bit of a break.

Tina Meier, Executive Director of the Megan Meier Foundation, offers her best parenting advice

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Expert Bio

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Tina Meier

Executive Director

Tina Meier is an internationally recognized expert on bullying, cyberbullying, internet safety, conflict resolution, the roles of parents and educators, sexting, and suicide awareness and prevention.

On October 16, 2006, Tina Meier’s life took a devastating turn when her 13 year old daughter, Megan Taylor Meier, took her own life. All attempts were made to save Megan, but unfortunately Megan passed away on October 17, 2006, just weeks from her 14th birthday.

Approximately 5 weeks prior to her passing, a 16 year old boy by the name of Josh Evans, contacted Megan through her MySpace account and they began a friendship. Tina Meier, allowed Megan to have a MySpace account with many restrictions and under her watchful eye.  Unfortunately, on that fateful day of October 16, 2006, Josh Evans and Megan began to have an argument over MySpace.  A few others joined in and horrible and hurtful messages and bulletins went out publicly to hundreds of kids. The last words that were said to Megan from Josh were, “The world would be a better place without you” and “Have a shi**y rest of your life.”

Six weeks after Megan’s suicide, Tina Meier was informed that Josh Evans never existed. In fact, he was the fictitious creation of Lori Drew, an adult neighbor that lived down the street, her 13-year-old daughter Sarah, which was Megan’s former friend, and an 18-year-old employee that worked out of Lori Drew’s home.

In December of 2007, Tina Meier, founded the 501 (c)(3) non-profit Megan Meier Foundation.  The Foundation’s mission is to “create awareness, education and promote positive change to children, parents and educators in response to the ongoing bullying and cyberbullying in our children’s daily environment.” Tina’s hope is to make a difference through spreading Megan’s story, create awarness regarding internet safety, and educate others on the consequences of bullying and cyberbullying. She hopes to help one child at a time cope with these negative social issues. Ultimately, her goal is to empower children to be the change and continue the Foundation’s mission.

At the time of this tragedy, the State of Missouri did not have laws in place to prosecute someone using electronic communications to cyberbully another person. Tina worked closely with Senator Scott Rupp and Governor Matt Blunt’s Internet Task Force for the State of Missouri to help pass Senate Bill 818, which went into law on August 28, 2008. This law amended the harassment and stalking laws to include electronic communication.

Each year, Tina travels throughout the country as a keynote speaker addressing the issue of bullying and cyberbullying in today’s world to students, educators, administrators, parents, youth rallies, counselors, law enforcement, and other professionals. Through Tina’s inspirational and educational message, the audience is empowered to make a difference not only for themselves, but others also.

Tina has continued to spread the Foundation’s message and Megan’s story through national and international media appearances such as network television stations, radio, news shows, magazines and syndicated talk shows. She also accepted a Presidential invitation to attend the 2011 White House Anti-Bullying Conference, presented at the U.S. Department of Education’s Safe and Drug Free Schools National Conference in Washington, DC, and served as a consultant during the production of the ABC Family movie, Cyberbully.

Tina Meier resides in St. Louis, Missouri, with her daughter Allison. 

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