The Daily ReTORt

My photo
I'm no longer posting here. Visit my new blog -> WWW.THEDAILYRETORT.COM

Thursday, October 6, 2011

CyberBullying: What Parents Need to Know

Texting is an emerging form
of bullying for teens
As an adult, you've no doubt experienced a "flaming" email where a friend or colleague lashed out at you or someone you know electronically. What if several people were cc: on that email as well??

That's no fun and can be very hurtful to anyone.

Imagine the impact of that type of electronic humiliation on the immature psyche of a pre-teenager who's struggling to fit in? That's the context for what sociologists call "cyberbullying"

Cyberbullying, instead of happening face-to-face bullying, happens through the use of technology such as computers, cell phones and other devices. Child development experts state that this type of e-bullying tends to peak around the end of middle school and the beginning of high school.

Examples of cyberbullying include:

  • Sending hurtful, rude, or mean text messages to others
  • Spreading rumors or lies about others by e-mail or on social networks
  • Creating websites, videos or social media profiles that embarrass, humiliate, or make fun of others

Bullying online is very different from face-to-face bullying because messages and images can be:

  • Sent 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year
  • Shared be shared to a very wide audience
  • Sent anonymously

Research on cyberbullying has found that students involved are more likely to:

  • Be unwilling to attend school
  • Receive poor grades
  • Have lower self-esteem
  • Have more health problems
  • Use alcohol and drugs
  • Skip school
  • Experience in-person bullying or victimization
Despite these negatives there are things that parents can do to help their kids deal with this emergent form of techno-bullying:
  1. Communicate with your children. Set up a daily time to check in with your son or daughter, and listen to any concerns about online activities that they are involved in. 
  2. Talk specifically about cyberbullying and encourage your children to tell you immediately if they see or experience cyberbullying. 
  3. Be aware of where your children go online. Familiarize yourself with the technology they are using.
  4. Work together and come to a clear understanding about when, where, and for what purpose phones and computers can be used. 
  5. Develop clear rules about what is and what is not appropriate online, and decide on fair consequences when those rules are not followed.
Question: Has your pre-teen experienced cyberbullying? How did you help them handle it?

No comments:

Post a Comment