It is that time of the year again. With children and teenagers going back to school, parents all over the world are secretly happy that the kids won’t be home as much and that they will have school work to keep them from trouble and to occupy their time. With all the excitement, parents can often forget how hard this time can be for their kids, especially if they have been or are a victim of CyberBullying.
CyberBullying is an ever-increasing form of bullying that is affecting more and more people as our homes, schools and playgrounds becomes more technically evolved.
Almost every young person from the age of 10 and up has regular access to the online world and they also have access to their very own mobile devices and/or smartphones.
CyberBullying often occurs on social networking and community sites such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and it can cause kids to feel depressed and even more stressed about returning to school.
The verbal beating that many of our kids today face are truly horrific and often times the bullies don’t understand the power behind his or her words. It is much easier for them to say nasty and really mean things when they are in front of a computer screen and/or texting a message on a mobile device and not in front of the actual person.
In Justin W. Patchin’s latest book, School Climate 2.0: Preventing CyberBullying and Sexting One Class at a Time, he argues that one promising way to prevent CyberBullying and other problematic online behaviors from occurring is to develop a positive climate at school where students feel safe and cared about.
There is ample evidence to affirm the power of a positive climate in preventing a host of problems at school, including student and teacher victimization, delinquency, and disorder.
Responding To CyberBullying:
- Stop – Block – Tell
- Make sure your child does not retaliate or reply to CyberBullying messages of any kind.
- Block any further contact from the CyberBully.
- Communicate with a parent or trusted adult.
- Documenting proof: Help your child to save evidence of CyberBullying. Use online tools or the “print screen” button on your computer and do not delete text messages on a mobile phone.
- Install good monitoring software that will track and save evidence of all activities online.
Bullying among teens is epidemic. Many teens are harassed on a daily basis by mean text messages (cyber bullying), sexual harassment, teasing (verbal), hitting or punching (physical) and some are guilty of harassment without knowing they are perpetrators of illegal acts!
Harassment is when someone persistently troubles or attacks another. Online, this is called CyberBullying; people who harass others are usually doing this to get attention or reactions from others online or in real life.
Hey, Back Off!: Tips for Stopping Teen Harassment is the first comprehensive teen guide to harassment prevention. You’ll find there are harassment laws in place that can and should be used to protect your kids, from the continued daily (CyberBullying) abuse!
Another great resource is: Tips to Help Stop CyberBullying provided by, ConnectSafely.org
Remember, the 4 quick and easy things you can do now, to build your relationship with your kids:
1. Awareness (U care)
2. Communication (listening)
3. Teaching (the best part)
4. Action (follow through)
We have covered some of what our kids are facing each day, when it comes to CyberBullying. So, the next step is to develop an action plan that includes: Responding To CyberBullying checklist you can use to help you as a parent, and to help your kids stay safe online and in the hallways and playgrounds of their schools, as well!