Understanding Cyber-Bullying

With technology finding its way into almost all aspects of our daily lives, kids growing up in the modern age are now being affected by the somewhat novel phenomena of cyber-bullying. With the growing popularity of social media and digital networking sites amongst both kids and adults, kids are now being forced to take on social challenges that appear to be much more complex than the school yard interactions of years past.

Cyber-bullying is a hot topic of conversation when it comes to parenting and general social interactions amongst kids and teens. The word itself has become an umbrella term, covering a wide range of bullying tactics that are primarily done through some sort of online or digital interaction, whether it is Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or any other prominent digital networking sites.

Prevent Cyber-bullying

To safeguard your kids from this growing problem, start by familiarizing yourself with these new social platforms so that you can make your little ones more aware of how to identify, prevent, and report incidents of cyber bullying. From there, start an open dialogue with your kids about their online or mobile use and the implications of having an online identity. For your kid’s safety, it is best that you are aware of what they are doing when online or on any mobile devices.

However, it is common for cyber-bullying to often go unnoticed due to the remote quality of its interactions. From text messages to online chatting, it can be difficult for parents to fully monitor every avenue of digital communication that their kids take part in each day.

Ultimately, the danger of cyber-bullying is often attributed to both its large reach and to the level of anonymity that is often granted to the bully. Through mobile devices and social media sites, what was once simple schoolyard gossip and teasing is now able to reach large numbers of people within minutes and at almost any time of the day.

To do your part in stopping cyber-bullying, establish basic rules for internet and mobile usage within your household and at your kids’ school. Teach kids to protect themselves by limiting the amount of information that they share and to treat others online with the same basic respect and decency that they would in real world situations.

Additionally, it is important to let kids know that they should not be afraid to report incidents of cyber-bullying when they feel that there is a problem. For their own benefit and the benefit of those around them, it is best to stop bullying before it can have deeper ramifications. After all, many studies have shown that prolonged bullying, cyber or not, can have direct effects on a child’s self esteem and overall demeanor.

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