Cyberbullying Awareness

What parents need to know

Here's the facts

- 25% of teens say they have been the target of cyberbullying

- 2/3 teens have seen cruel online behavior

- only 10% of parents know that their teens are being bullied

Cyberbullying: bullying that occurs using electronic technology. This could be a cell phone, a tablet, and home or school computers. Online, this can happen through social media websites, instant messages, chats, and a variety of public websites.

This new form of bullying is different from the typical bullying that we are used to hearing because this bullying can happen at any time of day. No longer are the days that bullying just occurs on the bus, or in the halls. Cyberbullying is something that students cannot escape from. Often, victims will not even know who is bullying them. Many times, the bullying is done in an anonymous way and the source cannot be traced. Images and comments can also be spread very quickly and can be saved on a variety of different devices. Worst of all, once these pictures or words are out there, it is almost impossible to completely delete them from the internet or online database.

What can the parents do?

Online Help

The link above takes you to a website that offers a variety of different software that can be placed on computers, tablets, and smart devices in order to take control of what the children are looking at. This provides parents access to the information that is going on in their children's lives, and also can block them from ever going to a certain site to begin with. Proactivity is a great way to tackle this cyberbullying problem. If we can stop it before it even starts, we can save a multitude of problems.

Tips for parents

Some of the tips that are seen on this website are:

-Having the children provide you their account names and passwords. If there is a trust issue, have them put it in a sealed envelope that won't be open unless there is an emergency.

-Establish family policy for acceptable computer use. Talk to the students about what is allowed and what isn't, and then enforce and monitor the policy.

-Ask your child if they have ever been bullied or if they have ever been the bully. Opening this line of communication could be crucial if something in the future were to occur.