Facts About Cyber Bullying
- 99 percent of students have used the internet.
- 48 percent of students use the internet for at least one hour a day.
- One in four youth, aged 11 to 19 has been threatened via their computers or cell phones, including death threats.
- Parents think mobile phone bullying is more common than e-mail and internet bullying, but still one in five thought it was not very common or never happened.
- About 37 percent of parents are not worried their child could be bullied or threatened by mobile phone.
- 20 percent of parents are not sure if cyber bullying via cell phone merits worry.
- However, nearly 75 percent of parents whose children had a mobile phone received it between the ages of 8 and 13; the prime age for cyber bullying.
Visit www.stoptextbullying.com for more facts and resources on cyber bullying.
Knowledge and awareness are the key elements in preventing cyberbullying. There are many forms of Cyberbullying. It can be mean messages sent by cell phone, instant message or e-mail. It can be creating websites or online polls that are made for the purpose of putting a peer down. Or it can be posting embarrassing pictures, rumors or gossip on the internet. Cyberbullying is a challenging issue facing parents and teachers alike, but with a little knowledge and awareness you can prevent this type of relational aggression.
One of the easiest things you can do is educate yourself on cyberbullying. There are several website dedicated to informing teachers and parents on the dangerous and hurtful nature of cyberbullying. Spend a few minutes learning about all the forms of cyberbullying and prevention.
Some excellent resources include:
http://www.stopcyberbullying.org/ (has age appropriate suggestions)
http://www.wiredsafety.org/ (the world’s largest online safety and help group)
http://www.netbullies.com/pages/1/index.htm (a cyberlawyer helps protect kids online)
Once you know about cyberbullying you can talk to your child about it. Express your concerns whether they might be the victim, the bully, or even the bystander. Remind them to use netiquette, to be polite to others online just as you would if you were not online. If they are a victim of cyberbullying let them know the best thing they can do is not respond. Just like bullies who bully in person, they want you to answer to know they are upsetting you. Let them know that cyberbullying is hurtful and see if there is anything you can do to resolve the situation.
Remind you child not to send messages to someone when they are angry. It is best to wait until they have cooled down and had some time to think things through. Remember angry messages, known as “flames” can’t be unsent, so take some time and think. After they have cooled down then they can resolve the issue much better with a calm message. Girls usually regret sending flames, and once you have sent the message it is very hard to undo the damage. They create more problems than they solve.
Cyberbullying can become very serious. Sometimes it isn’t just bullying but girls may send cyberthreats. In either event, let your child know she should never erase or delete messages from cyberbullies. She doesn’t have to read the message, but it is important to have as evidence. You may need to contact the police if the bullying gets out of hand.
These are just some things you as a parent can do to prevent cyberbullying. It might also help to contact your child’s teacher to inform her of the issue. If your child is being bullied online there might also be problems at school, and letting the teachers be aware of the problems might help. You can also print some literature to give to the teacher so they are as knowledgeable as you are about this form of relational aggression.
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