For most kids the internet is an important component of their daily activities and they can’t imagine their life without internet access.
From the time they are up in the morning until they go to bed at night many young people are accessing the internet during their free time.
They have developed their own language for talking and access instant messaging and chat-rooms to stay in contact with friends and acquaintances.
But what happens when this activity spins out of control and becomes degrading and abusive?
Cyberbullying is a new form of bullying. Cyberbullying is defined as bullying that takes place using electronic technology.
Electronic bullying can cause deep emotional scars during a time that many of us think should be the best years of our life.
So I challenge readers to imagine a world where bullying is not a normal part of childhood. Therefore, in an effort to combat this debilitating problem support Bullying Awareness Week, which runs from November 12 – 17, 2012.
This years theme is Stand Up! (to bullying).
As a parent you can help to stop cyberbullying. Discuss this important issue with your children and teach them internet safety.
What Kids Need to Know:
DO NOT give out personal information for any reason and this includes any passwords.
DO NOT open any type of communication from someone you don’t know or from someone that you know is bullying others.
DO NOT post anything online that you wouldn’t feel comfortable saying to another person face to face.
DO NOT post anything online that you wouldn’t want your parents or friends to view.
DO NOT act out of anger or resentment. Always ask yourself how you would feel if you received that message.
If you receive a mean or threatening message, ignore it, but don’t delete it. Show it to your parents or another adult that you can trust.
What Parents Need to Know:
DO setup your home computer in an area that can be easily monitored.
DO set up your children’s email and/or chat accounts.
DO keep track of their screen names and passwords.
DO make sure your children don’t provide any personal information when creating online profiles.
DO question their contacts and be familiar with who each person is and how your child met them.
DO discuss cyberbullying, including asking if they have ever experienced it.
DO make it clear that they are not to blame if they are cyberbullied. This includes a strong emphasis on not engaging in punitive actions such as removing their computer privileges. A great deal of research has highlighted that the removal of computer privileges is the main reason why children do not tell when they are cyberbullied.