You can now add bullying to the list of things made easier by technology. Teens today live much of their lives on the Internet. Online bullying, also called cyberbullying, can involve using the Internet, cell phones, or other devices to send text or images that are intended to embarrass or hurt the other person.
Cyberbullying affects almost of all American teens, according to the National Crime Prevention Council. Online bullying has been used for the following purposes:
So the bullies bent on malice have new weapons. Their nameless nature can make the bullies bolder. The victim can be reached anytime, anywhere. A child can flee a school-yard bully just by leaving, but that won't work in cyberspace.
Parents often don't know of the problem because children hesitate to report it. Awareness is the first step, and education about preventing and managing cyberbullying is key.
So what's a parent to do? It may not be possible to make a child bully-proof, but here are some ideas:
A good rule of thumb to remember is that is you wouldn't say it in person, you probably shouldn't say it online. Parents need to watch for changes in a child's behavior that can signal problems like bullying and talk with their parents about their online activities. Keep the Internet a fun and safe environment for your child.
Online tools to help manage your daily life.
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