Cyber-bullying: The bully

 

Cyber-bullying (v.) :: when a child, preteen or teen is tormented, threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed or otherwise targeted by another child, preteen or teen using the Internet, interactive and digital technologies or mobile phones.

 

cyber-bullyingWith the technology available to children, teens and preteens, bullying has in many ways, taken on a new form. Not that traditional harassment or teasing has disappeared, but rather a new bullying avenue has appeared with the birth of social media.

In a recent post, we talked about helping kids and teens avoid bullies and predators online. In this post, however, we want to address it from the other side. As parents we tend to think the best of our children (as we should), but this can occasionally blind us from seeing behaviors that are in need of discipline or guidance.

Here are a few signs that may indicate your child is engaging in cyber-bullying:

  • He/she quickly switches screens or closes programs when you walk by
  • He/she gets unusually upset if computer or cell phone privileges are restricted
  • He/she avoids discussions about what they are doing on the computer or cell phone 
  • He/she appears to be using multiple online accounts (or an account that is not their own)

From www.cyberbullying.us)

Overall, as a parent it’s important to be aware of your child’s habits online and keep an eye out for inconsistencies in their on- and off-line behavior.

If you discovered that your child was in fact bullying another child online, how would you handle the situation? What discipline or consequences do you think are appropriate?

For more information about cyber-bullying, check out these links:
http://www.stopcyberbullying.org
http://www.cyberbullying.us
http://www.ncpc.org/resources/files/pdf/bullying/cyberbullying.pdf

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