Parents and Technology: Cyberbullying

It can be overwhelming to try to keep up with technology. As soon as you get the latest phone, the newest version is already out! How can you stay on top of it? It's even more difficult when you add kids into the mix. As kids and teenagers become more and more connected, it becomes increasingly important to understand what it means to be a parent in this digital age.

Today's focus is on cyberbullying, which has become a serious issue among kids in school. What is cyberbullying? It's simply using digital media to inflict emotional harm by spreading false, embarrassing or hostile information about or to another person. Over half of adolescents and teens have been bullied online. And that many have engaged in cyberbullying. It's also important to note that girls are about two times more likely as boys to be the victim or the perpetrator of these activities.

No parent wants to think that his/her child could ever be bullied or that they would ever bully another child. But it happens. And this is a perfect time to be proactive and start the conversation.

Some things to consider:

Cyberbullying can take place on Facebook, but it can also happen in a number of other ways. Be aware of Twitter, Instagram and texts as well.

If your child has been the victim of cyberbullying, it's important to stay calm. Ask them to show you the ways they are being bullied. And no matter what the issue is, be supportive and help them investigate the situation.

Schools only have the authority to discipline a cyberbully if the incident occurs during school hours. Schools and parents need to work together to remedy the situation.

Take it seriously. If there are threats of violence, call the police.

For more information on cyberbullying, visit http://operationparent.org/cyberbullying/.

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Operation Parent: Providing ongoing education, support and hope to those raising teens and preteens in today's culture.

related topics: teenagers, parents, cyberbullying

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