Cyber Bullying Tips For Parents
Cyber bullying behaviors are growing across the world wide web like a pandemic. The behavior is personal and pollutes peace of mind. Nearly half of American tweens and teens are being impacted by it. As children's computer skills begin at younger ages, so do their cyber bullying behaviors.
Definition: Cyber bullying is the use of Internet e-mail, instant messaging, chat rooms, pagers, cell phones, or other forms of information technology to deliberately and repeatedly hurt, taunt, ridicule, threaten or intimidate someone.
Software: Consider installing filtering and blocking software, but understand clearly that proactive parents are the only real deterrent and the best resource for bullying preemption. Block incoming messages from bullies by email address and IP..
Central: Keep your home computer(s) in easily viewable places, such as a family room or kitchen.
Example: Model the behavior you want to see in your child
Communication: Talk regularly with your child about on-line activities he or she is involved in. Ask if their friends have received mean emails and txt and IM. Children are often more comfortable talking about issues indirectly.
Set Limits: Set firm guidelines for cell phone and computer use and monitor that behavior. Research shows teens spending more than 40 montly hours online.
Raise Awareness: Talk specifically about cyber-bullying. Explain that that it is harmful and unacceptable behavior. Explain that it is not a joke or funny to the person receiving it.
Have Consequences: Outline your expectations for responsible online behavior and clearly explain the consequences for inappropriate behavior.
Save The Evidence: If you child is cyber bullied, save and copy the messages and websites, you may need this to take action. Encourage your child to tell you immediately if he or she is a victim of cyber-bullying. Tell your child "do not" respond to the bully and do not delete the "evidence".
Plan For It: Stay calm. Plan in advance how you will calmly receive the news that your child is being bullied and the solution steps you will take. You will want the evidence. Tell your child to save the bullying messages or photo.
Partner: Call your child’s school; ask the principal what measurable, bullying preemption, activity-based programs they have in place today. Offer to serve on the group that expands the school’s behavior and student safety policy to include cyber bullying behavior that disrupts the schools teaching and learning environment. Ask about results.
Be Solution Focused: Focus, model, and reinforce the replacement behavior for taunting, ridiculing behavior. Kind words that focus on character qualities are the correct replacement for bullying words and behaviors.
More cyber and internet bullying tips, lesson plans and tools for parents and teachers are available at the Kamaron Institute Bullying Solutions Center
Parent and teacher resource from the Resources Center and Kamaron Institute Press
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