What should parents do about cyber bullying?
Children’s bullying each other in schools is something which has been taking place for a number of years. With respect to the internet however, the problem of bullying has grown. Apart from bullying in schools, children have begun to bully their classmates and others via the internet as well causing to negative implications. According to StopCyberBullying.org, cyber bullying is termed as when any child, teenager or adolescent is harassed, threatened or humiliated by another over the internet and other digital technologies. In order for the act to be of bullying, the acts may be initiated by a minor and targeted towards another minor. Due to the severity of these actions, some states are debating over putting anti-cyber bullying laws into their legislation. As stated by the NPR, the law is being passed in the state of Ohio where it is to be called the Jessica Logan Law. This law was put into effect after Jessica committed suicide due to being harassed over private pictures she had sent to an old boyfriend. According to the law passed, bullying is any verbal, physical or written act committed intentionally by a student towards another more than once which causes the victims to suffer from any kind of physical and mental harm. It also incorporates in its definition that the act is so persistent and severe that it leads to the educational environment for the victim to become one which is threatening, abusive and no longer safe.
A number of actions can be taken by parents to ensure that their children are able to make use of the internet in a safe manner without having to experience such acts of bullying. Chynna Presley who is a community education coordinator talks to the parents and students of Indiana about inappropriate behaviors which include cyber-bullying and sexting; actions which have become very common in recent times. In one such talk, one parent from the audience by the name of Saghi Togashi spoke of her experience to other parents about how the use of internet by children may be monitored. Saghi Togashi went on to explain that she began speaking to her eldest son about what the right behaviors are which should be looked into while making use of the computer and internet. She began such conversations when her son was back in the fourth grade.
If a parent believes that his kid is being bullied over the internet, purchasing parental control software may be a good idea. This can allow parents to control what their child is doing on the internet and monitor his activities. If they find that their child is being bullied, the matter should be looked into with the school and other emergency services being contacted.
Furthermore, other things which can be done include keeping the computer in an area of the house which is accessed by everyone regularly. Letting young children have computers in their rooms can lead to such inappropriate behaviors which is why online usage should also be monitored.
Children should also be asked to show parents their profile pages on various social networking websites. Parent should also get themselves accustomed to these websites to know what their children are up to.
It would also be a good idea to talk with children about cyber-bullying and other online issues which come up. Making them aware of these problems will allow them to be more vigilant. Letting them know you are there for any help or advice will also allow them to come to you if they have experienced or feel that something is dangerous or inappropriate.
Cyber-bullying is something which is definitely a serious issue in today’s times and with the increase in the use of technology; every parent must keep an eye on their children and their activities over the internet. Educating children about all that happens on the internet and what they can do to keep themselves safe would also prove to be beneficial in the long run.
Originally published at www.theonespy.com on October 21, 2014.