Cyberbullying Prevention Tools
If you’re a parent who is feeling overwhelmed by your kid’s Internet use and the prospect of cyberbullying prevention, you’re not alone. The climate is scary, but luckily new tools are emerging to help parents.
Bullying has always existed, but the Internet has changed the game. It has made bullying easier to commit (less supervision, more anonymity), easier to spread (one click), and harder to escape (victims are vulnerable at school and at home). Numbers vary with definitions of bullying, but many studies have found that about half of teens have been bullied online. One million children were bullied on Facebook during 2011 alone, and most teens don’t tell their parents when cyber bullying occurs.
Bullying of any kind can have serious consequences. One hundred, sixty thousand kids miss school every day because of bullying. Even more troubling, bullying victims are 2-9x more likely to consider suicide than non-victims.
In general, we believe (and the Cyber Bullying Research Center agrees) that two of the most important parental tactics for preventing cyberbullying are monitoring and open communication.
While awareness is half the battle, keeping up with your kids online can be confusing and time consuming. At Honestly Social, we use alerts and summaries to help parents cut through the confusion. Another idea is to create your own social media profiles as a way to interact with your kids online while keeping an eye on them. Simply blocking certain online activity is fighting a losing battle – Internet use is only going up. The silver lining of teens being more active online is that we have access to so much data about their behavior. Parents can leverage that to keep their kids safer and get to know them better. We built Honestly Social to bring parents data that serves as a conversation starter, and we recommend that parents think of social media not as the enemy, but as something they can use to build new and better communication with their teens. Once communication is open, resources like Sear’s Team Up to Stop Bullying offer great tips for having difficult conversations. Visit www.honestlysocial.com for a 50% discount with the promo code: teamup .
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