Cyber bullying has consistently shown to be one of the most dangerous elements of the communications revolution. Cyber bullying can cause depression, antisocial tendencies, and even suicidal thoughts in teens and children.
What Is Cyber Bullying?
Cyber bullying is bullying that is performed over an electronic media device, such as a cell phone or Internet-accessible computer. A teen with a cell phone may not seem very threatening to parents, but to your child, they can be a merciless tormentor. Access to a teen’s personal cell phone number or email allows social enemies to attack and slander the teen via email and text messaging.
This form of social attack is hard to guard against and very hard to trace, as teens are notoriously secretive about their personal lives and possessive of their belongings. However, there are some easy ways to make sure you shield your child against digital attacks by classmates. Here’s how.
Talk to Your Child
The importance of communication in the war against cyber bullying can’t be overstated. To make sure your teen is protected, monitor their self-esteem and sense of self-worth. A teen’s general sense of self can be easily shattered, so use positive reinforcement to build up their defense against bullying. Remind them that the opinions of others can’t hurt them, and are only opinions.
Understand the Technology Involved
Comprehension of digital technology has never been so important. Whether or not you own a mobile cell phone, it’s crucial to understand what devices your teen uses and how often they use them. If you use family plansfor your teen’s cell phone, make sure you check how many minutes are being used and how many texts are sent. Excessive texts or minutes could mean conflict and suggest a potential online argument or bullying attack.
Consider Restricting Electronics Use
While the restriction or cancellation of mobile phone and Internet privileges may seem extreme, the plain truth is that a teen can’t be cyber bullied if they don’t have access to cyberspace. Aside from the obvious benefits of getting a teen off the computer more often, dialing back computer and phone privileges will give the teen less of a chance to be cyber bullied and prevent him or her from receiving hateful or negative messages. This kind of treatment should only be used when you are certain the teen is being cyber bullied, however.
Lyndsi Decker is a freelance writer. She is also a mother of two and often blogs about parenting issues.