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Charlene Underhill Miller, PhD
Dr Charlene Underhill Miller, a psychotherapist in Southern California, working with parents, couples and families. She is a frequent and popular speaker to community groups, a professor, a wife and mother. www.underhillmiller.com
July 24, 2012Net Nanny for Android 2.0
Oct 23, 2016
Whether by Android, iPhone, Snapchat or Instagram, researchers say that a hurtful word or picture impacts a kid like a physical punch or blow – and with a lasting impact. However, the cyberbully can act quietly, anonymously, and frequently at all hours, without visual evidence of trauma.
About 43% of kids have been victims of an online bully, some having experienced it more than once. Parents and educators are left wondering what motivates the bully, what keeps the victim silent and what they can collectively do to stop the violence.
The BullyOnline bullies have a target audience—most often their friends and acquaintances. Most victims are known to the perpetrator and many perpetrators will shrug off an attack as “just a joke.” However, the “jokes” continue and become more abusive over time. There are some interesting characteristics about the bully with which a parent ought to understand:
The BulliedThe victim of online bullying often suffers in silence. Researchers estimate that only one in 10 kids will inform a parent that they are suffering from online harassment. When parents don’t know, they can’t intervene.
Here are some common characteristics of a kid who is experiencing bullying—online or in person:
The ParentsParents are often left in the dark when their kids are experiencing the victimization of a quiet assault. Staying aware of symptoms is important and asking good questions is key. Here are some preventions and interventions you can begin to adopt:
While the technologies with which kids bully may change, the human impulse to harass has long been with us. I remember my grandfather talking about his classmates who used to dip the end of others’ pigtails into the inkwells on their school desks. Kids and parents may have laughed it off as a childish prank, but the stunt was seen for what it was as ink dripped down school hallways. Victims were identified, as were the victimizers.
The shame and embarrassment continues today in those very same hallways. But the behaviors, bullies, and victims may be unseen when the actions take place via text or on line. Today’s parents and educators need to combine an awareness of teenagers’ technologies with a strong commitment to good old fashioned parenting.