Monitoring for Cyberbullying Can Save Your Child

Jun 07, 2011

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By definition, "cyberbullying" is any electronic communication, phone or Internet, that threatens or demeans. Research on this topic reveals some alarming statistics.

A 2010 report claims that 21% of kids have been cyberbullied at least once in their lives: that's one out of every five kids. Methods used include nasty or hurtful comments, circulating rumors, making threats, posting malicious or hurtful pictures. Some bullies even go as far as to act embarrassed while pretending to be a victim and by creating hurtful webpages about the victim. Oddly enough, girls are far more likely to cyberbully and to be cyberbullied. Additionally, homosexual boys and girls are far more likely to by cyberbullied than heterosexual boys and girls. (Source: www.cyberbullying.us)

The effects of cyberbullying include lowered self-esteem, anxiety when in locations where offenders are found (i.e. school), and sadly, even suicide. Parents of children victimized by cyberbullying may wonder what can be done. A good place to start is by becoming aware of state laws regarding cyberbullying.

A complete list of state laws can be found on the National Conference of State Legislatures' website at: http://www.ncsl.org/default.aspx?tabid=13495

As a parent, it's important to have a positive and open relationship with your child to encourage them to speak with you if they are being bullied. Teens are least prone to speaking about the subject. In those cases, there are software solutions to track online conversations; this type of software will send alerts to the parent when cyberbullying language is being used (products like Net Nanny).

Parents can be an integral part of the solution. You have to get involved. The following are additional resources that might prove helpful: