Archive for August, 2009

Cyber Bullying

Monday, August 3, 2009
posted by raheema

There are so many dangers on the Internet.  Parents generally assume that these dangers are because of the adults that could be on the other end… strangers that your children can meet and be in touch with.

We noticed that a primary concern in the 2008/2009 school year was Cyberbullying.  Cyberbullying is prominent in schools, especially high schools.

What exactly is Cyberbullying?  “Cyberbullying” is when a child, preteen or teen is tormented, threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed or otherwise targeted by another child, preteen or teen using the Internet, interactive and digital technologies or mobile phones.  The Bully could be a friend, a jealous peer or a complete stranger.

In our days, kids were being bullied in the playgrounds or in the school.  Now they are being bullied online via email or social networking sites and then these issues carry out to the playground and in the school.  It affects one’s psyche, it affects relationships, it affects a child’s academic performance and social life.

Why do kids behave this way?  Some kids say and do mean things to be part of the “in” crowd.  Some do it to increase their own social positioning, and some do it just because they are mean.

In an ideal world, our children would come to us situations like these, but unfortunately this does not always happen.  Children tend to shy away from telling their parents what is happening, because parents usually over-react, and kids find this embarrassing.     This does not mean, that you step back and let the kids sort it out.  We need to be their rock in times like these.  Try to talk to the Guidance Councillor or Teacher in a reserved manner, simply asking them to keep their eyes open.   Children have committed suicide after having been cyberbullied, and in Japan one young girl killed another after a cyber bullying   incident. Take it seriously.  It is crucial that you are there to provide the necessary support and love. Make them feel secure.

Cyberbullying is difficult to detect because the only bruises that are left, are in your child’s heart.  Let them know that you are there for them WHENEVER they need you, provide examples and scenarios.  Before school starts again in a few weeks, speak about these things with your child.  It is important – as everyone is preparing for Back to School over the next few weeks, this is an important topic to cover with all students.

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