Cyber Bullying & Our Children
Not a day goes by when we don’t hear something in the news about bullying. Our schools provide prevention techniques, teachers are more attentive, and parents are on the lookout for the signs. However, just when we thought we were sensitive, trained, and aware of these issues, another formidable opponent has surfaced…the cyber bully.
Children and teens of all abilities can fall prey to this technological torment. If your children access the internet or social networking sites, it’s important to be aware that bullying can, and does, happen online. Just like those faced on the school bus or in the lunchroom, cyber bullies look for targets that are vulnerable or may not understand social norms. Children with disabilities become an easy target for this reason.
I recently was given a brochure, “Cyberbullying and Children with Disabilities, what parents can do to protect their children.” The information proved very helpful, informative, and full of a variety of tips about how to start the conversation with your kids regarding hurtful things that could happen online. Parents need to be aware that some kids may fail to report bullying for fear of losing access to devices such as cell phones and iPads. Due to this fear, parents should set up clear safety rules regarding usage for such devices. Two examples of these rules are not saying or doing anything online that you wouldn’t say or do in person and not to reveal anything that you wouldn’t tell a stranger. There is an extensive list of great guidelines to help parents deal with bullying.
For more information visit: www.ParentCenterNetwork.org.