Catch Your Kid
You teach your child to stay safe with the technology he uses, but how do you know if your kiddo is abusing his high-tech freedom? With cell phones, the Internet and social media at his fingertips, your youngster may be engaging in aggressive behavior known as cyber bullying. From keeping an eye on his computer time to talking to your child about the legal consequences, here are some tips on how to know if your child is a cyber bully.
What is cyber bullying?
According to cyberbullying.org, cyber bullying occurs 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. And, with the ability to say and do things with the safety of distance and sometimes anonymity, even kids who would normally find themselves on the other end of bullying may be the ones dishing it out.
Is your child invovled in cyber bullying?
Monitor his cell phone and computer time
From limiting and screening texting to supervising computer time, keeping an eye on the technology they can use to bully other kids may help minimize their opportunity to engage in such behavior. You may want to consider keeping the computer in a common area instead of his bedroom to minimize privacy while surfing the web. "Parents know they have a huge blind spot when it comes to what teens are doing on their phones and PCs," says Todd Morris, founder of Brickhousesecurity.com, so they created computer and cell phone surveillance devices to let you keep tabs on your youngster's activity.
>> Find out how to monitor your kids on the web
Keep tabs on his Facebook page
Wall post to and from your youngster's Facebook and MySpace pages can give you insight on the activities he is engaging in, including aggressive Internet bullying. You can also follow his Twitter page to watch for signs of aggressive behavior.
Screen his emails and Internet activity
Require your child to share his password with you at all times so you can periodically take a peek at his emails to ensure he's on the straight and narrow. You can also look into programs that quietly track your kiddo's computer activity so you are always in the know.
Investigate bullying concerns from other parents or children
When another parent or child comes to you with claims that your child is cyber bullying, take the time to do some investigating. Before you dismiss it as hearsay or jump to conclusions, talk to your adolescent to find out if a problem does indeed exist.
>> Get tips on how to talk to teenagers
||Discovering how to know if your child is a cyber bully is the first step in guiding your kiddo in the right direction, but parental guidance and patience is key to putting a halt to cyber bullying. Although finding out your kid is the one pushing others around in the digital playground is tough, helping him find alternative ways to address his motives for cyber bullying will help everyone involved in the long run.
More on kids and the internet
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Young children and the internet
How to protect kids from cyber bullying