Monday, August 15, 2011

Cyberbullying tips

Essential tips for parents:

Teach your kids empathy. Nothing drives home a point faster than walking a mile in someone else's shoes. If your kids truly understand what someone else is going through, they're less likely to bully someone -- or passively witness others being bullied.

Help kids understand the line between funny and cruel. Kids' online communication is often purposely ambiguous or accidentally cruel -- both of which can lead to misunderstandings. If drama starts brewing, ask your kid to call or speak face to face with their friend to clear it up.

Make sure they talk to someone (even if it's not you)
. As kids enter the middle school years, their circle of friends and trusted adults widens. Kids need a responsible adult to confide in -- their school counselor, their music teacher, even the parent of a friend.Talk to your kid about who they can go to if trouble is brewing.

Help your kid be an upstander -- not a bystander. Kids are hesitant to get involved, in case the bully turns their sights on them. But there are ways to allow your kid to work behind the scenes to reach out to the victim, get an adult involved, and prevent more cruel behavior.

I found these tips on the Common Sense Media site. These are the ones I agree with. There were others I don’t agree with. Are online communications really a part of the fabric of our kids lives? How about making sure you know what your kids are doing online? As long as my kids are living under my roof, I have the right to know what they are doing. I cannot make their choices for them, but I can certainly implement consequences.

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