By Kenna Lewis, Social Centric Media
With the new age of technology, bullying is no longer limited to schoolyards or street corners. It can occur almost anywhere and at any time via email, texts, cell phones, and social media sites 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and it is on the rise among school aged children.
Some facts you should know:
1 in 3 kids say that they’ve been cyberbullied Cyberbully 411 reports that 40% say the bullying took place on instant messenger services, 30% said it happened on social media sites, and 29% said they were bullied while playing an online game Cyberbullying is especially prevalent in middle-aged kids (9-17)
So, what’s a concerned parent to do?
It’s not always easy to know how and, more importantly, when to step in as a parent. Don’t stop communicating, get involved in their devices, and always set limits with an emphasis on your kids’ online lives.
1. Have a Discussion
It is crucial to be open and honest with your communication. Set aside a few minutes to talk about cyberbullying. Let them know you are aware, you want to know if they are experiencing it, and, if they are, you want to help put a stop to it. Most importantly, educate your children that it is not okay to harass others – and this means explaining exactly what cyberbullying is. If you want to protect your kids from cyberbullying, keep them from becoming the cyberbullies.
2. Get Involved
Pay attention to who your kids are hanging out with and where they are going after school. Extend that involvement, and supervision, to their online activities. Find out which social networks they use, create your own accounts, and follow your kids. They will definitely say no, but tell them that’s the condition if they want to be online. For the tech-savvy kids that know how to adjust their networks’ privacy settings to keep you from seeing their posts, install parental-control software on the computers your kids use.
3. Set Limits
Most of cyberbullying happens to kids in middle school from ages 9-15.
The more unrestricted, unsupervised access these kids have to the internet, the greater chance of bullying. To lessen the chance your child will be a victim, set limits. You might restrict laptop use after dinner hours, or set up texting/instant-messaging filters so that kids can only communicate with family members and close friends.
It is important that you know the signs of cyberbullying so you can be prepared to step in and protect your child, should the need ever arise.
To learn more or for help managing social media for your business, contact Kenna Lewis with Social Centric Media at 816.582.7366, or visit online at www.SocialCentricMedia.com.
Social Centric Media
11600 Pennsylvania Ave., Kansas City, MO 64114