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Posts Tagged ‘articles on bullying’

Parenting In Social Media Age- Keep Kids Safe Online (Guest Expert)

Friday, December 6th, 2019

technologysonParenting has changed drastically in the past decade. Instead of dinner bells ringing children home, they now have cell phones. Social media has become an obsession and a favorite past time. With the changes in technology, changes in parenting become necessary.

You can keep your child safe in the social media age with a few tips to help you stay up to speed with today’s technology and your child’s plugged-in world.

Learn the Technology

First and foremost, for parents to be able to help, it is important that they understand how technology works and accept that technology is a big part of young people’s lives, says Silje Vallestad, CEO and founder of Bipper, a mobile safety app company. As cyber bullying situations continue to increase, parents must know how to operate and monitor apps, social media networks and various technology to ensure that their children are acting appropriately and that they are treated respectfully in what is a 24/7 public environment.

“For kids today, being stripped of their access to the social communities and technology in general is considered so bad that they won’t ask for help or tell parents about negative experiences,” says Vallestad. “Parents need to understand that there is a difference between the digital childhood of kids today and their own upbringing, and that access to technology is as important as access to paper and pens.”

Although social media is extremely important to your child, it doesn’t mean they should have full reign of the technology. “Parents should never grant kids access to technology without guiding them in the world of technology and to be able to guide their kids, they need to understand technology and online services,” says Vallestad. “I believe in parents spending time educating themselves, combined with frequent conversations between parent and child about the use of technology in general and use of specific services in particular.”

Use Technology to Bond with Your Child

Monitoring your child’s social media use does not have to be a negative experience, wherein you are acting the part of a spy. Use technology as an opportunity to learn something new from your children and brush up on your own skills. Vallestad, the mother of three kids all using technology, says she uses mobile app alerts that provide information on which social media applications her children are downloading.

“When I see that they have installed apps I either don’t know much about or that I’m worried about (such as SnapChat or Instagram), I make a point of having a good conversation about these services,” she says. “They teach me a lot about technology and the services while we talk about how things can be used for good or bad.”

These conversations can help to create trust between a parent and a child and allow opportunities to talk about how technology can be used to harm others and how to react in those situations. “With our frequent talks on tech, where I show that I’m both interested and involved in their digital lives and also allow them to use technology, I believe we have fostered an atmosphere where they will feel safe to tell me if something bad is happening,” says Vallestad.

Have a Plan of Action

As you are learning the technology, it’s important to remember the top three actions to take when your child is engaged in social media, according to Vallestad.

  • Technology is Important to Your Child: Understand that your kids need to use technology and be part of the online communities where their peers are. It’s part of their lives and if you remove it, you will probably create a growing gap between you and your child instead of fostering an atmosphere of dialogue.
  • Open Conversations are Necessary: Engage in open and trusting conversations with your kids about technology. Let them tell you, show you and teach you. Reacting with anger or shock to things you might see could result in your kids closing down conversations. Try to stay calm and ask questions. Together, you can agree on rules. Sometimes you both may come to the conclusion that a particular service is not ok. Other times, it is ok but you may require that you will be a friend or follower.
  • Research is Key: Do your own research on services and use that research to ask your kids the right questions. However, don’t automatically assume that your kids are using a questionable service in a wrong way simply because there is a lot of information online about that service being used negatively. Do keep an open eye and make sure you are neither naïve nor ignorant about social media.

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Beating The Bullies-Draw The Line On Bullying

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2019

Are you afraid your child is being picked on by a bully in school? Do you know how to talk to your kids about bullying and methods for beating the bullies at their own game? How do you draw the line on bullying?  How do you and your child succeed at beating the bullies? Is bullying that bad?  YES.

Left unchecked, bullying can be disastrous for children and their self-esteem.  Some of the long term effects of bullying may lead to depression or make it hard to form lasting trusting relationships.

Bullies Cannot Be Allowed To Harm Our Kids

But as a caring adult, what can you do that will not make the situation worse?  You may very well think that playground bullying is between the children and adults should not get involved.  However, left unchecked, bullying will only escalate and your child will be left feeling vulnerable and unsafe.

Granted I am older that most parents who are dealing with this issue.  But, even when our kids were younger, bullying wasn’t much talked about. If teachers or parents saw a blatant case of bullying, they stepped in and put a stop to it – often with a smack to the head or a threat of one. Even if the smack was not delivered, most kids were scared enough of the principal and teachers that the abuse stopped.

Many times the teachers would look the other way when someone had the courage to confront the bully and fight it out behind the school.  That may very well happen today, but it is not condoned. Times have changed. As a society, we don’t discipline in that manner any longer.

Teachers and administrators are so afraid of a law suit that they frequently jump in too soon.

cyberbullying, protect children from bullies, online bullies, facebook bully, help for kids who are bullied

New ideas to help you and your child beat the bullies. Check out http://www.cyberbullyinghelp.com for more information. You will be glad you did.

 

New Way Of Responding To Bullies

Many schools practice some sort of “bullying control.”  I am familiar with Kelso’s Choice which is an excellent program for elementary schools.

One middle school I know, practices the concept of ‘the line.’ Individual students either operate above the line or below the line. Above–the-line behavior includes self-control and respect for others – especially respect for fellow students.

Below the line is the domain where the bully operates. Bullies don’t care so much about respecting others. Bullies choose to elevate them selves by putting others down. The bullies own lack of self-respect is most likely a root cause of their bullying behavior.

Let’s be clear, the bully is a leader who leads others below-the-line. The bully gains power when others follow. Without a following, the bully loses power.

Teach your children to pick up on what the bully says but to reply in a way that neutralizes the insult.  For example:

“You stink.”

“Yep, it is a new shampoo.  I think it smells great.”

Help them to understand they have a choice. Either choose to lead and live above the line or lead and live below the line.
Either choose to follow the leaders who operate above the line or follow the bullies who operate below the line.

Bullies Are Cowards

A great method for defussing bullying incidences is to ask the bully to “say it again.” Encourage your child to keep asking the bully to repeat the insult until it becomes less offensive. Since most bullies are cowards and lack the courage to repeat the insult and are more likely to tone it down.

Teach your kids to imagine themselves inside a protective bubble that bounces off bullies’ words.  If they practice visualizing this with you, they will be able to have some control in a potentially disempowering encounter.

Empower Your Child

 Make sure your children have chances to make friends and have successes away from where bullying takes place.  Try a drama group, sports club, band, or choir where the group provides a shared activity than can rebuild confidence eroded by bullies.

Share your comments and ideas at www.cyberbullyinghelp.com  You will also receive a two page list of resources to help beat the bully and draw the line on bullying.

Judy Helm Wright is an author, coach and parent educator.  Schedule a free consultation with her at http://www.judyhwright.com   You will be glad you did.

Ask.fm and Lesser Known Social Media Portals – Cyber Bullying Havens

Friday, October 18th, 2019

Ask.fm and Lesser Known Social Media Portals – Cyber Bullying Havens

Image Courtesy of sidedooryk.com

Parents of young adults, take heed. Facebook and Twitter aren’t the only places where your kids might be bullied. There exist thousands of other online avenues where people hide under the guise of ‘freedom of speech’ to say inappropriate and terrible things to your children. Take for example Ask.fm.

 

“Wait a minute. Why are you still alive?”

This is just one of the questions posted on the page of 12-year old Rebecca Sedwick, who killed herself last month by jumping from an abandoned cement building in Lakeland, Florida. Other questions included similarly horrible queries within the lines of “Why aren’t you dead?” and even non-questions “Drink bleach and die.”

Ask.fm is a social media site where users receive questions from anonymous people. According to LA Times report, millions of teenagers in the United States use this website to talk about late night parties, school work, and others subjects without parental supervision. Sedwick was tormented by about 15 girls her age on Ask.fm, among other lesser known social media portals.

The easily accessible technology of social media apps and virtually limitless internet connectivity gave way to an environment that thrives on anonymity. “These apps are free, and as a result … you can either go up anonymously or create a fictitious identification, and you can torment other children, and it is frightening to see that occur,” noted Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.

 

“Yes ik  I bullied REBECCA nd she killed her self but IDGAF [I don’t give a f***]”

This was the exact status message of Guadalupe Shaw, 14 years old, after reports of Rebecca Sedwick committing suicide spread. “She needs more than God, she is disgusting,” said the first comment in Shaw’s status.

Police saw this message as a red flag. Along with 12-year old Katelyn Roman, county police arrested Shaw despite planning to delay any detainments due to the nature of the case and the age of the involved individuals. Sheriff Judd said that Roman and Shaw were the primary harassers.

When asked about the legality of the arrest and the case to be filed against the youngsters, Judd mentioned that although bullying in itself is not a crime, it can be grounds for stalking and aggravated stalking.

“We take bullying and cyber bullying exceptionally serious in this county and always have,” said Judd.

 

“Choose your words carefully.”

This was the advice that most experts in behavioral psychology want parents to instill to their children when dealing with cyber bullying. Because children grew up with technology that was not available back when their parents were growing up, research and coaching are imperative for parents to address the issue. These concepts were said by Dr. Elizabeth Englander from the Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center on an instructional video found on VerizonWireless’s feature on a familial approach to address cyber bullying.

Part of this research involves being familiar with social networking sites that are overlooked such as the aforementioned Ask.fm, Kik (a smartphone messaging app), and SnapChat.

SnapChat is particularly controversial. Commonly used by adults to hook up by sending ‘pic trading’ or exchanging photos; this app has been the center of the social phenomenon called ‘sexting’. “The biggest part of these sites is parents don’t know about them,” said author of “Wit’s End: Advice and Resources for Saving Your Out of Control Teen” Sue Scheff.

The lack of initiative from parents to get involved with their children’s internet and social media actions create a difficult situation where harassment is only detected when it’s already too late, Scheff said. “It’s as simple as that. No one really knew a lot about Ask.fm until Rebecca died,” she noted.

Resources are always available online for parents to get the basic concepts of social media. How will you deal with it, if your child experiences cyber bullying?

 

Dennis Redley is an advocate of responsible internet usage. He supports various cyber safety initiatives including Verizon’s online safety campaign and Higher EdTech Asia. He is also an aspiring educator and takes part in counseling students.

 

Keep Kids Safe on Internet- Protect Them From Cyberbullies

Friday, March 22nd, 2019

As the two dimensional world envelopes more and more of our lives, the ability to use the Internet wisely can hold the key to our, and our children’s success in life. There are over 2.4 billion people that use the Internet today-an increase of over 500 percent according to InternetWorldStats.com, and that number is going to continue to grow as the Internet becomes an increasingly central force in our lives, interactions, and commerce.

Like any life-changing technology, the information super highway can be used for as much good as it can bad, it’s up to the user to dictate how they spend their time, and teach and inspire others. The future might just depend on our ability to discern how we teach our children to spend their time online.

Make Sure There’s a Return on What You Learn

Unlike other major technological advancements, surfing the Internet doesn’t direct us towards progress on an individual level (the plow helps us cultivate food, factory machines directly produce products, etc…). Unlike the invention of the wheel, sitting in a chair and browsing Facebook for four hours doesn’t get us anywhere. It’s up to us to seek out useful information online and apply it to our lives instead of letting ourselves and our children waste time getting sucked into a vapid hole.

Instead of wasting time lusting after cars you can’t afford, or lamenting how thick your favorite celebrity’s hair is, the Internet can also be used just as easily to teach yourself a new language, or become an expert in bug collecting. Using this general rule of thumb – browsing is for improving skills to apply to life – is integral to teaching your little ones how to inspire themselves, build their abilities, and succeed in life.

The Dangers of Strangers

Unfortunately, the Internet is also a mecca for creative thieves and swindlers, and teaching your children about keeping themselves safe online is as important as teaching them not to get into a strangers car. Identity thieves know the best ways to target and extrapolate personal information from adults, but they’re becoming more and more focused on children. A child’s social security number is much less likely to have a history of bankruptcy and bad credit, and most of us never even think to check our toddler’s credit score- it’s the perfect storm.

As your children reach the age of Internet exploration, teaching them to keep their personal information secret, and showing them how to spot predators is an absolute must. In the mean time, checking out ID theft protection services doesn’t hurt either.

Don’t Be a Click-ler Stickler

Altruism is one of the distinct aspects that separates people from animals, and makes us awesome. The Internet has the ability to inflate our sense of altruism without actually accomplishing anything. How many times have you “clicked” on a petition or felt good about “liking” a page that wants to end world hunger? Unfortunately, clicking and liking doesn’t apply to much of anything in the real world. If we want our children to grow up to be the type of people that can change the world, then it’s imperative we drill them with the difference between action and sentiment, and make it clear that all the clicks and likes in the world won’t clean up an oil spill or fix the ozone.

Parents, it is up to us to set the stage for the future of the world, and teaching our kids how to use the Internet and protect themselves from its dangers is, perhaps, the best way to prepare them to move mountains, save rain-forests, and keep themselves and their future families safe.

Protect your children from being bullied online. Information on how text bullying works. http://www.ArtichokePress.com

Protect your children from being bullied online. Information on how text bullying works. http://www.ArtichokePress.com

Dangers of Cyberbullying – Online Threats

Friday, September 10th, 2010
The Dangers of Cyberbullying

It has become a part of our mainstream media to read about cyberbullying and the young people who are affected daily.  Many do not tell, but suffer in silence.
Out of a fear of losing access to technology many kids and teens do not inform parents and caregivers, teachers or friends they are experiencing problems with cyberbullies.
Although similar to normal bullying in many ways cyberbullying involves the use of cell phones or other technology as a means to harass others.
Cyberbullies use the internet and text messages to embarrass or intimidate another person.
Messages and posts can range from threats of physical harm to disclosing personal information on their victim. The information cyberbullies put out information intended to defame or embarrass their victims.
Cyberbullying often begins with young boys, but girls are more likely to continue the behavior through young adulthood. Threats, and sexual remarks are often the earmark of the cyberbully. However, sexual remarks are not usually classed as sexual harassment and do not usually involve a sexual predator.
Who Is The CyberBully?

The behavior of the cyberbully is not limited to kids and young adults. There are many instances of adults who commit some form of cyber-harassment against another adult. These adults have a pattern of threatening employment or earnings of another individual.

Many teens and children who are being cyberbullied are afraid to tell. They are fearful they will lose computer or phone privileges if they tell their parents.

They often stalk others through the internet–threatening the safety and reputation of their victim. These cyber stalkers often use search engines and social media to sabotage and harass their victims.
Cyberbullying can be either direct or indirect

Direct bullying involves communication directly between the victim and the bully, while indirect bullying involves others in the process to gang up on the victim.
Cyberbullies can often remain anonymous by using temporary e-mail addresses and social networking accounts to harass or impersonate others.
How To Combat The Threats
  • Change your e-mail address and cell phone number, be choosy who you give your new contact information to
  • Avoid unfamiliar chat rooms and websites
  • If a child, then tell an adult who has the power to help you.
  • If an adult, consult the local police
With few laws governing harassment over the internet and through texting messages victims often feel helpless and scared. These feelings can lead to low self esteem, anger, frustration, depression and even suicidal thoughts.
What to Ask Yourself
  • How can I tell if someone I love is being cyberbullied?
  • What would I do if I found myself the victim of a cyberbully?
  • Have I ever written or done something online that another person might consider cyberbullying?
For more information please visit www.cyberbullyinghelp.com

Victims, Bullies and Bystanders Are Harmed By Violence In Schools

Monday, August 9th, 2010

Victims, Bullies and Bystanders Are Harmed By Violence In Schools

Studies have shown that if those who tend to belittle or pick on others are taught basic communication skills and conflict management when young, lead more successful lives. Many children honestly do not know what is right and what is wrong in relationships. Respect for others must be taught and modeled for  children by caring adults in their lives.

The longer the abuse goes on, the greater the trauma and emotional stress continues not only for the victim, but the bystanders and the bully.

Children need to feel safe in school. They also need to be taught to respect the rights of others. Bullying hurts everyone involved.

Victims of Bullies

If a situation such as this is not recognized and cared for, the bullied child may become extremely depressed, and develop issues which could effect them for the rest of their lives. Low self esteem, distrust, lack of confidence, fear, anger, resentment, hopelessness, and a loss of interest in school, activities, and friends are common results.

Bystander or Witness

Bystanders or a witness to a traumatic event are frequently bothered by nightmares, flashbacks, lack of confidence and feeling ashamed or powerless. This may be a pivotal turning point in their maturity, helping them decide next time they will speak up or get help or the reverse side to make a decision to step away from all confrontations and not get involved at all.

Bully or Bullies

Bullies who get away with traumatizing others, develop a warped sense of justice. They begin to feel invincible and that they can use violence to get what they want in life. Without intervention, they may very well think it is normal to cross personal boundaries to harm others and to feel “entitled” to be mean to others.

Bullies do not outgrow the tendency to bully.  They simply grow bigger and learn to do it in more subtle ways.  They become the abusive husband, boss or neighbor.  It is a service to them and the people in their lives, to teach them respect and tolerance.

Bullying  Programs in Schools

Teachers should work to know each of their students and recognize any unusual symptoms or behaviors. Likewise, students should be educated on the matter of bullying and encouraged to seek the help of an adult when it is going one. There are usually many bystanders when one is being bullied, and if those bystanders could gather up the courage to take a stand, they could easily overrun the bullies in sheer numbers. Children need to be taught that bullying is essentially a whole school problem, and they need to take it seriously.

You will want to claim your free report at http://www.TheLeftOutChild.com

Please leave comments and share your thoughts below.  I care about you and the children you work with.

PS: Don’t forget Judy H Wright is available for keynote speeches. Recommend her to your program director.  You will be glad you did. Phone 406-549-9813 today.

PS: Connect with me on Twitter  http://www.Twitter.com/bullyadvocate

Bullying Is Imbalance of Power

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

Bullying can best be defined as an imbalance of power. The struggle for power usually takes place over a period of time, but can easily escalate into violence and serious harm to both bully and victim.

There may be just one victim, or target, and one bully.  However, as the struggle ramps up, there are usually others involved as “gang or group” members who have chosen sides or innocent bystanders.

Whenever there is an imbalance of power or strength that is either real or percieved there is a potential for the greater power to intentionally threaten or harm the weaker one.

Tough Boys and Mean Girls

There have always been tough boys and mean girls who have enjoyed teasing, taunting and making life miserable for other kids.

Bullying harassment is hard on victim and bully. Empower kids to be kind.

They enjoy showing and demonstrating their dominance over others.  It is often seen in the playground pecking order, of who gets to be the leader and who is chosen for games last .

We used to think bullying could begin at any age but, typically it begins to escalate around the third grade, peaking by about eighth grade and tapering off in high school. We are now finding bullying often starts earlier and lasts much longer.

But now, with more electronic media readily available through the use of cell phones and the internet, bullying has become more dangerous, more devious and often more difficult to detect.

The combination of cyberspace and bullies can be a dangerous combination. The escalation of cyber-bullying can range from mild teasing to death threats.

Cyber-bullying may carry cruelty to new extremes. Bullies are now using electronic media to taunt, tease, and torture others. Blasting is a phrase that has been used to describe a “blast” of private information posted online and passed around to a large group of followers of the site.

Home as a Safety Haven

Children used to come home to escape the abuse of bullies, but with internet and cell phones readily available bullies can take advantage of their prey anywhere, anytime. Text messages, posts to social media sites and instant messaging services can leave a child vulnerable to being victimized 24 hours a day.

In recent years a number of suicides have been report as a result cyber-bullying. The targets or victims of bullying abuse may have been feeling they had no place to turn for help. That suicide was the only way to escape their pain. Many media reports have called this “bullyside.”

Respect for All

Courtesy toward others and respect for everyone is the foundation of a healthy life and a goal to strive for. Our ultimate goal as parents is to teach our children to be good family members, friends, and neighbors, members of the community, the nation and world.

You will want to claim your free report about internet safety today and begin to understand what is happening in your child’s world. Dealing with bullies is never an easy subject to discuss, but  in this new cyberspace, the effects of bullying are life and death.

Be sure to claim your free report on “Is Your Kid Being Bullied?” by putting your name and email address in the box on the side of the screen.  Thank you for belonging to this community of kind, thoughtful people who want respect for all.