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Posts Tagged ‘cyberbullying’

Effects of Girls Who Bully Other Girls

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

Effects of Girls Who Bully Other Girls

Bullying can take many different forms especially in a society that values technology so highly. Text bullying and online bullies are quite common. In particular, a girl bullying victims will often be much more subtle in the tactics used.

Queen Bees and Wanna Bees

Girls will usually form groups and use these to their advantage, encouraging a group to gang up on one victim. The Queen Bee is the leader and holds the keys of power to the clique. It is she who dictates what to wear, how to talk, walk and befriend.

The Wanna Bees, the other girls in the clique are in fear of disappointing the leader of the pack.  They are eager to share the power and gain favor in the eyes of the other mean girls in the group.

All girls want to belong to a social group and have friends. Queen Bees, the leader of a clique, can decide their fate in school. It is all about power.

Effects of Cyberbullying

Because students prefer to use phones for texting rather than talking, many texts and messages fly through cyber air about who is in and who is out.

One seventh grade girl told me recently, “None of our fights were face to face, we were too afraid the teacher would catch us. It is easier to fight online, because you feel more powerful. You can also be as mean as you want to on FaceBook. It is kind of fun to “dis” somebody.”

Cyberdramas of Girls

If there is a conflict between teenage couples, surprisingly, the girls will blame the girl and want to “punish her.”  In the Phoebe Prince suicide in Massachusetts, even though  the boy and girl were no longer dating, when he started dating Phoebe, she was bullied and attacked.

The groups will usually pick and choose their members and exclude others, sometimes completely at random.

While it is normal for both girls and boys to form social groups and strong bonds that naturally exclude others, it becomes bullying when power plays over individuals or other groups are involved.

Questions on Girls and Cyberbullying – We welcome comments

  • Why do you think girls turn against each other over the attention of a boy?
  • Do all cultures have cliques of girls?
  • Do you remember a Queen Bee from middle school?
  • Why do you think it is important for a young girl to fit into a group?
  • Is cyberbullying more dangerous than face-to-face bullying?

Cyber Threats To Nation and Home

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

Cyber Threats To Nation and Home

Tom Ridge is the president and CEO of Ridge Global.  He was the first secretary of the U.S. Homeland Security.  Before that he was governor of Pennsylvania.  In a recent newspaper article he was quoted as saying;

“The cyber threats we as Americans face today are complicated and complex.  The geographic borders that once served to protect us do not exist in the digital world.  Most of our citizens do not comprehend the fact that the geographic barriers that once gave us a personal sanctuary are no longer the primary source of protection.  Those who would do us harm-whether as nations or cyber criminals- can digitally ‘invade’ via the Internet.  And many experts believe our next major attack could occur on the cyber battlefield.”

Threat To Nation and Home

As electronic devices have become more popular with young children and teens, the issue of cyberbullying has also grown.  It is important as caring adults that we become Internet Savvy and know how to protect those who are looking to us for protection.

In this day and age, you need to be aware of the risk and know how to stop someone who is cyberbullying you or your child.

Social Networking Privacy

If your child uses an adult social networking site such as FaceBook or Twitter, teach them how to use privacy settings. This allows them to keep personal information private.  Help them set up their pages so friends can only be added with their consent.

There are many behaviors which are considered to be cyberbullying. Basically, this action is simply threatening, harassing, or stalking a person on the Internet. It may involve gossiping, lying, impersonation, or posting pictures, real or false.

Stop and Think Before Pushing Send Button

Teach your children to stop and think before pushing send.  Many text messages that come across as threatening were supposed to be funny or a joke.  Without the benefit of body language, only the words convey the message and may be misinterpreted.

While some cases of cyberbullying are not too serious, all should be considered a threat. This type of action can escalate to very a serious situation quickly. And contrary to popular belief, this type of bullying can actually be much more dangerous than bullying which takes place in person.

Families need to be Internet Savvy. Learn Internet safety tips for kids.

With a person-to-person bully, one knows exactly who is threatening them. The message can be passed around and virtual strangers will comment or gang up digitally on the target.

Difficult To Trace The Online Bully

It can be much more difficult to pinpoint and stop an online bully. Also, with electronic bullying, one is much more apt to experience emotional trauma, which can take much longer to heal than any physical wound.

Often, an individual feels that they have no safe haven from a cyberbully because this follows them even into their home. They may feel trapped. Some drastic cases have ended in suicide. Teach your children what to do when they are threatened or bullied. Talk to them about it often.

Home Is A Haven Of Safety

A parent should have a good open line of communication with their children so that they will talk to their parent when bullying is taking place. A child should feel that they can come to their parent or other caring adult at any time with these concerns.

When it comes to the Internet, parents should set strict and firm rules and hold their children to them. Use filters and only allow them to use the Internet when you are at home with them. Keep all computers in a place where kids know you have access to them.

Know your child. When you see them acting unusual or moody, this should act as a warning signal.

You can do it.  I have confidence in you.

Girls Bully Girls- QueenBees and WannaBees

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

Girls Bully Girls- QueenBees and WannaBees

Emma has started puberty early and has noticeably larger breasts in September at the start of sixth grade than she did in June at the end of school.  Other girls notice her popularity with the boys and decide to “punish” her.

They start a campaign of rumors, gossip and exclusion of Emma from all activities where she used to be included as a friend.  Confused and hurt, Emma asks why she is being ignored and shunned.

One of the girls who was a former friend confesses that the only reason Emma is getting attention from boys is because she is “putting out.” She tells her that texts and messages have been going back and forth talking about “When girls have sex, their boobs get big.”

Girls can be very mean to other girls, especially about the rate of body development in puberty.

Big Problems Need Adult Intervention

Humiliated and embarrassed over the lies, Emma decides to talk to the school counselor. Fortunately the school had a caring counselor and administrative staff who called a meeting of the girls involved in the attack and their parents.

After a frank discussion over the natural development of our bodies, the counselor also talked about the need for kindness and empathy.  An anti-bullying program was set in place and parents and students were made aware of the consequences of cyberbullying.

This story had a happy ending.  Many do not.

Cyberbullying May Lead To Depression Or Even Death

In addition to texting lies and rumors, there have been some instances which included posting doctored pictures of a person on the Internet.  When a group of girls decides to turn on someone, they tend to get others involved who agree with the Queen Bee, or the girl with the most power in the group.

Other girls or Wannabees are fearful of standing up to the leader for fear they will be the next target.  They then become either participants in the cyberbullying or bystanders who do nothing to help the victim.

The bystander or witness, who does not at least try to help the victim, may suffer as much or more than the victim. They too may suffer from anxiety, fear, depression and lack of self-esteem.

There Are No Winners In Bullying Situations

A lot of damage can be done via electronic or online bullying. It can be worse than face-to-face bullying because it is can be anonymous or hard to trace.  There are a number of laws being created internationally to make this a crime.

Parade Magazine 8/22/10 Article On Cyberbullies

According to the article in a recent Parade magazine, included in our Sunday paper, laws have been passed in Massachusetts and New Hampshire expanding bullying laws to include digital harassment. Nevada and Louisiana have set up criminal penalties for those convicted of intimidating others electronically.

Missouri, a second offense can lead to felony charges.  Many teens do not realize how serious it is to cyberbully someone they don’t like or disagree with.  Many think it is funny to haze or tease a victim or target until they drop out of school or activities.

Talk Often To Young People About Empathy

Parents and other caring adults need to model empathy and kindness as well as teaching it on an ongoing basis. Parents should also make sure that they talk to their children regularly about cyber bullying.

Helping them to understand that cyberbullying is a crime and offenders will be punished.  What may have started out as a joke or misunderstanding can quickly get out of hand and lives can be ruined.

And if a situation becomes serious or threatening messages are sent, the authorities should be notified.

The more open the lines of communication between generations of caring adults, the more likely they are to come to you to help them solve big problems like cyberbullying and abuse.

You can do it, I have confidence in you.

Girl Bullies – International Problem

Sunday, August 8th, 2010

What Is Girl Bullying And How Can You Help

Girls bullying is a huge problem in and out of our schools and society today. More and more we are seeing violence by girls as well as against girls. This problem of “mean girls who form cliques or gangs” is international in nature.

Bullying, teasing, taunting and threatening does not always have to be physical nor does it have to take place in school. Many shopping malls are gathering places for bullies and gangs. Cyber bullying is extremely prevalent today and can be accomplished by texting and posting on social media groups.

Definition of Bullying

Bullying off line or electronically is an imbalance of power. It includes the process of intimidating or mistreating somebody weaker

Online bullies have become an international problem. Girls are more likely to send embarrasing and humilating text messages than boys. If a boy breaks up with a girl, it is the girl who is blamed and taunted by other girls.

or in a more vulnerable situation.  It can include harassment, maltreatment, singling out or exclusion as well as other forms of discrimination.

What Can Parent Do

There are a few things that you can do to help your daughter if you suspect she is being bullied

The first thing that you can do as a parent is to make sure that your daughter knows that you are there for her. It does not hurt to state that fact occasionally even if you do not suspect bullying. Knowing that you will communicate and listen without judgment or rushing in to solve her problems creates an atmosphere where she will use you as a sounding board.

You should also be aware of the schools policy on bullying and cyber bullying. This can be as simple as reading the handbook that the school sends home with your child. Make sure your daughter is also aware of it. Encourage open conversation and ask her to read the policy. It helps to know that there are solutions to every problem. It just takes some creative thinking to problem-solve..

Violence Does Not Solve Violence

Encourage her to ignore the bullying if possible. Many times a victim will get fed up and retaliate after a prolong period of being bullied, and then will be the one accused of fighting or being a bully.

You may want to gently ask the lunch aide or teacher what they have observed.  Make sure you are not making a mountain out of a molehill.  It may be age appropriate teasing and joking around.  If not, then do take steps to confront the issue.

If you suspect your daughter is being cyber bullied check. Ask to look at her email or text messages. This is an extreme step but catching cyber bullying early may be a key step. Try to do this in a way that is non-threatening to your daughter.

Internet Safety

If you suspect your child is being bullied keep the evidence you will need it if it goes to court. Make sure that your child is not in any physical or emotional danger by bringing it to the authority’s attention as soon as possible. Make sure that you daughter knows what to do if she is being bullied and make sure she knows where to go for safety if the bullying turns physical.

Make sure you are informed about cyber bullying, girl bullying and the laws regarding it. In order to stop this new trend parents and students need to know the consequences and that there is help out there. Bullying in any form is not a laughing matter.

To be completely informed about safety on the internet and how to safeguard your family, please claim your report at   http://www.cyberbullyinghelp.com/r/101safetytips You will be glad you have gathered this information.

I have confidence in you.

Bullying Girls- An International Trend

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

How To Recognize Girl Bullying

The traditional tough guy bully who stands on the corner frisking you for your lunch money is not your typical bully anymore. Recently we have seen a trend in girl bullying that is disturbing to say the least. You used to see girls that were mean to each other, by excluding from a group or sharing gossip, but rarely involved physically violence. Now online communication allows those who tend to be cruel or unkind to be take those negative traits to the extreme.

Online Community Filled With Opportunity

Physical violence breaks out more and more often in our schools and the places where young people gather. This includes the internet.

Online bullying and harassment can follow you everywhere you go 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.

Cyber and text bullying between women is not unheard of. Cruel remarks, off color photos, and other forms of torture are often seen over the internet and on cell phones.

Many Tweens, Teens and Adults Don’t Recognize Boundaries

It may be that what is intended as a joke or sarcastic remark comes across as threatening to the receiver of the message.  Without the filter of  body language, the sender may cross boundaries of respect and privacy without meaning to. What started out as innocent banter may be construed as emotional bullying.

These days bullying is taken very seriously. Most schools, youth groups and churches have a zero tolerance, anti bullying policy when it comes to this behavior. Make sure you and your family know  and understand the policy.  I encourage you to have open and non judgmental conversations about the power of words. It is also a good idea to always make sure your child knows that they can come to you if someone is harassing them.

Is Your Teen Being Bullied

There are many ways to tell if your teen is being bullied. Usually drastic changes in behavior are really good signs that you are facing a bully. The signs also include panic attacks, depression, and loss of interest in social activities.

Many times your teen might avoid using the internet or their cell phone when a bully is harassing them. The internet and cell phones are powerful tools for bullies to use to get to their victims. The person being bullied often feels as if they cannot escape the bully and therefore feelings of helplessness or hopelessness can grow.

If you notice any of these changes in your child try and speak with them about it. Make sure that they understand that bullying is illegal, dangerous, and that there are ways to stop or avoid it. Give them the tools to be able to deal with a bully.

Internet Safety

You will want to check out the excellent information at http://cyberbullyinghelp.com/r/101safetytips

Keeping Children Safe by Being Internet Savvy

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

Keeping Children Safe by being Internet Savvy

The face of the way we communicate has changed rapidly over the past 20 years. Bullying used to take place in schools and parks, but with the advent of new technologies bullying can happen anywhere.

Children used to take refuge from playground bullies at home, but with the internet readily available to many children, and more and more young people carrying cell phones instances of cyber-bullying are increasing at an alarming rate.

Chat rooms, Blogs, Facebook, My Space and other social media sites, e-mail, instant messengers,

Teens use cell phones and the internet to connect with each other. It is easy to use electronics to bully others.

and online gaming and text messaging are just a few ways children are being bullied. Often, as parents, we don’t even know when our children are being abused by others online.

Although it may be difficult to tell when a child is being subjected to the abusive behaviour of others unless they come to an adult for advice. One thing we can watch for is our children being upset after being on the internet or receiving text messages.

HOW TO HELP

  • encourage your children to share offensive or abusive e-mails, posts, and texts with a trusted adult
  • encourage them to use only moderated chat rooms that help curtail abusive behaviour
  • teach them to no respond to abusive posts or e-mails
  • help them learn to keep their passwords safe and be cautious about who they give their e-mail address or cell phone number to
  • be sure to turn on child safety features installed on your computer
  • teach them to think about how their actions may affect others, and to think twice before hitting send on any post or e-mail

Keep your child safe by teaching them not to give out personal information when online.

Make sure you children understand they should never arrange to meet someone you have only been in touch with online. This can be extremely dangerous. Online friends are still strangers.


One simple way to keep them safe is to encourage them to only accept e-mails, instant messages, or texts from people they know and trust.

Teach children that all information online may not always be reliable! There are many people out there who create fake “profiles” with only the intention of meeting and abusing others. In almost all cases its best to only chat online with real world friends and family.

Make sure your children know that if they are uncomfortable, or are being bullied they can come to you or another trusted adult for help. Keeping our children safe online and teaching them how to use a technology as a tool for healthy entertainment, information and communication will help them become a prudent, happy, healthy productive members of society.

Information for this article comes from Childnet International and KidSMART.org.uk