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The use of social media has exploded, especially for young people. There are undoubtedly plusses, but one of the big minuses is the fear of cyberbullying in children and teens. Cyberbullying is bullying online, through emails, texts or any other form of social media. Kids are vulnerable and care deeply about others opinions. They can get easily humiliated and embarrassed by negative information spread about them which makes them particularly vulnerable online.
Here’s what’s known about cyberbullying in 2013:
•Studies report that 17% of kids have been bullied online. That’s almost 1 out of 5 kids who were cyberbullied. Other research found it to be as low as 5%.
•Cyberbullying has not increased in the last 5-6 years, despite growing concerns to the contrary.
•80-90% of kids bullied online are also bullied in person.
•Young people who are bullied in person or online can suffer from depression, poor self-esteem and anxiety. Some have suicidal thoughts.
•If a youngster is bullied by someone with more power or social status, the impact is often greater.
The big surprise about cyberbullying is that it has not escalated in the past 5-6 years. Yet even one youngster being bullied online is one too many.
What can parents do? It’s important to note that in all types of bullying, including physical, verbal and online, adults intervene in only 4% of the incidents. That means there is no adult intervention in 96% of all bullying situations. The number one recommendation to reduce cyberbullying is for parents to monitor, monitor, monitor. Know what your kid does online. Discuss it routinely. Make kindness, respect and empathy important values taught in the home. That’s the best defense.
Here are other articles of related interest:
Rumors: Building Confidence Helps Kids Handle Them
Technology and Constant Communication
Bullying: Confidence Helps Kids