Bullying: 10 Ways Technology Has Made Cyberbullying and Bullying Worse

When we were growing up there were bullies.  Nobody liked to be bullied, but it was a fact of life that you had to deal with kids that weren’t very nice.  Now, schools are so anti-bullying that anything that even slightly seems like bullying is taken very seriously.  At least when we were growing up they didn’t have Facebook to upload embarrassing videos to that would ruin a person’s life.

Check out 10 ways technology makes bullying worse.

  1. Facebook: Embarrassing pictures and videos can be uploaded to Facebook in a matter of a few seconds and ruin someone’s life forever.  Kids do not understand the damage that something like that can do to a person.  People have actually committed suicide because of events like these.
  2. Cell phones: Growing up we did not have cell phones.  Kids these days have the ability to take pictures at a moment’s notice and sometimes not in the most appropriate places.  Nude pictures of students in the shower or in the locker room have also caused suicides.
  3. Texting: Kids can bully by texting now.  They can text everyone else at the same time something bad or embarrassing about someone else.  They can also send pictures over their phone to everyone on their contact list.  Bullying like this can make someone’s life miserable.
  4. Flip cameras: These cameras are used to shoot quick videos at close range and can be uploaded to the Internet.  Kids that want to bully just have to take embarrassing videos of a student and share them with everyone.  Or a video can be sent to a parent as well that would get them grounded or in trouble.
  5. You Tube: A lot of good things have happened to people by posting a video on You Tube, but a lot of bad stuff has happened too.  People love to be the first one to dish the dirt on someone else.  They witness a fight they grab their cell phone and upload it to You Tube.  Or they set someone up and post what they think is a funny video to You Tube, but it’s actually very embarrassing.  People don’t think they are bullying when they do this stuff, but they really are.
  6. Gaming systems: Many online gaming systems allow conversations between the players.  Teens have reported that someone pretending to be them said mean things or embarrassing things to another person.  This kind of bullying is hard to stop and hard to track.  It does however cause a lot of problems for today’s teens.
  7. Blogs: There are teens that create blogs that post the latest gossip about people and will say nasty things about people.  Teens feel that they are anonymous and that no one can tell who is doing the bullying, but there are ways to track down who’s doing it and there are some big consequences.  If the bullying leads to a suicide the teen who is behind the bullying can be brought up on charges and sent to jail.  Lesser sentences are losing privileges to use a computer for 2 years.  Try doing your homework without a computer these days.
  8. Chat sites: Other sites online have chat rooms where teens can go and chat with their friends online.  People can go into these chat rooms and make up a user name and start saying bad things about kids in that chat room.  Many times there is a chat room that the students frequent because all their friends go there so when someone bullies in a chat room a lot of that kid’s peer group could be reading it.
  9. E-mail: Bullies steal identities and will sign into an e-mail account and send damaging e-mails pretending to be that teen.  Inappropriate messages to a female teacher or a nasty message to the principal are all things that can really get that child in trouble and they didn’t do anything.  Remind your child to keep passwords absolutely private.
  10. Instant messaging: Bullies will try to send nasty instant messages threatening to do something to a teen when they see them next.  Or tell them that they are going to make sure that they don’t get something they want at school like a part in the play or a solo in choir.  Bullying can take many forms even if it’s just telling someone that they did a terrible job on their audition or they overheard someone important say that they did a terrible job.  Anything like that is going to put undue stress on that child.  Make sure that your child is aware and being safe.

Source:  Full Time Nanny

Join me on Facebook  and follow me on Twitter for more information and educational articles on parenting today’s teenagers.

Advertisements

Parents Universal Resource Experts – Sue Scheff: Teens fearful to go to school

stompoutbullyingDuring this STOMPOUTBULYING Awareness week, we need to recognize that some kids and teens are afraid to attend school. Bullying can be harsh and cause emotional harm to your kids. As a parent, we need to take steps to learn more about bullying and how it affects our children. Is your child the bully? Be proactive and get involved. Don’t allow kids to hurt others with malicious words. Stick and stones will hurt you, and so will words.

Source: Connect with Kids

Scared to go to School

“We know that there’s a sense that kids have, that frequently when somebody does engage in bullying nothing happens. That’s sometimes because it’s viewed as, ‘this is just what kids do’ or it’s just not recognized as bullying or something out of the ordinary that should not be accepted.”
– Joel Meyers, Ph.D, psychologist

A new national poll on children’s health finds that only a quarter of American parents would give their child’s school an “A” in preventing bullying and school violence. In fact, every day in America thousands of kids miss school because they’re afraid of being bullied or harassed.

Andre Johnson remembers some of the verbal harassment he dealt with at school. “You faggot, you got a little sugar in your tank, sissy,” were just some of the names he was called.

“There would be times when I just wouldn’t go to class,” he says.

Every day, thousands of kids like Andre are afraid to go to school for similar reasons.

Experts say one of the biggest problems is that some adults and children still view bullying as normal teenage behavior.

“We know that there’s a sense that kids have, that frequently when somebody does engage in bullying nothing happens,” explains psychologist Joel Meyers. “That’s sometimes because it’s viewed as, ‘this is just what kids do’ or it’s just not recognized as bullying or something out of the ordinary that should not be accepted.”

He says schools need to have clear and accurate policies on bullying, confidential ways to report harassment, a safe haven within the school. “But more importantly,” says Meyers, “I think you need to have mechanisms in place where teachers learn what bullying is, so they know how to identify it, so they know how to respond, so they don’t think, ‘oh, that’s just kids, that’s just what kids do’.”

And, experts say, parents shouldn’t underestimate their power within the school.

“Parents have got to realize that it’s just not the schools that can do this,” explains Vermont state representative Peter Hunt. “The schools receive these kids. The schools really have to have the parents’ support.”

Some educators say parents, teachers, and children should all fight for a kind of “zero tolerance” for bullying.

“If zero tolerance means that whenever a child engages in bullying behavior that there are natural and meaningful consequences to those negative behaviors, if that’s what’s meant by zero tolerance, then that makes sense,” explains Meyers.

With support from his mother and friends, Andre was able to overcome the harassment and, best of all, accept himself. “It was like around my junior year when I started not to care anymore,” he says, “and I was like, ‘okay, I don’t care anymore – who knows, who don’t knows, whatever. You like it, you don’t like it, so what. It’s me, not you.”

Tips for Parents

Who is likely to be a victim of bullying? The National Resource Center for Safe Schools says that passive loners are the most frequent victims, especially if they cry easily or lack social self-defense skills. Many victims are unable to deflect a conflict with humor and don’t think quickly on their feet. They are usually anxious, insecure and cautious and suffer from low self-esteem. In addition, they rarely defend themselves or retaliate and tend to lack friends, making them easy to isolate.

If you suspect that your child is being bullied, you can help him or her in the following ways cited by the Committee for Children:

■Encourage your child to report bullying incidents to you. Validate your child’s feelings by letting him or her know that it is normal to feel hurt, sad, scared, angry, etc. Help your child be specific in describing bullying incidents – who, what, where and when.
■Ask your child how he or she has tried to stop the bullying. Coach him or her in possible coping methods – avoidance of the bully and making new friends for support.
■Treat the school as your ally. Share your child’s concerns and specific information around bullying incidents with appropriate school personnel. Work with school staff to protect your child from possible retaliation. Establish a plan with the school and your child for dealing with future bullying incidents. Volunteer time to help supervise on field trips, on the playground or in the lunchroom. And become an advocate for school-wide bullying prevention programs and policies.
■Encourage your child to continue to talk with you about all bullying incidents. Never ignore your child’s report. Remember that you should not advise your child to physically fight back. Bullying lasts longer and becomes more severe when children fight back, and physical injuries often result. Also, you should not confront the bullying child or his or her parents.
Unlike victims, bullies appear to suffer little anxiety and possess strong self-esteem, according to the National Resource Center for Safe Schools. They often come from homes where physical punishment is used and where children are taught to strike back physically as a way of handling problems. Bullies thus believe that it is all right for stronger children to hit weaker children. They frequently lack parental warmth and involvement and seem to desire power and control.

If you suspect that your child is bullying others, the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) suggests you seek help for him or her as soon as possible. Without intervention, bullying can lead to serious academic, social, emotional and legal difficulties. Talk to your child’s pediatrician, teacher, principal, school counselor or family physician. If the bullying continues, the AACAP advises you to arrange a comprehensive evaluation of your child by a child and adolescent psychiatrist or other mental health professional should be arranged.

The Coalition for Children says that you can also help your child by discussing with him or her these key points about bullying:

■Remind your child that bullying is not acceptable in your family or in society.
■Provide your child with alternatives to taking frustration or aggression out on others. You can even role-play different ways to behave in situations where your child would normally bully another.
■Specify concretely the consequences if the aggression or bullying continue.

While bullying, harassment and teasing are unfortunate aspects of childhood, you can help minimize these occurrences by raising non-violent children. The American Academy of Pediatrics cites the following tips for curbing hurtful behavior in your child:

■Give your child consistent love and attention. Every child needs a strong, loving, relationship with a parent or other adult to feel safe and secure and to develop a sense of trust. Without a steady bond to a caring adult, a child is at risk for becoming hostile, difficult and hard to manage.
■Make sure your child is supervised. A child depends on his or her parents and family members for encouragement, protection and support as he or she learns to think for himself or herself. Without proper supervision, your child will not receive the guidance he or she needs. Studies report that unsupervised children often have behavior problems.
■Show your child appropriate behaviors by the way you act. Children often learn by example. The behavior, values and attitudes of parents and siblings have a strong influence on them. Most children sometimes act aggressively and may hit another person. Be firm with your child about the possible dangers of violent behavior. Also remember to praise your child when he or she solves problems constructively without violence.
■Don’t hit your child. Hitting or slapping your child as punishment shows him or her that it’s OK to hit others to solve problems and can train him or her to punish others in the same way he or she were punished.
■Be consistent about rules and discipline. When you make a rule, stick to it. Your child needs structure with clear expectations for his or her behavior. Setting rules and then not enforcing them is confusing and sets up your child to “see what he or she can get away with.”
■Make sure your child does not have access to guns. Guns and children can be a deadly combination. Teach your child about the dangers of firearms or other weapons if you own and use them. If you keep a gun in your home, unload it and lock it up separately from the bullets. Don’t carry a gun or a weapon. If you do, this tells your child that using guns solves problems.
■Try to keep your child from seeing violence in the home or community. Violence in the home can be frightening and harmful to children. A child who has seen violence at home does not always become violent, but he or she may be more likely to try to resolve conflicts with violence.
■Try to keep your child from seeing too much violence in the media. Watching a lot of violence on television, in the movies and in video games can lead children to behave aggressively. As a parent, you can control the amount of violence your child sees in the media by limiting television viewing and previewing games, movies, etc., before allowing access to them by your child.
■Help your child stand up against violence. Support your child in standing up against violence. Teach him or her to respond with calm but firm words when others insult, threaten or hit another person. Help your child understand that it takes more courage and leadership to resist violence than to go along with it.

References
■American Academy of Pediatrics
■American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
■Coalition for Children
■Committee for Children
■Families and Work Institute
■National Resource Center for Safe Schools
■National School Safety Center
■U.S. Department of Education

Parents Univesal Resource Experts – Sue Scheff – Bullying has to Stop

bullying2With the two recent suicides  of 11 year old boys who were bullied at school, parents need to step up and take Action.  Oprah had an insightful and tearful show this week with the mothers‘ of these two little boys and the father of another.  Bullying has to stop!  It used to be said that “words can never hurt you” but that is simply and horrifically not true.  Words can hurt and they can hurt deeply and now potentially cause death.  

Stop Bullying Now  is a comprehensive website that can answer many of your questions and help you and your children.  With sections for both kids and parents, it can help you with parenting tips and tips for kids that are being teased and bullied.

Welcome to the Stop Bullying Now! Campaign Web site created especially for adults. Here you’ll find valuable resources about bullying awareness, prevention and intervention. As an adult, the best ways you can prevent bullying includes knowing about the many forms of bullying and best practices for taking action. No matter how you interact with children and youth, there are many ways you can Take a Stand. Lend a Hand. Stop Bullying Now!