6 Simple Questions to Prevent Cyberbullying

It’s Teen Tech Week and with so many different forms of technology at teen’s fingers, it’s more important than ever to be informed of how they use them. More teens are using technology to express negative feelings, predominantly anger, and the backlash from this is long lasting and harmful to themselves and others.

Cyberbullying and all forms of teen to teen harassment is happening at a staggering rate:

*68% of teens agree that cyberbullying is a problem

*25-50% of teens report being cyberbullied or harassed by other teens

*41% of teens bullied are girls being bullied by other girls

*33% of those bullied report that the messages had escalated to threats

As we work towards balancing the benefits that technology can offer the youth of today in terms of education and communication, we need to be asking ourselves the following questions to ensure that we, as their protectors and advocates, are doing all we can for them.

  1. Do you know who your child is texting/messaging?
  2. Do you have the password/code and agreement to look at your child’s phone or tablet?
  3. Have you established restrictions on the duration of time and time of day they text?
  4. How much time is spent texting vs. one on one interaction?
  5. Do you know if your child has been cyberbullied? Do you know how to start that discussion?
  6. Does your child’s school have resources for preventing and addressing cyberbullying?

Being a parent in today’s technological environment is challenging! Make sure you’re available and interested in what your child does with the phone you give them.  You are also responsible for how it’s used and instilling appropriate boundaries for usage.

Be aware, be prepared and stay current on how technology and different sites/apps work.