I got picked on a lot as a child. I was introverted, predisposed to art and writing, and had red hair. I guess some students found those qualities to be something to make fun of. Thankfully, at that time, I was able to escape bullies at home or in safe places like art class.
Today’s children don’t have that same luxury, because a large portion of their social interactions occur online, over social media, or via text messaging.
Cyberbullying rates have tripled within the last few years, even with all of our education and awareness campaigns. With a staggering 87 percent of our boys and girls admitting that they have observed this form of digital cruelty at one time or another.
And, we all know how prevalent cell phones, computers, gaming systems, and other technologies are in our teens’ lives.
For parents, teachers, and counselors this is terrifying to realize, because our teens’ beloved devices make it easier than ever to bully from any place at anytime on any given day.
Cyberbullying quickly snowballs and can easily isolate a child which leads to increased feelings of depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. As an educator, parent, and former teen these findings are alarming to me on many levels.
Thankfully, there is hope. With awareness and meaningful discussion, we can empower kids to take a stand against cyberbullying. We can also give parents tips to protect their children.
For more information about cyberbullying and ways to stop it, please read the following infographic:
- How to End Bullying Part 1: 19 Tips for Parents and Teachers
- How to End Bullying Part 2: 15 Tips for Kids
This article was edited and approved by Rachel Wise, CEO of Education and Behavior, licensed behavior specialist and certified school psychologist
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