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by Dr. Haber
Mobile phones and the Internet are the new "bathroom walls" where kids can cast a web
of anonymous gossip to a much wider audience.
This is the newest and potentially most dangerous form of harassment, when one or more
individuals use mobile phones, the Internet or other digital devices to inflict psychological
harm on another individual through instant messages, emails, and social networking sites.
Short-term, this can disrupt a kid's social standing, status and comfort and cause anxiety
and depression. The impact of this form of harassment long-term can result in psychological
harm, depression, anger, violence, low self-esteem, and even suicide.
Cyberbullying help from Dr. Joel Haber
The old "sticks and stones may break my bones" nursery rhyme has a PG rating compared to
the new ways in which cyberbullying can hurt and humiliate its targets.
- UCLA study suggests most kids suffer from cyber-bullying: 72 percent of 12-to-17-year-olds
reported "at least one incident" of bullying online, which can take the form of name-calling
or insults, "most typically" through instant messaging or social networking sites. Here’s
what they found:
- Cyberbullying is a common experience, especially among heavy users of the Internet.
- Cyberbullying and bullying done in school are more alike than different.
- Bullying on the Internet is very similar to the kind of bullying kids do face-to-face
- Cyberbullying involves name-calling or insults, password theft, threats, sending embarrassing
or sexual pictures, sharing private information without permission and spreading nasty gossip
- Parents may react by trying to protect their children by not letting them use the Internet
at all. That is not likely to help parent-teen relationships or the social lives of their
children who rely on the internet for much of their connectedness.
- Schools need to enforce intolerance of any intimidation among students, regardless of
whether it takes place on or beyond the school grounds
- One-third of 12-to-14-year-olds reported that they didn't tell an adult out of fear
that they could get into trouble with their parents.
- Many parents have little understanding of the language or use of their children's Internet
Cyberbullying is on the rise, and I have found
Social Shield to be what parent’s need to be sure that bad things are not happening on
CYBERBULLYING: What is it?
Cyberbullying or internet bullying is a form of bullying which involves the use of email,
cell phone and pager text messages, instant messaging, camera phones, and/or defamatory blogs
to support repeated hostile behavior by an individual or group towards others with the intent
Kids can send each other hurtful and nasty messages, spread rumors or compromising sexual
pictures online, hijack others personal information and post it for all to see, and impersonate
their target and send horrible, mean messages to others who believe their friend is the cyberbully.
THE NEW REALITY:
The Internet allows kids far too much temptation and opportunity to be mean. In school or
camp bullying, you are right in front of the person you bully, and you see how you hurt them.
This is called Direct Bullying.
On the internet, you're not seeing the reaction of the person you're hurting. You can do
it from a distance, from your own home or with a friend, or from your cell phone. Without seeing
them in person, you’re not really thinking about how you’ll make the kid you’re targeting feel.
Instead, you may be having fun thinking about it but the cues which may get your empathy to
kick in are not there because you never see the immediate reaction of the target. Internet
bullying is indirect! Without seeing those social cues from the person you target, indirect
bullying is much easier.
However, once you send your email or text, or a picture meant to embarrass or humiliate,
you can’t get it back. There is now a public record of your hurtful behavior and possible intimidation
WHAT CAN PARENTS DO?
The most important thing for parents is to prevent cyberbullying from occurring. Here is
an article I wrote to help you become more aware
and deal with cyberbullying. Cyberbullying: Be a Parent Who Stays on Top
of the Game
HOW CAN I HELP YOU?
Coaching Services for Parents and Children
I am available for individual coaching of families and children
when internet bullying occurs. The best coaching is provided to prevent these issues and handle
the important questions that come up at home:
- Do we let our child keep their computer private?
- At what age do we give our children cell phones?
- Do we need to trust our children or put software on their system?
These are just a few examples of what you’ll need to address as our children communicate
more and more on the internet. Please contact me if I can be of help