Are children really prepared for cyber bullying?

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This week I learned that one out of four children is bullied online (Mandurah Mail, 2014).  Mobile technology has enabled children to access social networks at any given time, making parental monitoring difficult. I realised that cyber-bullying has many negative implications. It can contribute to stress, anxiety and depression. It can also hinder the victim’s physical, social-emotional and cognitive development as they are all interconnected (Del Principio, 2012, p.30).  As a parent it can be frustrating when your children become victims of bullying. I have two children and one has experienced bullying at school and this was extremely difficult to deal with. I can only imagine that if my child was a victim of cyber bullying, that this would be even more frustrating as you are mostly dealing with faceless, ongoing cyber-attacks. As part of preparing my children for the world, I now need to include strategies on how to educate them to prevent and deal with cyber-bullying abuse.

 

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Cyber-smart Outreach is a free online and off line professional development presentation available for educators and internet awareness presentation for parents and children. They cover a range of issues from cyber-bullying to potential risks for people online and offer tips for staying safe.

Tips for staying safe include:
– Never disclose personal information ie address/email/mobile.
– Never give anyone access to your password and check privacy settings.
– Never respond or retaliate to negative posts.
– Block users that send nasty messages, delete them from social media contacts and report their activities to ISP or website they used to target you.
– Talk to an adult/parent/teacher and ask for help.

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References:

Del Principio, A. (2012). The effects of bullying on student academic performance. College of Saint Elizabeth). ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, , 266. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/937166286?accountid=10382. (937166286).

Mandurah Mail. (2014). Australia ranked on in cyberbullying. Retrieved from http://www.mandurahmail.com.au/story/1727945/australia-ranked-one-in-cyberbullying/

Open Colleges. (2012). 15 Strategies Educators Can Use to Stop Cyberbullying. (Image). Retrieved from http://www.opencolleges.edu.au/informed/features/15-strategies-educators-can-use-to-stop-cyberbullying/

Outreach Cyber Smart presentations for school and families. (2013). Cybersmart. Retrieved from http://www.cybersmart.gov.au/Outreach.aspx

Text Kills. (2013). Connecting People vs. Gun Control – Where Do You Stand. (Image). Retrieved from http://textkills.com/?p=3637

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