By Melissa Ford
Traditional bullying always required face-to-face interaction between bully and victim. You’d be out on the playground, at lunchtime or recess, playing kickball or pretending you were magical horses or hanging out on the swings and the feared classroom bully would hunt you down! Or, the after-school-stalker-bully, who would lie in wait at the bus stop or find you unaccompanied on your walk home, would catch you before you reached the safety of your abode. Staying clear of face-to-face bullying required vigilance, creativity, and quick feet. The latter - not so much anymore.
Even though face-to-face bullying still exists, bullies now possess the power of the internet and cellphones so that “home” doesn’t always equate to safety. The Illinois Attorney General’s Office reports that “42% of kids have been bullied online.” With cyberbullying being so prevalent, how can parents help keep their kids safe? Educate themselves about cyberbullying.
A good place to start is www.ebully411.com, which is the Illinois Attorney General’s Stop Cyberbullying website. Click on the “For Parents” tab to find a wealth of information covering:
- Tips for Parents and Guardians - How to help your child prevent cyberbullying.
- Forms of Cyberbullying - Helping parents learn where and how cyberbullying occurs.
- Warning Signs - Is your child a victim of cyberbullying or is your child a cyberbully?
- What can you do?
- Additional websites for you to explore.
Parental education is a must in our digital world. We can't help our children if we don't know this new form of bullying. Begin your Cyberbullying 101 instruction now at www.ebully411.com
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