There is no place for bullying in our society. Please join our Daggett Shuler Team in our efforts to raise awareness of bullying and to encourage and support safety for your young people.
Bullying is an age-old problem, but in the digital age bullying has moved beyond in-person conflict and is now more pervasive in teen’s lives through technology. The taunts do not stop once a teen leaves school – harassment continues at home on cell phones and on social media. In an attempt to bring awareness to bullying, October has officially been designated National Anti-Bullying Awareness Month.
According to a study by Pew Internet, a project of the Pew Research Center, 15% of teens on social networking sites have experienced someone being mean or cruel to them, while 88% report that they have seen someone be mean or cruel to another person. Sadly, 13% of teens say they have had an experience on a social network site that made them feel nervous about going to school the next day.
As parents and mentors, what can we do to help our teens address the issue of cyber bullying?
Talk about it. Create an ongoing dialogue about what constitutes cyber bullying, what to do when you see someone bullied, and how to stand up to bullies on the internet. Tell your child what others unfortunately already know – words about others, whether typed or spoken, are powerful influencers about how one feels about oneself.
Be a role model. Children learn best by example. Do you make self-deprecating comments? Are you constantly judging other people and talking negatively about others’ appearances, actions, or intelligence? If so, your child might be learning at home how to negatively talk about others. Change your tone. Be careful how you speak about other people, and how you relate to others online. Modeling the right behavior is the best way to teach the right behavior.
Take action. Are you worried about your teen bullying or being bullied? Friend them on Facebook and keep tabs on their page. Stay connected to your child’s online activities. If your child is being bullied, look for allies not only in school administrators and teachers, but also in other students.
Thank you for helping us spread awareness of bullying, particularly among our young people. Together we can have a positive influence on civility in our community.