Edit ModuleShow Tags

Kids' Internet Safety

Help teens stay safe from cyberbullies and Internet trolls



(page 1 of 2)

By Carolyn Jabs

Over the past several years, news of teen suicides seemingly spurred by online bullying have marred prom and graduation season. School officials have taken the brunt of the blame for not stepping in to stop the harassment. When school lets out next month, however, kids will have even more time for social networking — and parents will become the ones directly responsible for intervening to stop the mean behavior that has become epidemic online.

Obviously, most parents worry most about how to keep their own kids from becoming victims of online harassment. That’s a very legitimate concern, given a recent study from the Cyberbullying Research Center showing that victims of cyberbullying are more likely to contemplate suicide. Still, protecting victims is only part of the equation. Parents must expand their vision to help kids participate in online networks that reinforce what’s best about young people — and not what’s worst.

Unfortunately, online communities take their cue from an offline culture awash with meanness. Reality TV shows thrive on putting people in humiliating situations. Political talk show hosts regularly demean those who disagree with them. Music and movies often revolve around violence or the threat of violence. In this context, it’s not surprising that young people are confused about how to create rewarding relationships.

The approach of summer is a good time to regroup and think about how you can help your child develop a warm, supportive network both online and off. Here are some suggestions on how to do just that.

Assess your own behavior

You, of course, are your child’s most important role model, so a little self-examination is in order. How do you talk to your kids when you’re angry or argue with your spouse? What do you say about neighbors or public figures whose opinions you don’t like? If your kids see you behaving respectfully toward others — even under trying circumstances — they will have a repertoire of strategies to use in both on- and offline relationships.

Strengthen offline networks

Summer is an ideal time to help kids develop face-to-face friendships. Look for settings in which kids have offline fun that doesn’t involve belittling others. In particular, be sure that adult leaders, including coaches and camp counselors, model the kind of fairness, decency and respect you want from your kids.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Content

School Tech Trends

Learn how tech in the classroom enhances education

Screen Time for Kids

As handheld technology becomes more commonplace, experts no longer consider all tech time to be the same. Find out how to tell productive screen time from negative screen time.

STEM Needs More Girls

Involve more girls in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) through mentoring them and building their confidence.

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Edit ModuleShow Tags


MK Memo

MK Memo: Moms Know
Healthy Meal Hacks for Busy Families

Healthy Meal Hacks for Busy Families

You don't have to default to fast food when you're in a hurry! Here's how to make quick, healthy meals instead using local markets.

Comments

Throw a Hanukkah Party

Throw a Hanukkah Party

Get in the holiday spirit with a Hanukkah celebration for all ages.

Comments

Managing Mealtime Mania

Managing Mealtime Mania

Preserve family mealtimes and keep chaos to a minimum

Comments

Enjoy the Holiday Season While Taking Care of Yourself

Enjoy the Holiday Season While Taking Care of Yourself

Healthy habits to get you through the holiday season

Comments

Thanksgiving Traditions and Their Origins

Thanksgiving Traditions and Their Origins

Ever wondered why Thanksgiving falls on the 4th Thursday of November or why we watch football on the holiday? Learn about the origins of these Thanksgiving traditions and more.

Comments

Edit ModuleShow Tags


MomSpeak

The voices of local moms
Donate to Your School Without Giving Cash

Donate to Your School Without Giving Cash

8 donation strategies that don't hit your bank account

Comments


MomSpeak

The voices of local moms
How to Deal with Asthma Flare-Ups at School

How to Deal with Asthma Flare-Ups at School

Prepare the school and your child to handle an asthma flare-up.

Comments


MomSpeak

The voices of local moms
Make an Allergy-Safe Birthday Cake

Make an Allergy-Safe Birthday Cake

Don't go without the party's centerpiece because your child has food allergies! You can make a delicious, allergy-friendly birthday cake.

Comments

{/if}