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
Preview: Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia

Preview: Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia

The Museum of the American Revolution opens April 19.

Comments

LEGOLAND Discovery Center Opens at the Plymouth Meeting Mall

LEGOLAND Discovery Center Opens at the Plymouth Meeting Mall

LEGOLAND Discovery Center opens at the Plymouth Meeting Mall on April 6.

Comments

How to Talk to Children about Disabilities

How to Talk to Children about Disabilities

Encourage inclusion and acceptance by teaching your child to understand differences

Comments

Game Review: Moms Confess

Game Review: Moms Confess

Gather some friends during your kid's sports practice or for an moms' night out and play this fun game that reveals your parenting successes and challenges

Comments

5 Tips to Help Kids Spot Fake News

5 Tips to Help Kids Spot Fake News

Teach your kids how to distinguish facts from opinions

Comments

Edit ModuleShow Tags


MomSpeak

The voices of local moms
The Dyeds vs. the Whites

The Dyeds vs. the Whites

Mom blogger Stacy Heenan Biscardi delves into one of the great social non-issues of our time: dyed versus white hair in the senior set.

Comments


MomSpeak

The voices of local moms
Kid-Friendly Summer Vacation Tips & Tricks

Kid-Friendly Summer Vacation Tips & Tricks

Mom blogger offers kid–proven secrets to sane summer travel.

Comments


MomSpeak

The voices of local moms
Franklin's Mirror Maze Explores Numbers in Nature

Franklin's Mirror Maze Explores Numbers in Nature

Mom blogger Erin Flynn Jay describes the Franklin Institute's Mirror Maze exhibit, open through Sept. 4, 2017.

Comments

{/if}