No one likes bullies, so why be one? There’s a time for standing back and there’s a time for acting up and now is the time to do something. Together we can all help to get rid of cyber- bullying and cease bully suicides. The answer? Educate yourselves, be aware and take action. Be the help to the problem, not the cause.
The Cyber- Bullying Research Center reported that cyber- bullying has affected over half the teens of all races with girls as more likely to be targeted than boys. So where do we start? First, educate one another on the signs of cyber- bullying. Explain how to set up privacy settings on social networks like blocking non- friends from messaging you on sites, such as FaceBook. A September 2009 AP-MTV survey published on Pure Sight, stated that 45% of young people report that they see people being mean to each other on social networking sites. Guide your children through the steps of identifying a cyber- bully and their attacks. For more information on identifying a cyber- bully, visit http://blog.stopsign.com/how-to-identify-and-prevent-cyberbullying/. Next, help them to understand the consequences behind cyber- bullying and the reasonings to refuse to participate.
Maintaining communication with your children and peers is vital in preventing cyber- bullying among teens. Victims need to feel heard, not ignored, so keep an open relationship with them. Stress communication about any issues that arise, to help them feel less embarrassed or pressured to tell someone if they are being victimized.
After securing those measures, address cyber- bullying in schools. Find out your school’s consequences on cyber- bullying and what steps need to be taken to prevent bullying. Schools across the country have programs for teens who have or are being bullied and need someone to talk to. Addressing cyber- bullying in schools will also help prevent teens to realize the zero tolerance of cyber- bullying in schools.
Finally, be prepared for anything. With all the right precautions and help, we can decrease bullying and help those victimized. Education is the solution. The more people that care, the more action taken and the more people realize cyber- bullying is not cool. So spread the word and be a friend, not a bully.