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How to Keep Your Child from Becoming a Cyberbully

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In memory of Tyler Clementi's suicide and National Bullying Prevention Week (October 3 through 9), do your part to stomp out bullying. Make sure your child is never the cyberbully by talking to him or her about what's inappropriate to post about others online. Ross Ellis, the CEO of Love Our Children USA, an organization dedicated to ending violence against children, shares her advice.

boy using computer

1)Talk to your children -- not once, not twice, but on a regular basis.That doesn't mean saying, "Come here, we have to talk." Instead, bring it up in casual conversation. Mention how there's so much about cyberbullying in the news, and ask if it's going on at your kids' school. Could they ever imagine a situation where they might bully someone? Keep an open dialogue.

2)Don't let children who are too young to handle it join social-networking sites.There's a reason Facebook specifies that you have to be 13 to be a member: Preteens are too young to have appropriate judgment as to what's OK and what's not. If you're not sure your kid is ready for the responsibility, go online with him or her to post, and don't give your child the passwords.

3)Teach your children to keep private stuff private.Tell your kids not to post anything about themselves or anyone else that they or the other person wouldn't want everyone to know.

4)Offer guidance and alternatives.Let your children know that teasing, name-calling and spreading rumors and jokes about other people are all unacceptable, online or off. If another student says something that bugs your kid, ask if he or she could simply walk away instead of lashing out. Remind your children that if they don't like someone, there's a simple response: Just don't be friends with them.


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60 comments so far | Post a comment now
Judge Tom October 5, 2010, 6:52 AM

Teens can learn from the experiencex of their peers by reading “Teen Cyberbullying Investigated” published in Jan., 2010. TCI presents real cases of teenagers in trouble over their emails, blogs, icons, Facebook and YouTube posts.
Endorsed by Dr. Phil on April 8, 2010 (“Bullied to Death” show) this book should be read by every tween & teen before their next post is sent out.
Thanks for looking at www.freespirit.com (publisher) or on www.askthejudge.info (a free, interactive website for & about teens and the law).
Regards, -Judge Tom.

Berenice October 12, 2010, 8:14 AM

Good advice, I believe the best way to ensure the safety of our kids is to keep an open conversation, talking to them is the best way to know what they think about their life and surroundings, we don’t want them to get Kamagra on every corner.

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