Is Your Child A Cyber Bully

Why aren’t more parents monitoring what their children are doing on-line?  The answer most parents give is because they are intimidated by the computer.  They lack computer skills, don’t have a smart phone and they really aren’t interested in learning how to use one.  As parents, we must be involved in what’s happening in our child’s life, especially in the age of modern technology.  From one mother to another, I think it’s imperative that we get involved in our children’s activities and stop thinking they’re doing the right thing and don’t need to be monitored.  

As parents we all want to think that we’ve raising angels and our children know right from wrong.  We’re shocked when we get a call to come into the school for inappropriate behavior from our child, when we receive a call from jail to bail them out or the cop knocks on the door to deliver bad news.  We all think that these things couldn’t possibly happen to us, these situations happen in other people’s homes.  So why should we concern ourselves.  How many times have you heard, my child would never do that!

I can give you a few reasons.  Did you hear about the Florida teens, 15 and 16, that were arrested for setting up a phony Facebook page that was X-rated several years ago.  They were charged with pasting the face of a school mate, whom they didn’t like, on a nude body and filled the page with foul language.  They thought it was a joke. They were charged with felony stalking.    

How about the young lady that committed suicide last year because she was bullied.  We must overcome our fears.  A blogger recently experienced cyber bullying with her daughter.  As a matter of fact her blog was down for most of a day because it was hacked. Bullying is real, and it wrecks havoc on families.  A teen in my neighborhood committed suicide a few years ago.  If we as a parents won’t face our fears, how do we encourage our children to face theirs?  

Here are a few suggestions on how to overcome the fear of the computer and how you can get involved to help stop cyber bullying:

  • If you don’t consider yourself to be technically savvy, take a class or better yet get your child to teach you.  They love showing off their computer skills.  
  • Ask questions about your child’s friends and what’s happening in their life.  Follow them on sites popular with teens and make sure you have access to their accounts.  
  • Ask other parents, aunts, uncles, sisters and brothers to stay involved with your children on-line.  We can’t monitor our children 24/7, but you can recruit family and friends to assist.  It takes a village to raise a child.    
  • Computer etiquette starts at home.  Have conversations with your child or children on what’s appropriate or inappropriate to put on-line.  If they’re minors, you’re in control and you need to let them know you’re ruling the roost.  They must follow rules that you have set for on-line activities.   
  • Discuss the consequences of cyber stalking and the legalities of posting inappropriate posts. It’s illegal and the consequences are certainly worth a conversation with your child. 

Do you see the importance of keeping up with your child?  Better yet stay in front of them so you can lead.  If you can’t stay in front of them stay beside them.  Taking a class is cheaper than paying a lawyer to get your child out of a felony for on-line harassment or other effects from bullying.  Would love to know your thoughts on this post and how you monitor your child’s on-line activities.    

You may also like:     15 Tips to Detect If Your Child Is Being Bullied

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  1. @EB McCready – At 19 you are considered an adult.  My post was directed to parents who have minor children that they are responsible for. If you're a minor, your parents have a right to have access to your accounts and should.  When you're an adult your responsible for your actions. Thanks for commenting and stopping by. 

  2. I agree that it's important to monitor your kids online presence to an extent. My parents have Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook accounts, but I think there is a limit. I don't think parents need access to kids' accounts. If we, as kids (if I can really say I'm a kid anymore at 19), feel that our parents are too involved, we'll push them away. You don't want to push your kids away. Having a healthy interest in your child's friends, online presence, school, and life in general is good for a child, but being too involved can hurt both parties.

  3. @Anonymous – Thanks for your comment.  The beauty of living in this country is freedom of speech, the freedom to write about whatever I want, and the freedom to publish my thoughts in my blog. It saddens me that you as a teacher would see me as a bully because I've posted pictures of these teens on my blog.  Another freedom is that I can.  These pictures where posted across the web, and as far as I'm concerned every mother across the country has a right to know who they are and so does their teen daughters.  If it where one of my family members, yes I would still have written this post.  I've been against bullying and writing about it on my blog for years.  Are you offended because they're one of your family members?  Probably!

  4. This is a sad situation! Bullying starts so young these days. I can attest to that as a Kindergarten teacher. I think these girls will get punished for what they did, and rightly so. But I can't help but feel that you are also being a bully by posting this. You don't know these girls situations. Think about if one of these girls was a family member…would you have plastered their photo and written about it? Just food for thought.

  5. I agree with monitoring my kid's online activities as well as limiting their hours in using the computer. It would really help to continuously remind them of the harmful effects of bullying to themselves or other people. It's the least we could do as parents to be able to avoid any trouble involving our teens in connection to bullying.

  6. It's shocking and appalling that there are youths out there that think that this sort of behaviour is nothing but a harmless joke. It's hard to understand how someone could grow up thinking that way. Really sad.

  7. My daughter is a teen and these kids now a days are heartless.I pray for my daughter daily.It makes me hurt at times and there is nothing you can really do.

  8. Amen! It does take a village to raise a child and if we see them doing something that is not appropriate, we should call them out on it. Point blank. Period. Sorry to say this (or maybe not so much), but this is a consequence to bullying. Hopefully they will learn from their actions and others will learn from the actions of these girls as well. That is just mean, not a joke… MEAN! What ever happened to empathy?

  9. It may seem that they weren't aware of the results. Also, their moms probably didn't know what was going on. I agree that we must try to get involved with what our kids (or teens) are doing on the computer. It's very difficult though with all the gadgets like ipads, iphones etc. out there. It's a tough call of what needs to be done.  Hopefully every Mom is aware of things their teens are up to and can prevent this. Bullying itself is the lowest form of handling their own problems. I also think that those girls need some help in how to communicate with their parents in order to feel understood.

  10. WOW.  I guess I should consider myself lucky that I am a techie geek.  I set up my childs accounts – and he doesn't have many, just 2.  I am all over it.  As parents – we have to be.  We can't be FRIENDS, w have to be PARENTS.  My son was bullied via FB and I was having none of it and put a stop to it ASAP.  … and that was because when it started, I was immediately aware of it.  The bully was a boy at his school.  I took a screenshot of the exchange, before the boy had a chance to delete it … and I emailed it to his parents. I was nice – but firm.  I told them that in no uncertain terms would I tolerate this behavior from their son towards mine, and I'd hope they felt the same.

    While my son and this boy are not friends, there is no more bullying.  I know I can't monitor evertything, but I do as much as I can.