You might have watched the news about some teenagers committing suicide because of cyber-bullying. It is the responsibility of every parent to raise their child properly and teach them not to cause harm to others. It is also the responsibility of every parent to make their child aware of their environment and that their actions can affect the lives of others. It can be very tough to raise children in the exciting technology enabled world today – educating, protecting and guiding them to try and develop into a strong young adults. It takes a lot of time, dedication and love. Is your kid turning into a cyber-bully? Are you leaving your kids online unmonitored?
Your Child Unmonitored and the Modern Technology
Kids nowadays grow up in a generation where everything is as easy as a “few clicks” of a computer mouse. Instead of driving all the way to a mall to buy something for your child, you can just log on and ship it to your home address. Instead of going to the library to complete their homework, they can go online and search for the right information on the Internet. Everything is easy, and so is socializing.
They can use the Internet using their mobile phones, tablet, laptop and their personal computer. With the use of social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others, it is easy to know a person’s whereabouts in a matter of seconds. It is easy to discover scandalous, disturbing, shocking content from these websites that can affect their behaviour, judgment towards others and even their personality. It is a parent’s job to control their child’s awareness of the Internet and not allow them too much time unmonitored to abuse.
It is normal to worry about what your kid has been doing online and as a working parent, you might not be able to check his online activities 24/7, but having an agreement with your child about Internet usage and discussing their limitations can only give positive results. You may also discuss what they see on the Internet and have an open conversation about it, to let your child feel that their opinion matters.
According to the Macrothink Institute, young people are attached to modern technology to the point that checking their mobile phones is the very first thing they do in the morning. Leaving them unmonitored can come with a set of new and unpredictable dangers.
Kids and Teens Technology Use Statistics
- 58% of 12-year-old kids own a mobile phone
- 93% of teens and adults ages 12-29 go online
- 40% of teens check their phone upon waking up
- 1% of 12-15 year-olds in the UK do NOT have access to the internet
- 85% of parents trust their children when using the internet
- ONLY 34% of parents of teenagers ages 12-15 are concerned about internet content.
According to Ditch the Label’s annual survey for cyberbullying, it appears that your kid is most likely to be a bully because of his easy access to the internet:
Kids and Teens Cyberbullying Statistics 2013
- 7 out of 10 kids and teens experience cyberbullying
- 37% suffer from cyberbullying more often
- 20% of kids and teens experience extreme bullying on a daily basis
- Kids and teens are twice as likely to be bullied through Facebook, a popular social networking site.
- 54% of youth are being bullied through Facebook
- 28% of youth are being bullied through Twitter
- Up to 69% of youth have lower self-esteem and poor social lives after being cyberbullied
- 5.43 million youth in the U.K experience cyberbullying
- 1.26 million youth in the U.K experience extreme cyberbullying
What to Do If Your Child Is a Cyberbully?
If discovered that your child is a cyber-bully, do not yell at them or shame them. Remember that they are just kids who may not be fully aware of the consequences of what they are doing. Instead of shouting at them about how shameful they are for causing trouble to others, have an honest and open conversation. If you don’t have time, make time. It is normal to get upset, get angry or frustrated once you find out that your child is torturing someone on the Internet.
Every parent hates their child growing up like that. It is better to let all your negative emotions out first before talking to your child. Be calm. Ideally, you need to get your child’s and the victim’s side to analyze the situation. If your child has been proven to be the culprit, learn to accept that your child made a mistake. It is very embarrassing, yes, but as a parent, you have to listen to the counsellor and do something about the issue.
It is your responsibility as a parent to raise your child as a humane person who will not cause suffering to others. Sometimes leaving them online unmonitored can give their selfish urge the opportunity to flourish. Find the right time when you and your child are in the right mood to talk. Cyberbullying is a serious topic, make sure that they got your full attention and will listen to everything. Make him realize what is going to happen if they continue to bully someone online.
There are several reasons why your child is performing such behaviour (bullying). It might be because of your lack of attention to your child. It might be because they are hanging out with the wrong peers or it might be because they thought it is okay because everyone does it.
Raising a child in a generation full of high-end gadgets can be difficult, but these modern technologies and inventions will never surpass the warm love of a parent caring for their child. These gadgets that kids are fond of will never replace a parent’s attention to their kids. It will never replace the parent-child bond. If a child has been raised with love and care, he will not cause harm to others by any means, especially bullying a child in person or online.