National Children’s Mental Health Awareness day right around the corner on May 7th, 2015. Bullying and cyberbullying can cause long term emotional scars. Many times teens will hide these bruises from their parents – pretending to be brave – as if it isn’t cool to be sad or depressed.
Bullying has changed from the days of taking someone’s lunch money or giving them a swirly in the bathroom. Now, children are much more likely to engage in cyberbullying, or the use of electronic communication to bully a person. In fact, 20-30% of today’s children will be cyberbullied, and 10-20% of students will be cyberbullies.
However, it can be tricky for a parent to figure out if their child is experiencing cyberbullying; more than half of the children who experience cyberbullying do not tell their parents about it. And while around 55% of teens report having observed bullying behavior online, 95% report ignoring the behavior when it was observed.
There are a few tell-tale signs that can give clues that your child might be engaged in cyberbullying. For example long periods and odd hours of internet use, or changes in a child’s patterns of internet use, can signify cyberbullying. A child engaging in cyberbullying behavior might also become upset if their internet usage is confronted or cut off by their parents. Children with excessive social media accounts may be using them to follow and harass others.
Attribution – YellowBrick Program
February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month.
Love is Respect continue to educate teens, parents and communities on dating violence. We live in a world of technology where today it’s not only about physical and verbal abuse, people are suffering with digital abuse.
What is digital abuse?
You deserve to be in a safe and healthy relationship, both in person or online. If your partner is digitally abusive, know their behavior is not acceptable and could be illegal. Check out our tips below for staying safe on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, foursquare and others.
- Only post things you want the public to see or know. Once it’s online, it’s no longer under your control.
- Be protective of your personal information. Your phone numbers and addresses enable people to contact you directly, and things like your birth date, the schools you attended, your employer and photos with landmarks may make it easier for someone to find where you live, hang out or go to school.
- Set boundaries and limits. Tell people not to post personal information, negative comments or check-ins about you on social media. Ask people not to post or tag pictures if you’re not comfortable with it.
- You can keep your passwords private — sharing passwords is not a requirement of being in a relationship.
- Don’t do or say anything online you wouldn’t in person. It may seem easier to express yourself when you are not face-to-face, but online communication can have real-life negative consequences.
Learn more – visit www.loveisrespect.org
The 2014 Workplace Bullying Institute survey (PDF) was released.
37 million workers reported being subjected to “abusive conduct” and 65.5 million are affected by this behavior. Whether it was those abused or people that witnessed it, peer cruelty is happening in workplaces across our country.
We often discuss children when it comes to bullying and cyberbullying. Sadly adult bullying topics are rarely in the headlines.
This is not to diminish the fact that our youth are important, the fact they are killing themselves over words of hatred and learning to treat each other with such cruelty is despicable.
We have to take a moment to realize, does it start at the top?
Parents, teachers, coaches and all grownups, especially those in the workplace should be people that our children respect.
The recent PSA released by VH1 is a reminder that the very people may be making fun of today could end up being your bosses for later. Like with many ad-campaigns, it can be extreme. Sadly the fact that many kids are tormented and harassed is true.
Is the PSA tasteful? There are many opinions. The message is there, and that is what needs to be heard.
No one is immune to bullying. At any age it is not right. Kindness will always take you so much further in life.
#iCANHELP Campaign continues to spread nationwide with their message that kindness can defeat negativity.
A few negative posts can leave you feeling alone and isolated. However, all it takes is one person noticing something good and complimenting our day to erase all of the negativity that is following us around.
Simple acts of kindness happen everyday and they can make the world of difference in a person’s life.
#iCANHELP Campaign is about deleting negativity on social media but it is also about being a positive warrior in life. Everything they do is about kindness and compassion towards others.
There many campaigns that I have written about all have positive messages that help promote civility to all online and off.
Check out their latest video – ERASE HATE and take the time to promote kindness in someone that needs to hear it today!
Join them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.
Remember, don’t change who you are or what you stand for just because you are online!
This PSA shows mean texts being corrected with kind messages. We hope to encourage teens to ‘delete the mean‘.
AND: one of our TRUCE members wrote the song!!
A group of Marin Co teens have started TRUCE to promote Cyber-Kindness.
We support kindness in general, but cyber-bullying is so hard to look away from, so we started TRUCE:
Saturday, April 27th.
Nease High School is the location.
Starting at 9:00am the Community Empowerment Series will have their final event with one of the hottest topics that reaches everyone with a keypad or a cell phone.
Especially those teenagers that are are heading to prom that evening. Before you snap those picture and post those questionable comments, you will benefit from this event featuring Theresa Payton. She is one of our countries leading cyber safety experts and will be discussing cyber bullying, identity theft, and cell phone safety including sexting.
Did you know?
· Over 95% of teens use social networking
· Last year over 500,000 kids had their online identity stolen
*85% of teens have been cyber bullied at least once
· Sexting: 71% of teen girls and 67% of teen boys have participated in posting/sending sexually suggestive content.
Dr. Joseph Joyner is recommending that every teacher, parent and student attends this event and takes advantage of this learning experience.
St. Johns County Sheriff Shoar will be introducing Theresa Payton and will have his team available with literature for our community regarding Internet safety and our kids.
This is a FREE event and open to the public. It is presented by the St. Johns County Education Foundation and Communities in Schools of St. Johns County and sponsored by The St. Augustine Record, First Coast News and other generous donors.
Online registration is recommended.
Learn more at www.communityempowermentseries.com.
After going through my own experiences as an adult being harassed by people online, whether it is cyberstalking, cyberbullying or downright meanness; it can be hard for teens to emotional handle these harsh attacks. I know it was for me, and I was not only an adult, I was a mother, had a flourishing career and an organization that was helping thousands of families. All at the same time being virtually attacked by keystrokes. I was fortunate I was able to fight back and find vindication. This book can help give teens the power and tips they need to rise above the harassment they may be facing.
HEY, BACK OFF!
By Jennie Withers and Phyllis Hendrickson
Because of the recent alarming increase of tragic suicides among youths, the direct result of repeated harassment and taunting of school children, the United States Department of Education (DOE) released a nationwide appeal to Boards of Education addressing the growing harmful issue in our schools: bullying. Many states have now signed the “Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights” to help ensure the physical and emotional well-being of today’s youth. Approximately 160,000 students in America and more worldwide avoid school each day because of the fear of bullying and 60 to 80 percent of schoolchildren face harassment intimidation.
For More Info: Website – Facebook – Twitter and 4 Teachers
Listen to CyberhoodWatch recent BlogTalk Radio Show with Jennie Wirthers!
Order today on Amazon!
Join me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter for more information and educational articles on parenting today’s teenagers.