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 their actions can affect 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 adult. It takes a lot of time, dedication and love. Is your kid turning into a cyber-bully? Are you leaving your kids unmonitored online?
Your Child unmonitored and the Modern Technology
Kids nowadays grow up in a generation where everything is as easy as “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 the right information on the internet. Everything is easy, 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 something scandalous, disturbing, shocking contents from these websites that can affect their behavior, judgment towards others and even their personality. It is a parent’s job to control their child’s awareness of the internet.
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 matter.
According to the Macrothink Institute, young people are attached to modern technology to the point that checking their mobile phone is the very first thing they do in the morning:
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 on 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 cyber bullying, it appears that your kid is most likely to be a bully because of his easy access to the internet:
- 7 out of 10 kids and teens experience cyber bullying
- 37% suffer from cyber bullying 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 cyber bullied
- 5.43 million youth in the U.K experience cyber bullying
- 1.26 million youth in the U.K experience extreme cyber bullying
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 found out that your child is torturing someone on the internet. Every parent hates their child to grow 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 counselor 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. Find the right time where you and your child are in the right mood to talk. Cyber bullying is a serious topic, make sure that he got your full attention and will listen to everything. Make him realize about what is going to happen if they continue to bully someone online. There are several reasons why your child is performing such behavior (bullying). It might be because of your lack of attention to your child. It might because they are hanging out with the wrong peers or it might be because that 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 invention 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 other by any means, especially bullying a child in person or online.