A recent survey of 1,000 teachers revealed that girls are more likely to engage in cyber bullying than boys. Unfortunately, this form of bullying has not gotten as much attention from teachers and even law enforcement officials as it should, despite the fact that cyber bullying has caused serious childhood problems, increased the high school dropout rate and even led children to try to end their own lives. Learn about girls and cyber bullying now!
There are many forms of cyber bullying. A girl who opts to bully one or more of her peers may do so via text messaging, Facebook comments and/or photos or even via a personal blog. Most young people these days can access the internet not just at home but also via a mobile device, making it easy for others to join in the bullying by forwarding or sharing hurtful comments.
Girls and Cyber Bullying: How to Deal With a Cyber Bully
Parents of a pre-teen or teenager girl should be aware of the fact that the odds are quite high that a girl will either get involved in bullying or become a victim of bullying during her time in elementary school, junior high and/or high school. In fact, the Hey U.G.L.Y Foundation notes that it is not uncommon for girls to be both victims and perpetrators of bullying.
It is very important to be proactive when parenting a girl through her turbulent preteen and teen years. To start with, young girls should be shown a great deal of love at home. They should never be put down or ridiculed for the way they dress, the things they say or physical factors such as height, weight or appearance. A girl who has a healthy sense of self-esteem is less likely to become depressed, anxious or physically violent as a result of bullying than a girl who is not properly cared for at home. What is more, girls who have healthy self esteem are also less likely to resort to bullying their peers in an effort to “look cool” or join the “in” crowd.
Cyber Bullying Girls: How to Prevent Cyber Bullying
Young people of all ages, boys and girls alike, should be taught that the things they say and post online can have serious consequences. In many cases, cyber bullying is not intended to be malicious; it simply involved a young person posting a thoughtless comment that is then expanded on and/or taken the wrong way by the recipient. Young people often fail to realize that what they say on their social media page cannot be retracted. They may delete it from their account but a record of it will live on in cyberspace, which is one of the main reasons why internet bullying is much more devastating than a mean comment or two made at school.
Young people should also be very careful when it comes to posting photos of peers. A young person who posts a photo of an under-age peer who is either nude or scantily clad may face charges of making and/or distributing child pornography and these charges can have life-long ramifications.
A parent should be able to access a child’s or young person’s social media site and keep an eye on what is being posted on it. What is more, children and young people should understand that using social media is not a right. Parents should feel free to ask their children to take down hurtful, mean comments and inappropriate images; what is more, parents should also suspend social media privileges for young people who repeatedly engage in bullying one or more peers via the internet.
Thankfully, law enforcement officials around the world are starting to realize how serious online bullying is and are taking steps to penalize repeat offenders. New Zealand is considering laws that could enable a victim of bullying to press charges against an aggressor. A cyber bully whose antics result in a young person committing suicide could be jailed for up to three years. Nova Scotia, Canada, has taken matters further and passed a new law that holds parents of under-age children responsible for cyber-bullying offences committed by their offspring.
Online bullying is no small matter and its consequences can be serious or even deadly. While this form of bullying still does not get as much attention as it should, schools and law enforcement officials are starting to realize just how serious it is and take measures to hold perpetrators responsible. However, parents of teens and pre-teens need to take the lead in teaching their children, girls in particular, how to use the internet in a kind, responsible manner.