Parents should help teens deal with cyberbullying

The difference between 20 years ago and today is that with technology, your insults are magnified by a million.



By Sue Scheff

Published: Sat 29 Sep 2018, 8:00 PM

Last updated: Sat 29 Sep 2018, 10:33 PM

We're living in an age where incivility and trolling is not only common, it's become the new normal.
PEW Research Center recent survey found that 63 per cent of teens in the United States said that online harassment and bullying was a major problem, while 59 per cent reported being bullied or harassed online.
It's a sea of sadness when we read headlines of peer cruelty and youth dying as the word bullycide has now entered our vocabulary.
Generations earlier, before technology and social playgrounds such as Instagram and Snapchat, kids were teasing and mocking each other in schools, neighbourhoods or on their traditional playground with monkey bars and swings.
What hasn't changed is name-calling. Being called offensive names is the most offensive form of cyberbullying according to teens in this survey at 42 per cent, followed by someone spreading false rumours about them on the Internet at 32 per cent.
The difference between 20 years ago and today is that with technology, your insults are magnified by a million.
Resilience is a word we're all familiar with; however, with the rise of online hate and harassment, it's imperative to discuss how to build digital resilience with our teens.
In the PEW Research survey, teens share that parents are, overall, doing a good job in helping them handle cyberbullying - however, they felt that teachers, social media platforms and others could be more involved.
Digital resilience is a tool that helps people of all ages move through the difficulties of trolling and cyber-combat.
-Psychology Today
Sue Scheff is an advocate and family internet safety expert  


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