Cyberbullying: New Problems, New Tactics

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One of the prime areas of focus on this website is providing environmental education for our children. In doing so, we would be remiss if we did not provide alarms to both children and parents concerning internet safety. KidsHealth, the most-visited site on the Web for information about health, behavior, and development from before birth through the teen years, recently posted a short article that addresses the disturbing and sometimes tragic effects associated with cyberbullying.

Bullying is an old problem that remains difficult to bring under control, in part because technology offers new ways for kids to pick on one another. Indeed, cyberbullying can extend the reach and power of some of the worst bullies, subjecting kids to taunts from beyond their own schools and neighborhoods.

Because many kids are reluctant to report being bullied, even to their parents, it’s impossible to know just how many are affected. But it’s estimated that one third of teens have been victims of some form of online bullying. Yet they often don’t realize it happens to so many of their peers, adding to their sense of isolation.

As the pressure builds, victims can experience anxiety, depression, and other stress-related disorders. As recent well-publicized cases have shown, some kids and teens ended their lives to escape bullying. Experts say that kids who are bullied — and the bullies themselves — are at an elevated risk for suicidal thoughts, attempts, and completed suicides.

Parents are often desperate to help when their kids are bullied. It’s hard enough to combat the typical schoolyard thug — so what can be done about the sometimes anonymous tormentors who strike from behind a computer screen?

The remainder of the article provides a listing of warning signs that your children may exhibit and tips for parents to help alleviate the problems associated with cyberbullying. Cyberbullying: New Problems, New Tactics

Additional links:

Bullying Statistics

Cyberbullying Statistics

Facebook’s New Anti-Bullying Tools

Whitehouse Conference for Bullying Prevention

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