Posts Tagged ‘technology’

Bullying and Cyberbullying Information

Friday, January 11th, 2013

Because Bullying and Cyberbully are increasingly becoming a problem in schools. There is a new and updated Bullying and Cyberbullying website offered by the Department of Education.   The Procedures section provides many resources and tools for gathering data, reporting, investigation and responding to incidents of bullying.

 

Understanding Cyber Bullying

Friday, September 23rd, 2011
cell phone cyber bullying

New technology is being created every minute and the Internet is now widely available. Youth in today’s world are exposed to technology— each and every day. While new technology is exciting, a form of bullying behavior is becoming more prevalent in our society: Cyber Bullying. During a recent 4-H event in Maine, 56% of youth reported that they or a close friend have been the target of cyber bullying in the past year.

What is Cyber Bullying?

Cyber bullying, also known as electronic bullying or online social cruelty, is defined as bullying

  • through e-mail;
  • through instant messaging;
  • in a chat room;
  • on a Web site or gaming site; and
  • through digital messages, text message or images sent to a cellular phone.

Cyber bullying not only looks and feels a bit different than traditional bullying, but presents some unique challenges in dealing with it. (Kowalski, Limber and Agatston, 2007)

Young people spend a good portion of their day in school, but the most influential people in their lives are their caregivers; peers are a very close second, but caregivers are still first. Here are some tips of how to stay connected with your child in this ever changing world filled with technology.

Mom and kids at computer

1. Talk to your child. One bullying prevention expert insightfully described the challenge facing adults who are trying to communicate with young people about technology: “The problem is that adults view the internet as a mechanism to find information. Young people view the Internet as a place. Caregivers are encouraged to ask their children where they are going and who they are going with whenever they leave the house. They should take the same approach when their child goes on the Internet—where are they going and who are they with?” Young people are sometimes reluctant to disclose victimization for fear of having their Internet and cellular phone privileges revoked. Parents/ caregivers should talk with their teens to come up with a solution to prevent or address victimization that does not punish the teen for his or her victimization.

2. Develop rules. Together with your child, develop rules about acceptable and safe behavior for all the electronic media they use and what they should do if they become a victim of cyber bullying (electronic aggression) or they witness or know about another teen being victimized.

3. Explore the Internet. Once you have talked to your child and discovered which Web sites he/she frequents, visit them yourself. This will help you understand where your child has “been” when he/she visits the website and will help you understand the pros and cons of the various Web sites. Remember that most Web sites and online activities are beneficial. They help young people learn new information, interact with and learn about people from diverse backgrounds, and express themselves to others who may have similar thoughts and experiences. Technology is not going away, so forbidding young people to access electronic media may not be a good long-term solution. Together, parents and youth can come up with ways to maximize the benefits of technology and decrease its risks.

4. Talk with other parents/caregivers. Talk to others about how they have discussed technology use with their teens, the rules they have developed, and how they stay informed about their child’s technology use. Others can comment on strategies they used effectively and those that did not work very well.

5. Encourage your school or school district to conduct a class for caregivers about Cyber Bullying. The class should include a review of school or district policies on the topic, recent incidents in the community, and resources available to caregivers who have concerns.

6. Keep current. Technology changes rapidly, and so it is important to keep current on what new devices and features your child is using, and in what ways. Many developers of new products offer information and classes to keep people aware of advances. Additionally, existing Web sites change, and new Web sites develop all the time, so continually talk with your teen about “where they are going” and explore these Web sites yourself. Your adolescent may also be an important resource for information, and having your teen educate you may help strengthen parent-child communication and bonding, which is important for other adolescent health issues as well.

Adapted From: Hertz MF, David-Ferdon C. Electronic Media and Youth Violence: A CDC Issue Brief for Educators and Caregivers. Atlanta (GA): Centers for Disease Control; 2008.

There are many wonderful resources available to youth and caregivers regarding cyber bullying. One resource is www.cyberbullyinghelp.com. There you will find resources to help keep your family current and up to date with the latest trends and technologies. Remember, technology is not going away but together, parents and youth can come up with ways to maximize the benefits of technology and decrease its risks.

Staying Connected When Living Apart

Friday, April 1st, 2011
Dad and little girl communicating

Today, thanks to technology, families are able to stay in touch in ways we never imagined.  Is your family the one out of every three families where children don’t live under the same roof as their biological parents?  Are you in a family affected by either marital separation or divorce where mothers or fathers end up living apart from their children?  Is one parent in the military and on deployment? Is one parent in jail?

When you are not living with your child/children every day, it takes more intentional effort to stay connected.  Don’t leave it to chance! Technology can make your job easier to stay close to your children. Take time to think through meaningful ways of interacting with your children from a distance. For school-aged children and older, decide with your children how to stay connected.

Staying connected to your loved ones has never been easier with e-mail, text messaging, Internet chats and phone calls.  Social networking sites, Videoconferencing, texting and email chatting are just the beginning of a long list of electronic tools to help you stay in touch with your children.

But don’t forget the power of snail mail. A letter or postcard is a solid item that your child can hold on to and read over and over. A letter can be heart-warming can include thoughts you might not be comfortable saying face to face. Words on a paper can be comforting for a child to read multiple times.  Paper birthday and greeting cards are still a special way to make a connection when you live in separate places.

Face-to-face visits are the best way to stay in your child’s life. Make spending time with your child a high priority. If something comes up that prevents you from keeping your commitment, connect with your child directly, if possible.  As soon as you can, work with your child to come up with an alternative plan to see each other.

If you are in a situation where face-to-face visits aren’t possible, videotaping yourself talking and/or reading to your children is a way to communicate that they can watch again and again.

The preferred way of staying in touch with your children will vary with the ages and personalities of your children. It is important to hear what they want from you, as well as what they will commit to in return. If possible, make contact with your children daily or at least several times a week. It is important to be reliable, be consistent, and be genuine.

Here are some resources:

Operation: Military Kids (http://www.operationmilitarykids.org/public/home.aspx) is the U.S. Army’s collaborative effort with America’s communities to support children and youth impacted by deployment. Regardless of whether Families are experiencing deployment for the first time, the second time or another in a series of multiple deployments, OMK’s goal is to connect military children and youth with local resources in order to achieve a sense of community support and enhance their well-being.

A Kid’s Guide to Divorce

http://kidshealth.org/kid/feeling/home_family/divorce.html