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Bullying can happen anywhere. Many children and teens are regular victims of bullying, which can lead to serious emotional scarring and problems with the victim's self-esteem and self-image. Correcting these behaviors before they start or get out of hand is important for parents and educators to keep in mind. In this article we are discussing the facts on bullying and how you can watch for warning signs in victims of bullying as well as in children who might be bullies themselves.

Types of bullying:

  • Verbal. This type of bullying usually involves name calling and or teasing
  • Social. Spreading rumors, intentionally leaving others out of activities on purpose, breaking up friendships are all examples of social bullying.
  • Physical. This traditional form of bullying involves hitting, punching, shoving and other acts of intention physical harm.
  • Cyberbullying. This method of bullying involves using the Internet, texting, email and other digital technologies to harm others.

 

Cyber-bullying prevention tips

 

Establish rules:  If your teenager has a cell phone or access to the Internet or both, be sure to sit down with them and review the Rules of Engagement agreement for such use, and have them agree

to your rules by signing the agreement.

Obey age restrictions:  Obey age limitations set by social networks. Facebook requires users to be at least 13-years-old.

Sexting and Internet avoidance:  If your young child has a cell phone, make sure that it can't access the Internet. If their phone has a camera/video feature, contact your provider to disable their MMS service.

Invest in Smart Limits:  This service allows parents to "set text boundaries, disable text service after bedtime, and control who can be blocked from sending texts, among other benefits.

Check privacy and security settings, guard passwords: Double check all of your child's security settings to be sure they are all set to private and instruct your child to never share their passwords with anyone.

Know your child's friends:  Frequently monitor who your child is connected to. Be sure they are people that they know in real life, and people you trust.

Closely monitor Internet and cell phones:  For young children, keep the computer in a visible place, and spot check text messages, videos and photos.

Think before posting: Help your child manage their online image and reputation. Encourage your child to treat others online as they want to be treated in real life. It's crucial they understand what's posted on the Internet stays on the Internet forever.

Limit Personal Information: Be cautious about how much personal information your child posts. The more detailed the information, the easier it is for online predators, hackers, etc. to use their information to commit crimes.

Ignore/Block/Report:  Show your child how to ignore, block and report people who aren't being nice to them, whether in person, by text message or on the Internet. Ignoring isn't always the answer, but getting into a text or social network war by responding is the wrong answer. Help your child understand how important it is to not respond to any negative messages and to immediately report them to a trusted adult.

Contact the Authorities:  The police take cyber-bullying very seriously. If your child is ever physically threatened or contacted by a stranger, notify the police immediately.

Children lack the maturity and experience to deal with a difficult situation like being the target of a cyber-bully. Children MAY look to a trusted adult to help them respond appropriately and get through difficult situations.

 

Knowledge is power! If you are aware of what's happening, you can get involved and facilitate change.

 

Cyber-bullying prevention tips are provided by

Shawn Marie Edgington, a cyberbullying prevention expert.

For more information or for victim’s services in Humboldt County, please contact AVA-CASA. All advocates are mandatory reporters and required by law to report any knowledge or reasonable cause that a minor is being abused or neglected.

 

This column is not is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical or psychological advice or treatment.

 

 

The mission of AVA is to empower those victimized by abuse and/or violence through advocacy and crisis intervention and to raise awareness in the community about the cause, impact, and prevention of relationship abuse, sexual violence, child abuse and neglect, and bullying.

Tri-County CASA supports and promotes volunteer advocacy to protect the best interests of abuse and neglected children in Humboldt, Lander, and Pershing Counties in Nevada.

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