Cyberbullying: A QUICK-GUIDE FOR PARENTS:
What is cyberbullying, anyway? How likely is it? What are the signs? What do I do if my child is cyberbullied? For the most part, cyberbullying is bullying, only it happens on phones and other connected devices. Most experts agree that it involves repeated harassment and some type of power imbalance – and, when young people are involved, it usually has something to do with what’s happening with peers at school. It’s important to remember that not every mean comment or unpleasant interaction rises to the level of bullying. Centers for Disease Control reports that 15% of high school students were electronically bullied in 2017.
Cyberbullying: A QUICK-GUIDE FOR PARENTS: Cyberbullying Research Center estimates about 25% of all teens experience cyberbullying. Either way, it’s too many, but it’s important to note that most teens don’t bully others. We point this out not to minimize a serious problem, but to emphasize that bullying is not a norm. Kindness, not cruelty, is the norm.
One positive outcome we don’t think about (or hear in the news) enough is resilience. We know the human race will never completely eradicate meanness or cruelty, and we also know that bullying is not, as heard in past generations, “normal” or a rite of passage. We need to keep working to eradicate it. But when it does happen and we overcome it – our resilience grows. Resilience isn’t something that can be “downloaded” or taught. We grow it through exposure to challenges and figuring out how to deal with them. So sometimes it’s important to give our kids space to do that and let them know we have their back.