For kids and teens, social media is part of daily life. There’s no real distinction between what goes on at school and what happens on platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Google+. With one in six teens having experienced cyberbullying in the last year, social media sites are taking steps to ensure that parents understand the seriousness of this issue.
October is National Bullying Prevention Month, and resources are starting to pop up that are designed to help parents get a handle on how they can keep their kids safe as they navigate the sometimes dangerous waters of the online world. It doesn’t take much for a spat at school to turn into an all-out war online, sometimes with tragic consequences. Many kids and teens who experience cyberbullying feel that they’re trapped in a hopeless situation. It’s important for parents to recognize the signs and know how to stop cyberbullying before it goes too far.To help address the issue, Facebook has released the “Facebook for Educators and Community Leaders Guide,” a manual that gives parents a better understanding of how their kids can safely share information on the site. It also explains how to report any form of abuse and harassment that users may be experiencing. Over on Twitter, parents can check out a “safety tips” page in the help guide for information.Google+ is also stepping up to the plate with a series of Hangouts in association with the media outlet PopSugar. Subjects range from cyberbullying to suicide prevention and include information for schools on how to help kids have a safer online experience. Given that cyberbullying is often an extension of something that happens at school, this is a crucial subject for today’s parents.
Any parent feeling baffled by the maze of social media can benefit from these resources. While it may seem impossible to penetrate the walls that kids and teens set up when using their computers or cellphones, knowing what they’re doing and how to properly monitor their activities is essential to preventing the potentially catastrophic consequences of cyberbullying.
Here are some other great resources online:
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