Cyber-bullying: What Can We Do to Stop It?

This summer for Leap of Joy we are focusing on bullying. It’s an unfortunate epidemic that keeps both children and adults alike down. Since we’re in the habit of lifting our students up in the highest regard, we find it pertinent to keep them aware of the dangers and effects of bullying. This week for our blog, we look at cyber bullying.

 

Child with surprised face in front of laptop.

Child with surprised face in front of laptop.

The definition of cyber bullying is loose at best. It’s easy to hide behind the anonymity  of  user names and screens, but many forget the impact it has on the target. For many children, bullying doesn’t always come from the school yard, but rather, outside of it. While a teacher may break up a fight in the lunchroom, or take away a nasty note, who is monitoring the voice of the students when they are thought to be safely at home?

There’s no easy solution to the problem. If you take away the child’s access to the internet, or device, they’ll simply find away to do the same thing through a different medium. More times than not, bullying comes from a self loathing that we all experience as human beings. We’re uncomfortable with an aspect of ourselves, so we make fun of others to make ourselves feel better. It’s a wretched circle, toxic and dangerous to those around us.

Cyber bullying can be anything from posting mean comments on pictures, snippy comments on status updates, or even full blown campaigns against the victim. Many children are not emotionally evolved enough to deal with the scrutiny, and in recent years there’s been a trend toward self inflicted violence in order to end the torment.

So what can we do? One of the most important things we can do for a child is teaching them the dangers of bullying from the very beginning. By instilling a code, and then following it ourselves, children can emulate proper behavior and learn how to deal with a situation accordingly. Things like social media etiquette are no longer an idea, but a requirement that children should learn before venturing on to the internet. It’s up to us to keep them informed and safe, in a world that’s known for driving many to the brink.

If you have any tips on keeping kids safe from cyber bullying, or would like to see more information on any of our subjects, please email drhoutkooper@leapofjoy.org, and be sure to check us out on Twitter and Facebook. We can’t wait to hear from you.

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