Category Archives: Cyberbullying

National Cyber Safety Awareness Day

Today is National Cyber Safety Awareness Day. A few years ago, this day would be unheard of but unfotunately, cyber-bullying has become one of the greatest dangers effecting our kids. And, it’s not just teens. One of the largest growing poplulations on the Internet is 2 – 4 year olds. As our young children gain more exposure online, the threats also will increase.

According to social media monitoring company,TrueCare, cyber bullying affects nearly 1 out of 2 children in America today. To help combat this epidemic, TrueCare offers parents an online monitoring service that will alert a parent to inappropriate content or harassment that is occuring. Sadly, bullying is not the only issue. It is estimated that over 5,000,000 predators surf the Internet and 77% of the targets for these predators were age 14 or older. Another 22% were users ages 10-13.

Whether it’s limited understanding of what kids are doing online or the denial of how serious the problem is, many parents have no idea what’s going on in their child’s life online. According to TrueCare, over 81% of parents don’t monitor their child’s online activities. Our kids are living online and if we are going to protect them we need to be there as well. According to I-Safe.org 58% of kids either bullied or harassed online have not told their parents. This unnerving statistic drives home the importance of our role as parents and caregivers to be pro-active, talk to our children and take note of changes in their activities and personality.

Let’s all take a stand and say NO to cyber bullying. Don’t let your child become another victim in this new reality.

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Filed under Child Safety, cyber safety, Cyberbullying, Internet safety

How can we stop the epidemic of bullying? Let’s start teaching tolerance by example

Today I was the guest speaker at a conference about cyberbulllying.  Whether it’s cyberbullying or “traditional” bullying, it’s a problem that’s growing.  Within the past 24 hours I’ve read two stories about  bullying and I’m sure there are hundreds more that didn’t make the news.  The first involved a boy who had his arms broken by thugs because he is a cheerleader.  Then today I just read about a freshman at Rutgers who killed himself after being taunted online by his roomate who secretly videotaped him.

How do we protect our kids?!  I worry every day about my special needs son and how kids in town my taunt him.  Even my younger daughter is worried about this.  The bottom line?  Kids can be cruel beyond belief.  They think it’s funny.   They make fun of kids that are “different” in some way.  For me, it goes back to the parents.  What have they learned and heard growing up?  Have they learned tolerance for all people?  

I recently came in contact with someone who espoused to be “Christian” and was preaching about how people of different religions, ethnicities and sexual orientations were evil.  I’m sure his kids are some of the ones who are committing these acts of bullying.  So, once these bullies do their dirty work and their victims are pushed to the point of killing themselves, do they feel righteous?  Do they understand that they, in fact, are the evil ones.  

If we want our kids to behave in a kind and tolerant manner then we’d better start teaching it at home.

 

Alison Rhodes is the founder of Safety Mom Enterprises and Safety Mom Solutions, the premier baby proofing and child safety company in the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut area.  Alison is a family safety expert, TV personality and consultant.  

 

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Filed under cyber safety, Cyberbullying