Cyber Bullying: Hand Reach by iriskh
The term bullying gets thrown around a lot by children and youth. If a peer doesn’t play with you on the playground, that’s not necessarily bullying. If that person is the most popular one in the class and threatens everyone else with isolation from the group if they playing with you, that is bullying. Many activities that involve cruelty and meanness may not be bullying, although they still need to be addressed (see next week’s post). Bullying must involve an abuse of power in order to intentionally make someone feel bad (threatened, intimidated, embarrassed), and must occur repeatedly. Bullying that happens using technology is called cyberbullying.
It is important to note that children and youth may not label an incident as bullying, even if an adult would. They may use terms such as pranking, drama, joking around, etc. Educating children and youth about bullying involves identifying behaviors that constitute bullying, and helping them recognize approaches for dealing with that behavior using terms that are familiar to them.
What we Know about Bullies?
They often have
- high self esteem
- cachet within a peer group whereby their actions are not challenged
- exposure to aggression e.g. from parents
Child/Peer Responses that Help
- stand up to bullies
- refuse to participate in acts of bullying
- dissociate from bullies
- delete hurtful messages and content
- block the sender in cyberbullying incidents
Child/Peer Responses that Hurt
- get upset with the victim for getting the bully in trouble
- blame the person who is hurt for the actions of the bully
Adult Responses that Help
- challenge bullying behavior
- encourage children to resolve the issue themselves (if it is safe for them to do so)
- take situations where children feel unsafe seriously, and take steps to help them feel safe (restorative justice, education, advice, support, etc.)
- encourage children to have good friends that they can talk to
- know your children’s friends (for parents)
- get help from school, church, experts if you are overwhelmed by the situation
- Model and encourage acceptance, tolerance and respect
Adult Responses that Hurt
- blame the victim for the actions of the bully
- ignore the situation or simply treat the child’s hurt as overreaction
- fear tactics and threatening children with the dire effects of their choices so that they don’t get help when they get in trouble
- focus on bullying leading to suicide (rates are quite low but each individual case is high profile)
“Another Teen Suicide after Alleged Sex Assault Troubles California Town.” Fox News. FOX News Network, 25 May 2013. Web. 30 May 2013.
Borba, Michele. “11 Possible Signs of Cyber Bullying at Dr. Michele Borba’s Reality Check.” Dr Michele Borbas Reality Check. N.p., 5 Nov. 2011. Web. 30 May 2013.
Finkelhor, David, Heather A. Turner, and Sherry Hamby. “Let’s prevent peer victimization, not just bullying.” Child Abuse and Neglect-the International Journal 36.4 (2012): 271.
Marshall, Jessica. “Discovery News.” DNews. Discovery.com, 1 Apr. 2010. Web. 30 May 2013.
Marwick, Alice E., and Danah Boyd. “The Drama! Teen Conflict, Gossip, and Bullying in Networked Publics.” A Decade in Internet Time: Symposium on the Dynamics of the Internet and Society, September 2011. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 May 2013.
“National Suicide Statistics at a Glance.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 02 Apr. 2013. Web. 30 May 2013.
“Study on Long-neglected Factor in Net Safety: Resilience.” Tech Intelligence for Parents. Netfamilynews.org, 22 Jan. 2013. Web. 30 May 2013.
Learn more about the issue and how to get help