The story is unfortunately all too common. A 13 year old boy commits suicide after a cyberbully torments him relentlessly. An 18 year old girl kills herself after a "sexting" incident that put nude photos of her, meant only for her boyfriend, in the hands of many other people, some in the very school she attended. It seems to be reaching epidemic proportions, cyberbullying and sexting. It seems that the online world has gone out of control, populated with perverts and bullies. So, how can parents keep their children safe without taking the internet away from them completely? What can a parent do to protect their children from what at times is a very cruel world?
So, what can parents do to protect their children from cyberbullies and prevent them from sexting? Well, you could take away cell phones and set the parental controls on the internet so that the only page they can access is Disney.com, but that isn't very realistic. Also, when you get right down to it, you can't spend your life shielding your children from things that may hurt them. If you do, you are doing them a great disservice. The best thing that you can do is teach them how to protect themselves and how to make smart, sound decisions.
Cyberbullying: Know the Signs
Of course, things will still happen and your child may become a victim regardless of what you teach them. It is important to know the warning signs so that you can tell when something is wrong. Laying a good foundation of open communication with your child is a good start and will help you pick up on the warning signs early. The signs may be subtle and barely discernible.More on Cyber Bullying and Sexting: What Parents Can Do