Happy Birthday to Love Our Children USA, who turns eleven years old this week. I would venture to guess there are many children who have benefited from eleven years of Love.
And as a special thank you, Ross answered all of our interview questions and here is the pdf that you can download or print:
“CyberBullying is social terror by technology,” said Ross. Anyone, of the age of reason, who is on the Internet, understands cyberbullying. We would be hard pressed to find an adolescent who is digitally impaired and unfamiliar with cyberbullying. Find a teen who has not heard of cyberbullying and you can have a free copy of both our books.
I have heard it more than once…Kids can be cruel. I keep hearing Winn Schwartau’s comment when asked, “What can we do to make the Internet safe”? “Behavioral modification,” Winn retorted. When we thought about what he said, it changed the CyberHood Watch partner’s perspective in a big way.
Civility, now that is a behavioral modification worth looking into. Imagine the results if children grasped that concept. Seems politeness, being courteous, and acting civil towards one another has slipped away or gone dormant with the new Net-Generation.
Ross defines cyberbullying, Sexting, and a new method of hazing, which raises the question, are our children mature enough to handle all of today’s technology.
Again, one of the consistent words we hear from Authorities whom the CyberHood Watch partner’s interview on a regular basis is “communication”. Ross points how parents need to take the lead when permitting children the use of technology and it starts with communication. It begins with communicating with your child what is expected of them when using any particular device given to them. In this case, it was the cell phone.
Parents, if you are not familiar with what is happening in your child’s world, how do you expect them to understand or have a glimpse from a more mature perspective. If you do not prepare them, someone else will.
Ross points out another interesting approach for parents to take when dealing with our young digital citizens. Try asking your child what kinds of bullying, cyberbullying, or other behaviors they are they familiar with or even seen. It is not directed at them personally so; you may get more of a response.
Here are some very important words Ross reminded all of us and words that everyone should take heed…,”Think it won’t happen to you”? Parents, educators, guardians, etc. do not allow the digital gap to widen any more. Who is going to teach your children? Get involved, set the example, become the responsible cybercitizen. No one expects you to become a security IT expert, but you could learn some basics. Start with social networking…Ask your child to help you set up your own personal social networking site. You will be pleasantly surprised the conversation you will start with that.
Kids need to toughen-up. Imagine the thought process that individual dealt with when he heard Ross’s responses, “…really, I said, are you aware that children use suicide as an alternative to get rid of the pain from this stuff.” Not surprising to discover he had no idea.
Listening to the show, you will come to realize how important it is for parents to educate themselves about the Internet, computers, the lingo used by teens. It occurred to me…Parents! – Get involved! Show some interest in your child’s digital life. Help them to become responsible cybercitizens.
Ross covered what needs to be done if your child becomes a victim of cyberbullying. Fast forward to the 45:00 timestamp and listen to the tips Ross suggests for parents.
Beware! Information Overload On The Horizon…The Key is Education.
Here is a great tip from Ross: Set up Google Alerts about your child!
Your CyberHood Watch Partners
by: david c ballard
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