I still remember being pushed against a brick wall by a tall redhead in my 7th-grade class. She had overheard me laughing in the cafeteria and assumed I was laughing at her. I remember being terrified at the possibility of getting beat up, so I did the first thing that came to mind—I made a joke. That rash decision could have definitely ended with a punch in the face, but for some reason, she thought it was funny and let me go.
While physical bullying is still an issue today, thanks to the added element of social media, there is also the growing issue of cyberbullying. Every parent should be aware of the serious challenges their kids are facing, not only in real life but in cyberspace as well. Here are 3 cyberbullying trends that every parent should know about.
Cyberbullying Trend #1 – Sexting
Because kids don’t always look ahead to the possible consequences of their actions, dabbling in sexting can quickly get out of hand and turn into a cyberbullying nightmare. Just in case you’re one of the few who doesn’t know what sexting is, it’s basically sending explicit images, videos, or messages via a smartphone or through the internet.
Here is why the sexting trend is so dangerous for our youth:
- Sexting is never truly private. Sent images or information can be shared with the world in a matter of seconds.
- Sexting is illegal. In the worst cases, teens have been charged with felonies or have been required to register as sex offender.
- Sexting that gets out of hand can lead to serious anxiety and even suicidal thoughts.
Here is a downloadable guide for parents and educators that addresses teen sexting.
Cyberbullying Trend #2 – Racial Slurs & Injustice
The ebb and flow of racial tension
According to this article from Very Well Family, “typically, prejudicial bullying is based on stereotypes and prejudices kids have toward people who are different from them.”
I’d like to suggest that prejudices often start in the home. It’s important to be aware, and make sure your teen is not being racially bullied or bullying others who are different than them.
Cyberbullying Trend #3 – Harassment
Since many public figures have been charged with misconduct, recent news headlines have emphasized the effects of harassment in the workplace. But harassment doesn’t only happen in the workplace. Cyberbullying amongst teenagers can go from a few mean-spirited texts to complete cyber-harassment. According to a Kid’s Health report, “S
Parents and educators need to be fully aware of any and all cyberbullying that may be going on in their homes or classrooms. The bottom line is, kids cannot resolve this problem alone. Even though they may feel too ashamed to reach out for help, parents need to be proactive and watch for signs, symptoms, and cyberbullying trends that may be affecting