Protecting Your Children From Online Harassment

By Shawn Marie Edgington, Founder of the Great American NO BULL Challenge and bestselling author of the Parent’s Guide to Texting, Facebook and Social Media The NO BULL Challenge will use the power of social media to inspire students to build each other up, instead of tearing each other down. For more information, please visit The Great American No Bull Challenge website.

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With today’s technology and the fact that kids are constantly connected, parents are more challenged than ever before to keep their children safe and secure online. Did you know that almost half of our kids have experienced some form of online harassment? The fact is that 85% of teens don’t even tell their parents.

Here are a few questions I’ve been asked to give an opinion on. I hope they help you better navigate this new frontier in parenting.

 

Why are most parents ignoring the potential threat of social media?

Parents are ignoring the threat because most parents aren’t aware of what’s happening with teens and technology, or they don’t want to believe their child could be the one who is either the online bully or the target of one. It’s easier to think “Not my child” or “That could never happen where I live,” but the reality is a one-click nightmare can happen anywhere and to any child. 

As a parent, how did you come to terms with what a cyberbully was?

To be honest, I didn’t know anything about cyberbullies until my daughter was the target of a group of cyberbullies. That’s why I wrote my book. The book is a direct result of a personal experience I had with my then 16-year-old daughter who was threatened via text message and cyberbullied on Facebook. 

To quote my daughter Nicole, one of the national spokespeople for the Great American NO BULL Challenge, “Learning how to deal with cyberbullies is a complicated thing to do on your own. It’s my goal to help the youth of America gain knowledge when it comes to cyberbullies and become more aware of those around them that need help, but are too afraid to ask.”

If I would have known then what I know now, things wouldn’t have gotten so out of hand for my daughter. As a parent, I know how it feels to be desperate for answers and to live what I refer to as a one-click nightmare – and unfortunately, my daughter does too. I’ve made it my mission to show parents how to “parent” around technology, and help parents prevent their children from experiencing a one-click nightmare of their own.

Article written by Shawn Marie Edgington
Founder of the Great American NO BULL Challenge and bestselling author of the Parent’s Guide to Texting, Facebook and Social...