The journey of parenthood is similar to venturing into a predator infested jungle with the hope to come out alive at the other end. A survivor will encounter unbelievable odds during the journey and in order to ensure that his/her head stays in place, they will adopt a hands on approach to find quick solutions for problems. Parents of teenagers are also frequently tested by sudden occurrences that require immediate attention; cyber-bullying being one such problem. In order to guide parents on how to prevent bullying, tech experts have some things to say about the unpredictable nature of social networks and how parents can look out for their kids online safety.
Advice From Tech Experts
Ilja Terebin: The social networking site, Ask.fm, has been in the eye of the storm recently when incidents of harsh bullying were identified on the site and which led a few teenagers to commit suicide.
Ilja Terebin, the chief executive of Ask.fm, said in reply to the non-stop queries directed at the online business, that his team designed the site in a manner that provides a safe environment for teens that protects them from bullying while allowing them to be expressive about their beliefs.
Terebin said that they had also developed different security protocols on the site to keep bullying in check.
In an effort to make parents aware of the bleak cyber-bullying facts, Terebin also said that social networking sites have made cruelty and meanness public, while adding that previously these acts were invisible and now they are displayed for all to see.
The visibility of bullies online can be used to understand the behavior and issues of young people and start meaningful discourse on related topics.
John Shahidi: He is the chief executive of Shots, a mobile app that does not enable commenting. He believes that the purpose of the app is to save teens from unnecessary drama that can drain their energy reserves.
The idea behind developing the app is to avoid public humiliation of teenagers in front of peers and strangers.
Therapists and counselors are experts too
Richard J. Hazler: He is a professor of counseling education at Penn State University and has written many papers on bullying and teens. He observed that children are often not able to comprehend the fact that their online actions can hurt someone’s feeling offline. Teenage brain is not fully developed and cannot understand fully the consequences of their actions. Therefore, parents have to teach sensibility to their kids that would allow them to weigh the impact of their actions to the best of their knowledge.
Dr Hollie Sobel: She is a therapist with The Family Institute at Northwestern University and her advice for parents is to talk to kids about bullying and to be supportive in an understanding way.
Acting Upon Genuine Advice
None of the experts above has advised parents against monitoring the activities of their children because the importance of doing so is understood by adults. Parental support can lead kids to develop and learn coping skills, a step that can greatly reduce the probability of online bullying in the future.