Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Don't Call Me a Bully!

One-third to one-half of teens have been bullied online, and just as many teens engage in cyberbullying others. Yet many cyberbullies don't view themselves as bullies at all. They think of, "bullying" as the "old-fashioned" kind of harassment -- upfront and personal. By comparison, their online behavior is no big deal. Harassing, teasing, threatening, or embarrassing someone on the internet or by cellphone is perceived as fun, funny, and inconsequential. And if somebody's feelings get hurt? Well, they probably deserved it!

Of course, cyberbullying is a big deal. The effects can be devastating to the victims, causing self-esteem issues, trouble in school, depression, and self-destructive behaviors like substance abuse and even suicide. Many kids would stop their bullying if they understood the consequences.

But how does a teen -- or anybody else -- know if their online activities have crossed the line into bullying? Here's part of a quiz from my book Tackling Tough Topics with Faith and Fiction. Even one "yes" answer can be a sign of cyberbullying:

Have you ever texted or posted rude comments or insults to or about anyone?
Have you ever forwarded photos, emails, texts, or anythng else someone wanted to keep private?
Have you ever posted something negative online that you would never say in person?

Need help talking to kids about sensitive issues like cyberbullying? I wrote Tackling Tough Topics to help you, and I'm giving away three free copies. Enter here:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Tackling Tough Topics with Faith and Fiction by Diana R. Jenkins

Tackling Tough Topics with Faith and Fiction

by Diana R. Jenkins

Giveaway ends April 23, 2015.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to Win

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