Cyber-Bullying Counseling Services in Orlando, Winter Park, Clermont, Lake Mary, and East Orlando Florida FL
Cyber-Bullying: Technology used as a Weapon of Teen Abuse:
Teens use technology as a way of stalking, abusing, and blackmailing others. In most relationships, Instant Messaging, texting, sexting and social networking places such as My Space are convenient ways to communicate. But in a growing number of teen relationships, technology is being used as a potent weapon against one another. For example, if either the boy or girl friend is not comfortable having a sexual relationship, the other may threaten to wage cyber war by spread rumors and pictures via texting and the internet.
Cell phones and text messaging are a means for a teenager to be independent of their parents and give them assess to others at all times day and night. Consequently many parents have no idea whether their teen maintains constant contact with another nor if they are subject to cyber abuse. Parents need to be on the alert for this possibility and limit late evening cell phone and computer use.
The Teenage Research Unlimited Survey of 13-18 (2008) uncovered the following statistics regarding cyber abuse.
71% of teens recognize the seriousness of using cell phones and social networking in spreading rumors
68% see problem with sharing embarrassing pictures/videos on computers and phones
24% of teens in a relationship text or talk hourly between midnight and 5:00am
30% say they receive text messages wanting to know where they are, what they are doing, and who they are with from their boy/girlfriend 10-30 times per hour
Having a teen dating is a big enough challenge without worrying about their internet and cell phone connections! However, in today’s relationships, land lines are a thing of the past and parents are unaware of whom their teen is communicating with. MySpace, other social networking sites, and texting, all remove the parent’s awareness of what is going on in their adolescent’s relationships. Although they see their teenager constantly texting or checking their MySpace, they are unaware that this could be evidence of an abusive or inappropriate relationship.Teenage Research Unlimited Survey of 13-18 (2008) found that:
- 67% of parents whose teens were monitored on their cell phones up to 30 times/day were unaware of its occurrence
- 82% of parents whose teens were sending/receiving e-mails or texts 30 times per hour did not know this was happening
- 71% were unaware that their teen was afraid to respond to their boyfriends/girlfriends cell/text/IM message or e-mail because of what they might do.
1. Interesting, this survey also showed that only 28% of parents limited their teenager’s use of their cell phone and on-line communication. Limitation is the first step to preventing abuse. Many teens’ secretive communication occurs between midnight and 5:00 am. Deciding on an appropriate cut off time for both the cell phone and on-line communication is necessary. For some teens, a simple agreement will suffice; however, for others, physically removing the phone and laptop will be necessary
2. Examine your phone bills and determine if there is indeed a problem. Does your teen connect with one number incessantly? Or do the numbers seem to be spread out over a variety of numbers? This will help determine the need for further intervention.
3. Many phone companies allow for parental controls on their children’s phones. This is a really good feature that too few parents take advantage of. There is a fee involved, but it can limit the hours they call/text without you having to constantly remind them when their time will be up.
4. Limit the amount of time spent on MySpace or other social networking sites. Too many vulnerable teens believe they are in a relationship only to find out the person doesn’t exist. Teen profiles are often false; they enjoy creating a fantasy identity, sometimes because they have difficulty relating to others in real social settings. A great site to check out is www.time-scout.com. The time scout monitor allows parents to control the amount of time their kids spend on the computer and removes them from the constant “just a few more minutes” battle.
5. Know whom your teen is dating and monitor where they are going.
6. Talk to your teen about normal dating practices.
7. Know the warning signs of teen abusive relationships (see future article).
Author: Evelyn Wenzel
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What can I expect when receiving help for Cyber Bullying:
Parent Support and Education:
We have counselors who will provide education and support to parents about how to address Cyberbullying in your home.
Individual Leadership or Social Coaching: Leadership or Social Skills Training can build confidence and help students roll with conflict rather than overreact or feel isolated or defeated.
Leadership/Social Skills Group Counseling: Leadership/Social Skills Groups are available for Students to observe how they interact with their peers and redirect inappropriate responses or reactions when it happens. Read More
Ropes Course: Leadership/Social Skills Camps incorporates experiential learning utilizing ropes courses with zip lines, climbing walls as well as low ropes activities. Here we are able to observe how they interact with their peers and redirect inappropriate responses or reactions when it happens as well.
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