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Does Bullying Impact Your Child's Developing Brain?

By Tim Woda on January 16, 2015 at 12:00 PM

To many, bullying is still considered a “soft” form of abuse because there are no visible injuries. After all, only our feelings are hurt. 

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Roundup: This Week’s Top Digital Parenting News

By Tim Woda on October 10, 2014 at 1:58 PM

Get the latest and greatest on the top digital parenting news and stories of the week!

This week: cyberbullying escalates during the transition from elementary to middle school (shocker!), parents are encouraging kids to pursue careers in digital fields, and a texting-while-driving tracking device is in production. Check out the news roundup and join the conversation in the comment section below.

Students Experience Increase in Cyberbullying During Elementary to Middle School Transition

A study that was recently published in School Psychology Quarterly found that students increasingly become targets of cyberbullying during the transition from elementary school to middle school. The study took place in the Midwest and examined three semesters of data following 1,180 students.

The study categorized students who were bullied into 4 groups:

  • 29% were occasional victims of traditional bullying (verbal or physical bullying)

  • 10% were occasional victims of traditional bullying and cyberbullying

  • Half of bullied students were infrequent victims

  • 11% of bullied students were frequent victims

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Adult Bullying: Harassment By People You Respect

By Steven Woda on April 21, 2014 at 12:24 PM

Social media etiquette starts at home. Read on to learn about how cyberbullying is not conducted just by kids and teens. This article was originally published on The Huffington Post by writer, author, and blogger Sue Scheff. Check out her blog here.

Adult bullying is more prevalent than many want to admit. If you're old enough to pay a mortgage or raise a family, shouldn't you be able to handle anything that comes your way? But bullying doesn't come to a standstill after graduating from the playground, and giving grown-ups a pass on aggressive behavior only sets a bad example for our children still on the playground.

A while back, I discussed the case of a parent who felt the need to air her laundry (dirty and clean) all over her Facebook timeline. Her thoughts were broadcasted publicly, even for her children to see. Additionally, a group of mothers recently took to Facebook to bash pictures of toddlers. These behaviors make kids think: if my own mother can bully, then why can't I?

In case we needed another reminder that no one -- not even 300-pound offensive linemen -- is immune to being victimized look no further than the Jonathan Martin case earlier this month. Bullying is entrenched in the NFL, as is the idea that what goes on in the locker room, should stay in the locker room -- including hazing. The incessant tormenting from Martin's teammate, Richie Incognito, forced him to take leave from the team and admit himself to a hospital for emotional distress.

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No Such Thing as a Bully: Shred the Label

By Steven Woda on April 9, 2014 at 10:43 AM

Here's an article coming from our friends Kelly Karius and Sue Scheff! Kelly Karius elaborates on a previous article written by Sue Scheff and shares insight about where bullying labels develop and how to change our way of thinking regarding the issue.

I was drawn to Sue Scheff’s Huffington Post article “Grownup Bullying and Monster Moms”Immediately. She had me from Hello. “I know bullying and cyberbullying is a topic that many people are becoming immune to.”

We are. And I believe I know why. Two reasons:

  1. We are currently labeling everything bullying.

  2. Adults don’t acknowledge their behavior. So why should children?

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Famous Movies About Teenage Bullying

By Tim Woda on April 4, 2014 at 11:00 AM

Teenage bullying has become a hot button topic. It comes in physical and psychological forms, with an individual or group of individuals deciding to assault another. The reason usually has something to do with the victim being different in their eyes. This is an unfortunate attitude. With the advent of the Internet, cyberbullying has brought bullying to the forefront and has made bullying both easier and more invasive.

As always, movies will shed a light on the darker aspects of our society from a number of angles. It can be enlightening if we pay attention to the message as much as the storyline. Here are five movies about teenage bullying.

Heathers (1988)

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Long Term Effects Of Bullying On The Victim

By Steven Woda on April 3, 2014 at 10:38 AM

Bullying has often been considered as something that some children experience at some point in their lives. However, with the Internet and smartphones, bullying has been elevated to an extremely sophisticated type of social harassment. New studies are showing that bullying can have negative effects that last long into adulthood.

Loss of Confidence

A single act of bullying can cause diminished self-esteem that can last a lifetime. A child who is bullied feels powerless and their self-identity as a competent person who is able to protect himself in the world becomes wounded.

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Meet the 13-Year-Old Using Social Media Data to Map Cyberbullying

By Tim Woda on February 14, 2014 at 1:44 PM

According to the Cyberbullying Research Center:

“about one out of every four teens has experienced cyberbullying, and about one out of every six teens has done it to others.”

The Center has also found that victims of cyberbullying are nearly twice as likely to attempt suicide than youth who have not experienced cyberbullying.

The overwhelmingly widespread nature of online bullying, its potentially fatal consequences and the lack of control held by adults to stop this behaviour has made this an extremely difficult problem to solve. However, 13 year old Indian American teen Viraj Puri may have found the solution for this complex issue.

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Help End the Cyberbullying That Caused My Daughter to Take Her Life

By Steven Woda on February 1, 2014 at 4:23 PM

cyberbullyingThis article was originally published on The Huffington Post, United Kingdom and written by Gabbi Dix. 

Last week a news story sent a shiver down my spine. During the inquest into the death of 15-year-old Tallulah Wilson, her mum called for action against the "toxic digital world" that made the last months of her daughter's life hell. It's a feeling I share.

On the evening of Tuesday 17 September 2013, my 14-year-old daughter Izzy Dix took her own life. For a period of almost two years Izzy was bullied. She was tormented at school, in the local community and online. We spoke openly about this, I contacted the school on many occasions, and I was trying my best every day to help and support her through it. The worst of the online bullying took place on a website called Ask.fm.

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Cyberbullying Versus Traditional Bullying

By Tim Woda on January 24, 2014 at 4:54 PM

This article is from Psychology today and compares traditional bullying with cyberbullying.

Just how different is traditional bullying from cyberbullying? Studies are beginning to show that the way youth bully online is a lot different from traditional schoolyard bullying. Teens may think what they are posting or texting is just a joke, but if you're on the receiving end it may not be all that funny. In fact, if the "joking" is repetitive, it could cross the line into bullying, more specifically cyberbullying. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics cyberbullying is the "most common online risk for all teens and is a peer to peer risk."

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uKnowKids Has Released Another SlideShare! View Now!

By Steven Woda on November 18, 2013 at 11:18 AM

Check out the SlideShare on uKnowKids's newest eBook, "Bullycide: The Dark Side of Cyberbullying." This important SlideShare gives you the basics of one of the most dangerous trends in recent memory affecting our youth -- suicide linked to excessive bullying. The SlideShare gives you a condensed version of this troubling trend, but if you want the full text, download the eBook here.

This Slideshare will teach you basics about:

  • an introduction to bullycide

  • the disastrous consequences of cyberbullying

  • bullycide and the law

  • and more.

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10 Things Every Parent MUST Know About Cyberbullying

By Tim Woda on October 24, 2013 at 10:47 AM

This article was originally published in the Huffington Post by Caroline Knorr, Common Sense Media parenting editor.

With the statistics piling up, it has become increasingly clear that the cruelties inflicted by cyberbullying have become a devastating reality for many tweens and teens.

While bullying is nothing new, when it takes place in the digital world, the public humiliation can shatter young lives. Photos, cruel comments, taunts and threats travel in an instant, and can be seen, revisited, reposted, linked to and shared by a huge audience.

We're all responsible for making the digital world a decent place. Below are some of the top concerns we've heard from parents trying to make sense of kids' online behavior.

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Guest Interview: Jayne Hitchcock, Cyberbullying Prevention

By Steven Woda on October 22, 2013 at 10:47 AM

For the month of October, during National Bullying Prevention Month, we are posting interviews we conducted with some of the most influential people in the cyberbullying prevention space. The next in the series involves Jayne A. Hitchcock, President of Working to Halt Online Abuse – Kids/Teen Division.

uKK:What is the nature of your expertise on cyberbullying?

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Guest Interview Tara Fishler: Cyberbullying Prevention

By Tim Woda on October 17, 2013 at 2:55 PM

For the month of October, during National Bullying Prevention Month, we are posting interviews we conducted with some of the most influential people in the cyberbullying prevention space. The next in the series involves Tara Fishler, Founder & CEO of “Customized Training Solutions."

uKK: What is the nature of your expertise on cyberbullying?

TF: I have been educating students, parents and teachers on the issues of bullying, cyberbullying and related topics for many years.

uKK: What do you believe is the number one thing that can be done to draw attention to and prevent this trend?

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Guest Interview with Jill Buban: Cyberbullying Prevention

By Steven Woda on October 15, 2013 at 2:06 PM

For the month of October, during National Bullying Prevention Month, we are posting interviews we conducted with some of the most influential people in the cyberbullying prevention space. The next in the series involves Jill Buban, Dean, School of Education at Post University.

uKK: What is the nature of your expertise on cyberbullying?

JB: My experience with cyberbullying spans K-12 and college students, as well as in my experiences as a parent of an elementary school child. As a parent, previous high school teacher, college instructor, and currently, college administrator, cyberbullying is ever present and should be a top concern for parents and places of learning.

uKK: What do you believe is the number one thing that can be done to draw attention to and prevent this trend?

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Guest Interview with Jennifer Hancock: Cyberbullying Prevention

By Tim Woda on October 10, 2013 at 11:01 AM

For the month of October, during National Bullying Prevention Month, we are posting interviews we conducted with some of the most influential people in the cyberbullying prevention space. Our first one involves Jennifer Hancock, author of The Bully Vaccine. 

uKK: What is the nature of your expertise on cyberbullying?

JH: I teach people how to use operant conditioning to train bullies to stop bullying. Yes, it does work and yes, it works with cyberbullying just as well as with in person bullying. Actually, cyberbullying is easier to deal with because it’s impersonal.

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Check Out This Awesome Video for a Little Joy in the Face of Bullies

By Steven Woda on September 27, 2013 at 1:00 PM

With all of the tragic news surrounding the tragic suicide of Rebecca Ann Sedwick attributed to cyberbullies, we thought you might need a little joy in your life.

Watch this uplifting video about a brother who wants nothing more but to see the bullies stop messing with his sister. 

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Lessons Learned from Cyberbullying

By Steven Woda on August 7, 2013 at 2:35 PM

Unwelcome sexting, abusive text messages, digital public humiliation and social media harassment all fall under the umbrella of cyberbullying. The sobering realities of cyberbullying have become so prevalent that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) published a "Cyberbullying and Sexting: Law Enforcement Perceptions" bulletin advising agencies that "94 percent of school resource officers agreed that cyberbullying was a serious problem warranting a law enforcement response."

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Social Media Monitoring: You Can't Turn a Blind Eye to Facebook

By Steven Woda on May 21, 2013 at 4:01 PM

With the advent of social media and the fact that kids are spending more time on the internet now more than ever, parents need to be extra sure to pay special attention to what their kids are getting into online. In the past, one of the biggest concerns you might have had as a parent dealt with the kind of kids that your child spends a lot of time with. Now, social media sites such as Facebook give kids an outlet that can reach quite literally the majority of the people that your child may know. This can be just fine if your children are trustworthy and responsible with what they share, but some children cross the line, whether it has something to do with sexting, online bullying, or making inappropriate comments.

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The 9 Most Used Cyberbullying Tactics

By Tim Woda on April 29, 2013 at 4:41 PM

No one wants to see their child being bullied. As bullying becomes more and more prevalent in the media, it has become obvious that bullying no longer just takes on the "Steal your lunch money" tactics of past generations.     

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Top 25 Family Safety Articles of the Week

By Steven Woda on March 15, 2013 at 12:19 PM

Tim was once again featured on SafeSoundFamily's "Top 25 Safety Articles of the Week."  Check it out for some of the best articles that were published this week! 

Home Safety

  1. Mike, from the NFPA’s Safety Source, reminds us that we should have changed smoke detector batteries when we moved our clocks forward. He also links to a free resource (PDF) on smoke alarm safety at home.

  2. Judi, also of Safety Source, has some sound advice on cooking safety: never leave your stovetop unattended. This is an all-too-common (but preventable) cause of house fires.

Family & Child Safety

  1. We all know that it’s harder to be nasty to another person’s face, but Tim of uKnowKids puts this in context: cyberbullying is faceless, and is therefore easier and more prevalent than traditional schoolyard bullying.

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