Roundup: This Week’s Top Digital Parenting News

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

Although the finding that cyberbullying ramps up in middle school isn’t exactly ground-breaking, the study discovered something quite compelling about other kinds of bullying. According to the study, US students grades 5-8 reported that physical and verbal bullying decreased as they got older.

Does this indicate that cyberbullying could mostly replace physical and in-person verbal bullying in the future? How might these findings affect:

  1. The ways in which we teach kids about bullying?

  2. How we detect and stop bullying?

Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below!

Parents Are Encouraging Kids to Pursue Digital Careers

A new survey for Virgin Media’s Switched On Futures initiative found that digital careers are becoming more popular with parents as being ideal potential jobs for their kids. The survey, which was given to 2,000 parents of children under 18, found that the top five career choices parents like for their kids include both app developer and technology entrepreneur careers.

Police Could Soon Use Texting-Detector Device to See Who’s Texting and Driving

The Virginia-based company ComSonics is developing a device that is similar to a radar gun, but it'll detect when someone is texting on the road. The gun recognizes a unique signal that is sent when someone sends or receives texts apart from background radio signals.

The device will have to pass through legislative approval before it goes into production, but the texting-detector could be a game-changer for texting and driving laws and prosecution everywhere.

Do you support the idea of law enforcement using texting-detectors? Could these detectors actually have an impact on the prevalence of texting and driving?

October is National Bullying Prevention Month

In case you hadn't heard, National Bullying Prevention Month kicked off last week. Bullying is an issue that continues to permeate the lives of millions of kids worldwide. The negative impacts of bullying can last a lifetime.

This month, it's important for parents, kids, teachers, and community members to step up and stand up to bullying. Use the tools and events provided this month to further educate yourselves and your children on the issue of bullying. Encourage your children not only to avoid bullying, but also to take an active role against bullying, standing up to friends who they see saying harmful things about others, especially online.

Check out and get involved in the National Bullying Prevention Month events:

PACER: PACER's National Bullying Prevention Campaign began NBPM in 2006. This year, the campaign encourages you to share your story, fundraise, hold a school event, or sign the digital petition to stop bullying. You can also participate in October 22nd's Unity Day event by wearing orange and asking teachers to have a UNITY discussion.

Hashtag to Use: #UnityDay2014 The US Department of Health & Human Services has put together an excellent database of resources on bullying for parents, teachers, and kids including inspiring videos, apps, and a webinar series. The campaign encourages teens to share their stories on the campaign's Tumblr and also wants people to get involved on their Twitter and Facebook pages.

Hashtag to Use: #StopBullying365

Stomp Out Bullying: The campaign encourages kids to get proactive about bullying through participating in weekly themes.

  • Week of October 13th: Make friends with someone you don't know at school

  • Week of October 20th: STAND UP for others week

Hashtag to Use: #STOMPOutBullying

Cartoon Network: The kids network is doing the Stop Bullying: Speak Up Campaign this month. Anyone can get involved by taking the Speak Up Pledge and sharing it with friends. The Campaign has an abundance of highly-recommended resources for both kids and parents who are concerned about bullying, including tip sheets, comics, colorful videos, and blog articles.

Hashtag to Use: #ISpeakUp

                      View our Digital Parenting Resource Center                
We are pleased to announce that Bark will be taking over where we leave off. The uKnowKids mission to protect digital kids will live on with Bark. Our team will be working closely with Bark’s team in the future, so that we can continue making the digital world a safer, better place for kids and their families. While we are disappointed we could not complete this mission independently, we are also pleased to hand the uKnowKids baton to Bark.
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