Parents Can Be Cyberbullies Too

When parents become cyberbullies.
When parents become cyberbullies.

From starting cyberbullying prevention early to raising awareness about online safety, we've covered many aspects of keeping kids safe and happy in an increasingly wired world. But cyberbullying isn't just the preserve of kids. In fact, a couple of shocking news stories illustrate that parents can even cyberbully their own children.

Read More:
Cyberbullying Prevention Starts Earlier Than You Think

A Mom Humiliates Her Child Online

Over at the Washington Post, advice columnist Marguerite Kelley responds to a reader who flew off the handle when she saw her nephew humiliated online by his own mother:

I recently opened Facebook and found that my sister had posted a picture of my nephew, her son, who was crying and holding a sign that said, "I lied to my family." [...] I didn't react well and asked my sister to take the picture down immediately, but I'm still afraid that the punishment may have harmed him indirectly, which would make it even worse.

Much like the mother who forced her son to wear a sign declaring he was a thief, I am sure there will be plenty of people who agree with such measures if the transgression warrants the punishment. But I must say it leaves me profoundly disturbed. Sure, kids need to learn that there are consequences to their actions and that they can't do as they please, but public humiliation is a cruel attempt to undermine a child's self esteem - not reach an understanding. As Kelley's response argues, a little shame or guilt can be a useful tool in teaching kids right from wrong, but such an extreme (and public) approach smacks more of revenge than it does a serious attempt to put things right.

Read More: Empty Threats:
The Importance of Following Through on Discipline

Man "Sexts" Pictures of His Step Daughter to Teach Her a Lesson

Meanwhile Forbes reports that an Arizona man takes inappropriate use of online technologies to a whole new level, having decided to "teach" his stepdaughter about the dangers of sexting by sending out a nude photo of her to a large portion of her contact list: