Thursday, November 12, 2015

Catfish and Cyberbullies: Why Children Need Help from Parents

Catfish and Cyberbullies: Why Children Need Help from Parents
written by: Bruce McCorry's Martial Arts

If you are a parent, every other day, you might come across something or other that warns you of the dangers that your teens and kids may face in their lives. If you are thinking in terms of guns and stalkers, perhaps it is time to know that a danger might not always be as dramatic as that. Even the internet can be the villain. And online dangers are often more real and more damaging than gunshots.

Catfish was a buzzword a few years back, when we first noticed why the internet might not be that good after all. No one can deny that in the wrong hands, the internet can be manipulated to the worst weapon. Unfortunately, the victims of many of the hoaxes like catfish are children and teenagers.

Online Hoaxes and Children: Not a Safe Spot to Be
One very damaging form of online victimization is cyber bullets. Simply put, it is anything that is damaging, that can ruin a person's reputation. Anyone can be a victim of cyber harassment, but kids are the more likely victims. In the case of child victimization, often we find kids themselves at the other end of the danger. This is partly because kids and teens react without thinking of consequences even at the smallest of rivalries. Often they do not realize the damage that they are bringing upon the child at the other end.

Catfish, the curiously named cyber hoax, however has more planned culprits. Catfishing involves false profiles and fake identities in social media, which often target tweens and teenagers to trap them in deceptive relationships. All you need to do is to look at the number of sex rackets that have been traced to online media, and you will know how much it matters. Kids and teenagers, without much experience of the world, are often easy prey for catfishers.

Online stalking, cyberbullying, blackmail using morphed images and theft of private data has been on the rise in the past years, and it is important to tell your kids where the danger lies.

Safe Childhood: Some Tips to Remember

* First of all, do not hesitate to talk openly to your kids of the possible dangers. Develop a friendly relationship with them so that they don't hide matters from you.

* Tell them to be cautious while posting comments and photos online. 

* Ask them to keep their private information and password confidential. Keep all the privacy checks in social media, and ask your kids to share anything that looks suspicious.

* Most of the catfish incidents happen where kids tried to seek friendships and relationships online. Introduce them to spaces where they can develop real-life friendships and confidence.

Martial Arts for Confidence
Often cyber bullying and harassment leave children drained and put off, and courses like martial arts have helped many such children. Martial arts can make children confident, alert and resilient, and it can give them the emotional poise and balance to survive unhappy incidents in their lives. Good martial art schools are also ones which offer a happy and welcoming campus where children learn to value real friendships and true fun which virtual worlds often fails to give them. But above all, it is important for you as parents to inquire into their problems, tell them of the dangers and help them to bounce back even if they are targeted by online threats.

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