Cyberbullying: Our Kids and the Net Neighborhood

When our kids log onto the Internet, they enter a huge neighborhood with all kinds of potential experiences – good and bad – just a click away. For parents and other adults who want to make the most of the Internet (safely) for young children and teens, here are a few tips, some paraphrased from Barbara Coloroso’s The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander:

1. Don’t allow children to roam the streets, back alleys, and freeways of the Internet unsupervised.

2. Get all the up-to-date information you can on how to guide them. Browse your local bookstore or library. Talk to educators and other parents. Explore the Internet for resources. Talk to your kids about their Internet culture.

3. Learn the language and culture of these new neighborhoods. Ask your teen for help. Below are a few examples of acronyms. For more, see

HHOJ: Ha, ha, only joking.
LOL: Laughing out loud.
BRB: Be right back.
POS: Parent over shoulder.
YRDM: You are dead meat.
MF: My friend.
ASL: Age/sex/location.
F2F: Face to face.

It’s important to know and keep up with the lingo your kids are using. Talk to them about it.

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