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  • Autumn Quiles, LCSW

Cyberbullying Research Center

The pace of a tween's life is fast. Reputations can be destroyed within an hour. Scandals can spread within a half hour. The flammability of conversations and situations is extraordinary.

Technology is being built and refined to facilitate the social cyber-bonfires that tweens and teens attend.

And, this thought... that our kids are attending, fueling, and burning in, social cyber-bonfires is terrifying for parents. While we recognize that our kids must exist online to be accepted, we cannot possibly prevent them from hurting, or being hurt, by what happens in social media circles. Our bumbling, fumbling fingers can't remember pin numbers, much less keep track of the ever-evolving apps and programs and widgets that our kids are mindlessly surfing through.

Our ineptitude, when compared to their mastery, leaves us only one option... we have to trust them. Besides, any expert in cyberbullying will tell you, a caregiver's open, communicative relationship with their child is the best way to prevent that child from hurting, or being hurt, online. We have to believe that, before they get in too deep, they will call for us. And, mostly, they do.

Yet, trusting a person who stockpiles cereal bowls in their room or wears a hoodie in hundred-degree weather seems to be a recipe for disaster. So, my recent discovery of the Cyberbullying Research Center was a true find that I'll be sharing with the parents I see. This is a place where true scientists, who are attending these social bonfires with our kids, post blogs and articles and research papers about what is Most Important to Know. A cruise through this site is a must-read for parents who are struggling to be as informed as possible about the world their kids are navigating.

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