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How To Protect Your Kids From Facebook Bullying — Expert Advice

Sun, June 24, 2012 2:44pm EDT by 2 Comments
Dr. Michele Borba

With the network expanding to kids under 13 amidst a constant stream of Facebook bullying headlines, what can a mom do to protect her child? We asked an expert for advice.

Yes, it was wrong for Debbie Piscitella to choke her 13-year-old daughter’s Facebook bully for his vicious comments, but surprisingly, more than 75 percent of our readers voted they would do the same thing. We doubt those parents are actually wringing any necks, but if anything the poll says it’s clearly innate to protect our children. Facebook bullying is a sad reality, so we asked parenting expert Dr. Michele Borba what steps YOU can take to prevent harm and keep your children safe.

“Number one is monitor,” Dr. Borba told exclusively. “Monitor your child because when your child is on Facebook its still a privilege.”

She also advises that parents also stay ahead of the social media curve: “You can’t monitor unless you known where your child is and you’re one step ahead. You understand Facebook you understand Twitter and you understand social networking.”

Even though Facebook is looking to expand to those under 13-years old, Dr. Borba acknowledges that the average parent has kids already on at age 11. While some argue that it is good training to have children exposed early to social media in a web-based society, parents still must have control.

“Check periodically, tell your child you will be monitoring,” she said. “You can’t monitor unless you are able to follow or monitor your child in the different situations.”

With the barrage of social media and a hypersexed, MTV-based culture, kids are definitely growing up faster. Parents must be aware of the challenges kids face today.

“It’s harder to be a kid these days,” concluded Dr. Borba. “And any kid will tell you that too.”

Dr. Borba is an educational psychologist, an author, and a TODAY show contributor. She goes around the world and talks to parents about bullying, self-esteem, and stress management for kids. Dr. Borba and her partnership with ACUVUE Contacts aims to help spread awareness about how much pressure our children are under particular during their tweenage years or teenage years when their self-esteem is really starting to take a plummet.

See videos of celebrity mentors in the ACUVUE 1-DAY Contest, including Joe Jonas, Demi Lovato, Tyler Blackburn, Allyson Felix, and Meaghan Martin, and how they found the confidence the pursue their dreams when they were teens!

— Lorraine Chow

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