Cyberbullying expert speaks to Cape Girardeau parents - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Cyberbullying expert speaks to Cape Girardeau parents

Tina Meier speaks with parents about the impact cyberbullying can have on children. Tina Meier speaks with parents about the impact cyberbullying can have on children.
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - On Thursday, Meier spoke to students and parents about the consequences of bullying.

Both Meier and other moms agree parenting in this age of technology can be tough.

"Their kids have been raised from the time that they can barely walk and talk to holding electronics," Meier said. "They know how to operate iPhones, they know how to operate iPads, I mean it's craziness."

Christy Colyer said there's no simple answer when it comes to giving children the freedom to use social media.

"What social media do I let them have access to, how do I monitor it? I'm just kind of not sure because I want to let them do what they want to do," Colyer said.

However, at the same time, she doesn't want anything bad to happen to them.

Colyer said her oldest daughter has already been a victim of cyberbullying.

"She's had instances where kids would pretend to be her, and make a fake profile and that kind of stuff and really hurt her," Colyer said.

Meier said that's what she wants to end.

It's been her mission since she lost her daughter eight years ago.

She believes the first step can come with listening.

"Kids want to be heard, and they want to know that people care and that's the most important thing," Meier said.

She said something as simple as validating a child's feelings can keep them from taking their own life, and that's a tragedy she wants no parent to have to live through.

"For me through this process it really has been that healing part knowing that I'm helping others out of something that happened to us in hopes that it doesn't happen anymore," Meier said.

Meier said your best bet is to not take the technology away because kids will find ways around that.

She said talking with them can have a much bigger impact.

Meier said it can be helpful to teach kids how to respond to threats they may get online.

She also urges young parents to not put pictures of their child's every move on their own personal Facebook page.

Meier said those cute baby pictures can come back to haunt them.

Copyright 2011 KFVS. All rights reserved.
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