As summer vacation approaches, parents are advised to be mindful of their children's social groups, especially those they interact with online.
While tweens and teens may consider it snooping, Empowered Flower Girl CEO Rasheda Kamaria considers it conscious parenting.
"We've witnessed first-hand the affects of unmonitored children online," said Kamaria, who leads the workshop Chica Chat ™ in an effort to combat drama, cyber bullying, teasing and cliques among middle and high school-aged girls. "With the increase in bullycide incidences, parents should be aware of and engaged in their children's online activities."
Bullycide, a term coined by authors Tim Field and Neil Marr to describe suicide attributable to the victim having been bullied, is a serious concern for schools and communities across the nation.
The best thing parents can do -Kamaria said - is have open dialogues with their children about their friends and even "frenemies" on and offline.
"The upcoming school year not only signals new lesson plans, but it also welcomes new friends, new cliques and new challenges fitting in. Sometimes all it takes is a simple conversation and active listening for teens to open up and share their concerns, fears and aspirations."
For parents seeking additional resources to prevent and address bullying, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services offers tools and resources at www.stopbullying.gov.