The Difference Between Cyber-bullying and “kids being Kids”

Common Sense Media parenting expert Caroline Knorr answers questions about parenting, media, and everything in between.

Q: When does “kids being kids” turn into cyberbullying?

A: Kids like to go online and use cell phones to email, chat, watch videos, send messages, play games, and do homework. But sometimes the language they use with each other can get mean or rude. It’s important for kids to appreciate that their words can cause unintentional harm, whether used online or in person.

And that’s really the difference between “kids being kids” and cyberbullying: intention. Sometimes meanness is accidental, but, when people use digital tools such as the Internet or text messages to deliberately upset someone else over and over, that’s cyberbullying.

No matter what, if someone says or does something that makes your kid feel bad, he or she should tell a trusted adult. If your kid hurts a friend, he or she should apologize.

Common Sense Media is an independent nonprofit organization offering unbiased ratings and trusted advice to help families make smart media and technology choices.  Check out our ratings and recommendations


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Coffee and a Stroller

Like most websites uses cookies. In order to deliver a personalized, responsive service and to improve the site, we remember and store information about how you use it. This is done using simple text files called cookies which sit on your computer.