Geek Dads Weekly #63 – Cyberbully II with Jim Beeghley

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In which Daniel and Joe welcome special guest Jim Beeghley to talk about cyberbullying, kids getting “sick” at school, and inappropriate media for kids.

[Sorry for the delay in getting the show notes up – I felt it was better to get the show out there notes-less rather than hold it until life slowed down enough for me to get them done!]

Jim Beeghley, someone I’d helped with a podcast recording dilemma a while back, heard our Cyberbully episode and got in touch with us. Jim has first-hand experience with cyberbullying, as it happened to his daughter. You’ll want to hear Jim’s story and how he and his family dealt with this tough situation.

The next segment was devoted to the stories that kids tell. Winter had an issue last week with getting “sick” at school. Yeah, those are we’re-not-so-sure quotes right there.

We finished up with a bit on advanced technology going into the next few decades (download your brain to a computer, anyone?). All in all, some really good stuff, here.

Here’s a few links:

Thanks for listening! We’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave us a voice mail at 281-241-QAQN. Also, you can email us at feedback@qaqn.com.

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About Daniel M. Clark

Daniel M. Clark is a podcaster and proprietor of QAQN, a writer at danielmclark.com, and an all-around cool dude everywhere else.

God, I hate talking about myself in the third-person.

hotdogman January 28, 2011 at 12:07 pm

Good show guys. Massachusetts recently passed a comprehensive Anti Bullying law, which extends the school's disciplinary powers, arguing "jurisdiction stems from the fact that the bullying at home has a substantial impact on the victim during school, especially if the victim feels threatened." It's a solution to a big problem designed to help kids who are not emotionally equipped to deal with the acts of bullies. Girls do tend to be more prone to cyber bullying, particularly in their middle school years, but the boys will often chime in to gain favor with the "popular" bully.

As a teacher and coach of teenagers, I have confronted these issues in the classroom. As a parent (of five), we have had discussions in our home regarding our children's responsibilities when they know someone is being bullied.

With regards to online monitoring, we have monitored email and facebook from within the home network since day one (facebook is a GREAT way to keep tabs on the teenagers). Periodically, I will check the browsing history on our home network to "check up" on things (I am also looking for sites that contain malware since we had a virus issue from a video downloaded by our then 12 year old). Who ever it was on the podcast who said "knowing dad is able to check up on things is good preventative action" (paraphrasing), was spot on. Our household is unique in that the parents are more tech savy than the kids; this is definitely not the case in most households! We have never encountered our kids either engaging in or being victimized by cyber bullies or engaging in other "harmful" internet behavior (other than the aforementioned virus), but we feel it is our responsibility to monitor and protect them from potential "cyber threats." I think we are also modeling responsible behavior by creating an open dialog about the issue. The fact that they're afraid of getting caught also comes into play too!

As for the mobile devices, we periodically require them to hand over their phones/ipads/itouches without notice or announcement so we can review activity on those devices. Aside from some off color language, we haven't encountered anything serious there either.

When I tell other parents about our protocols regarding the internet and electronic devices, the response is usually, "Wow, good for you guys-I wish we did that!" The question I usually ask is "Why don't you?" Parents will teach their kids to look both ways before crossing the street, not to talk to strangers etc., but most won't take the time to monitor their kids' online activity. Many parents just don't know how.

I'm off to call the PTA….

Daniel M. Clark February 18, 2011 at 5:40 pm

Great feedback! We'd love to have you on the show the next time we do a bullying episode, I'll put that on the calendar and we'll work it out if you're interested!

hotdogman February 18, 2011 at 6:02 pm

Dan- That would be great. I am certainly beyond the "potty training" type of chat! Been there, done that. I'd love to be on the show sometime. You know how to find me….

hotdogman February 18, 2011 at 6:45 pm

BTW our elementary school PTA had a meeting a couple of days ago RE: "Managing your child's technology." I didn't organize it, but they all wanted to talk to me after the session was over. ;o)

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