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How can I help my kid avoid digital drama?

To adults, digital drama and cyberbullying may seem one and the same. But to kids, there's a difference. Unlike cyberbullying, which involves repeated harassment of someone, digital drama is the everyday tiffs and disputes that occur among friends or acquaintances online or via text message. A guy may change his relationship status to "single" immediately after a fight with his girlfriend to make a statement. A teen may post a comment about someone else knowing that people will see it, friends may chime in, and people will talk about it. In the same way that the word drama describes a performance, kids usually engage in online drama with an audience in mind.

In some cases, digital drama can escalate into an offline fight -- either verbal or physical. Here's how you can help your kid avoid this:

Help set boundaries. Understand that these days relationships often are played out both online and offline. Kids need their family's guidance in establishing appropriate boundaries for healthy relationships.

Take a time-out. With constant access to texting and posting online, kids don't get a break from the back and forth that can keep digital drama going. Have some device-free time to give kids a chance to cool off.

Let them know you're always there for them. Remind your kids often that you're always available to talk. While you're at it, remind them about the school counselor, a favorite teacher, a coach, or even a friend's parent. Knowing that they have a trusted adult to talk to may encourage teens to open up more.

Use media to talk about drama. Reality TV shows often present extreme behavior as entertainment. Discuss why these shows are less likely to depict positive conflict resolution. Also talk about how these shows can encourage negative stereotypes about female friendships.

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Kid, 12 years old

Don’t post stuff that mentions: -Religion -Politics -Harassment -Racism
Teen, 17 years old written by nataliezaldua

Just look for the warning signs and be careful. I’ve been harassed by a person like this on Instagram. More like a fandom, I posted pictures that belonged really to people who had taken them in them in the years before. There was this girl however, that was 18 Who had no right to the phots bc she got them from the same place I was getting them. She picked on me and used her age and follower ranking to “prove” to me that no one liked me and that I needed to do something with my life instead of “stealing” the photos that we had both gotten from the same photographers. She loved the drama and she tried exposing me to her followers, which screwed up her account. Many people called her out for it, but what I should have done from the beginning was block her. She was toxic and she was clearly getting to me. If you’re ever in a fight with someone like this, tell your parents and block them. I wish I could have told my parents because I was 15 when this happened. They could have pressed charges for cyber bullying, but I didn’t tell them and just blocked the girl.
Teen, 13 years old written by ZackthePotato

Although unavoidable, digital drama can be managed. Make sure to ask your kids "how things are going" online and look of the telltale signs of lying. Tell them to tell you when there is drama and encourage them to stay out of it. If it gets out of hand, ask your child who the dramatic people are at school and ask them to show or tell you their instagram. Then, if the drama is out of hand, you can use it as a conversation starter about the topic.
Teen, 14 years old written by Oflanagan0508

Kids are gonna get drama wherever they go. Digital can be apart of it, you can't prevent it, but you can help your kid assess it! Show them what to do, how to ignore it, when to report it when it gets serious and how to stop the situation.
Adult written by Sarahlittle

kids are most likely to get into a digital drama coz it seems to be the easiest way to get back at someone, for eg, a bully, with other people supporting, you. Someone tried this, but it went horribly wrong- my nephew, and he lived to tell the tale. After he got bullied again that is. No one seems to have posted about a digital drama that spills on to Real Life, and its the same thing that happens to young vulnerable confused girls online, its scary the freedom the internet gives us, specially when it could be a lawless jungle without rules. Just a thought.
Adult written by isaaclee

If a person doesn't want their child involved in the digital world, why not set boundaries. if you have a computer, why not set up a parental guidance since a child can stuff behind your back like I did. for example, a child can look at porn without you knowing. I know that phones are a big concern now, but do you really need your kid to have a smartphone. if a kid should have a phone, it should be simple, something like the jitterbug phone. But why not spend time with your kid as parents are moving farther and farther away from kids and let technology teach their kids, but technology can be cruel.
Kid, 12 years old

If your child is a boy, intervening will make him very angry. Guys like to handle things on their own, and try to avoid drawing out fights. For example, one of my friends accidentally posted something very embarrassing about me over Skype. In a week though, we had worked it out and we were better friends than before. I have no idea about girls, but my sister is still mad about something I did over a month ago (I don't even remember it happening). Also, sometimes when a child asks a parent for help with something, it turns out worse (from the child's perspective), so that child may not want you to intervene. If your child doesn't ask, I wouldn't forcibly "help" the situation, as it will probably make your child dislike you.
Teen, 13 years old written by Yellow_Dally1

This comment does not contribute any help whatsoever, children should be helped no matter what their gender or age is. Not all boy is the same, this also goes for girls. Everyone is an individual, which means they have different traits and ways of doing things.
Teen, 13 years old written by a.f.2003

I think that your comment here starts off a little bit sexist, because not all guys are like that and there could be some girls that are like that.