By Holly Brantley
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Parents say it's more important than ever to talk to kids and teenagers about what kinds of messages they're sending and receiving over text and email. Experts say about 160,000 teens skip school every day nationally to avoid face to face confrontations, or circumstances that could instigate a cyber exchange. Instead of name calling and fists, cyber bullies use computers and cell phones to intimidate and threaten. School counselors recommend parents ask lots of questions especially if your child spends long hours on the computer.
Experts say cyber bullies use technology as a form of control and your child may have a hard time tearing themselves away from that power.
Local parents say they reserve the right to check their child's phones and messages at any time.
"There's a lot of 'she said this she said that' between girls," said Lori Lambert of Jackson. Lori is the parent of a 12 year old and 15 year old girl.
"I've forwarded messages before so that other parents know what kinds of exchanges are going on," said Lori. "Parents can't afford to be naive."
Besides texting you also want to keep an eye on instant messaging and email.
Also, take a closer look if you notice your child deletes file history often.