No parent wants their child to be cyberbullied, and yet it is happening across all ages, schools, and areas of the country. The following ideas highlight just a few ideas on how parents can prevent their kids from cyberbullying.
What Is Cyberbullying
Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place over the internet via digital devices like tablets, computers, and cell phones including posting, sending, or sharing harmful, negative, mean, or false content about someone. It can occur through text and private messages, apps, SMS, forums, social media pages, and gaming. It’s pretty much online where people can participate in, view, or share content.
Victims of cyberbullying experience emotional, physical, and mental distress like fear, depression, low self-esteem, and anxiety. It’s important as parents to know the signs when your child is a cyberbullying victim and to take certain steps to avoid this happening to our children.
1. Tell Your Kids Not To Let Themselves Get Engaged By A Cyberbully
If a cyberbully taunts you online and you never ever respond or show that you hear them in any way, then they will probably decide to stop at one point or another. It isn’t much fun to be a cyberbully if you have absolutely no effect on your victim at all. You should teach your child that when someone says something across the Internet, that the best thing to do is often to just ignore it (as long as it is not a serious threat that needs to be told to someone like the school or authorities). When someone who is being cyberbullied gets upset and responds back then it will often turn into this heated back and forth exchange, which is just what the cyberbully wants.
2. Talk To Your Kids About The Importance Of Their Online Information
A cyberbully cannot send your child threatening e-mails if he or she does not have the e-mail address. Of course, sometimes they will get it through unscrupulous or unavoidable means such as from someone else, but as much as possible your child should keep this information safe.
3. Teach Them How To Block Messages Online
Even if a cyberbully knows you e-mail address/facebook name, etc. that doesn’t mean that you can give them free rein to contact you. There is usually a way to block them on most e-mail accounts. On a lot of social websites like Facebook you can set it up so that you need to approve someone before they are added as your friend. If the cyberbully’s messages don’t get through, they can’t bully you.
4. Take Steps To Address Any Current Cyberbullying
Parents can take steps to avoid future cyberbullying if their children are already being cyberbullied. They can contact the bully’s parents if they know who they are. They can also talk to the school if it is a classmate. In extreme cases they can even call the police. There are many new laws against this, and the police might have some recourse.
It is important for parents to be aware of the issues of cyberbullying and to help prevent it with their children. The above steps can aid in this endeavour.