OVERCOME CYBERBULLYING 1: WHAT PARENTS CAN DO ABOUT IT?
Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place using technology. It happens on social media sites, through a mobile phone or gaming sites. The worst part of it is that it the effects and trauma for the young person involved can be desolating.
Nevertheless, there are ways to help prevent a child from experiencing cyberbullying and avoid this horrifying situation. The shocking part is that most children have been involved in cyberbullying in some way: as a victims, perpetrators, or observers. Consequently, cyberbullying usually involves a number of online observers and can quickly go out of control. Since the methods of cyberbullying can often be hidden and ingenious, children and young people who bully others online do not necessarily need to be physically stronger.
Cyberbullying can also involve adults. In some cases, it has led to some teachers becoming the victims of internet messaging. The content in those messages is focused on debilitating or humiliating them. Therefore, it is extremely important that parents make clear that this is not acceptable behaviour and lead example to their children in some of the different ways that we will expose below.
What Parents Can Do To Prevent It?
1. It is always better to keep the computer in a common area of the house. In this way, your children won’t be allowed to use it in their bedrooms.
2. Establish a conversation with your children related to online issues, their profile pages and also become familiar with some of the most well-known social networking websites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Tell them that they can ask you to help them if anything is inappropriate or dangerous.
3. Build trust with your children. Aware them about the online safety and Internet usage rules. Moreover, ask your children to contribute to establishing the rules; then they’ll be more motivated to follow them.
4. Explain to your children that they shouldn’t respond to any cyberbullying threats or comments online. If there are any suspicious messages, do not delete them. Alternatively, print out all the messages, including the e-mail addresses or screen names of the cyberbully. In order to verify and prove that there is cyberbullying, you will need those messages.
5. The emotional pain of being bullied is very real and most of the times, it leaves psychological scars. Be supportive and understanding with them. Examine when the bullying started and make sure that you will work together to find a solution.
6. Don’t threaten your children if they open up to you with an online issue. This will only provoke that next time they will keep this information in private.
7. If you are suspicious of any possible cyberbullying threat, talk to your school’s children teachers so they can keep an eye out during the school day.