Parenting is as challenging as it is rewarding, and in today’s world, bullying has taken on a new form. It’s no longer just the older kid stealing lunch money or the school bully taunting you at recess. Bullying has followed children home and onto their devices, and it’s referred to as cyberbullying.
According to TeachThought:
- 45% of children admit they have experienced bullying online
- More than 40% say they have become the bullies’ target
- 70% admit they have witnessed cyberbullying
- 50% of children admit to be scared of their online bullies
- 92% of cyberbullying attacks are held through chatting and commenting on social media websites
- Cyberbullying victims are 3 to 9 times more likely to consider committing suicide
- Only 2 in 10 victims will inform their parents or teachers of online attacks
While parents all probably wish they could protect their kids from every bad person in the world, unfortunately that’s not always the case. However, there are many things that you can do to prevent cyberbullying from affecting your child.
Remember to also check How parents can protect their children online.
Here’s what we recommend.
Teach your child about self-respect and responsibility
Cyberbullying is never the victim’s fault, but it’s important for your child to know that there are things that they can do to prevent it. Encourage them to adjust their social media privacy settings to Friends Only, and to be careful about what they post. While avoiding posting personal information or overly suggestive photos is obvious for most adults, children and teens might have a more difficult time determining right from wrong.
Teach them what content is permissible, and also that actions have consequences. This will encourage your child to do the right thing, leaving less bait for cyberbullies to cling on to.
Get to know your child’s friends
Taking an active role in your child’s life is a good way to pick up on cues that something may be wrong in their lives. This means doing your best to attend school functions, after school events, and getting to know the children and parents that your child spends most of their time with.
That way, the lines of communication are open if you need to communicate with a parent about anything, and your child will likely feel more comfortable coming to you if they’re having a dispute with a friend.
Teach your child how to respond to cyberbullying
Preventative measures are great, but some things happen no matter how much you prepare for them. Have an honest conversation with your child about what exactly cyberbullying is — an important first step in combating it. The next thing you should do is teach your child how to respond to it.
You certainly don’t want to encourage your child to pick a fight, but they might want to call a bully out on their actions, or get a teacher, principal, or parent involved if needed. You should also let them know the words and actions that need to be immediately reported, like threats of violence, for example.
Encourage your child to communicate with you
Similarly, you should encourage your child to tell you about what’s going on in their personal lives, for better or for worse. Encourage them to speak up about their feelings, especially when something upsets them, so that you can guide them towards a positive resolution.
You can also encourage them to practice stress-relieving activities and problem-solving skills to use when there is a dispute among a friend group.
Keep tabs on what’s being said about them online
Do you wish that you could get an alert whenever a bully posted something about your child online? Well, with our app, we’ll let you know whenever your child’s name pops up on Google.
In addition to sending you new alerts for regular Google search, video search, and image search, we’ll also allow you to mark the results positive or negative, and report malicious ones to Google for removal.
It’s easy to get set up, and you can sign up free here.
Cyberbullying is something that affects many children and teens, but it’s not an unstoppable force. With the right tools in place, we can make it a thing of the past. Sign up for free to start monitoring your child’s name…