10 Steps to respond to cyberbullying and save your Child
Unfortunately, the frequency of cyberbullying is on the rise, especially among middle-school-age students. Because it is every parent’s responsibility to protect his or her child from harm, consider discussing the dangers of cyberbullying with your kids today.
HOW TO ACT ?
- Know your child’s passwords and screen names for all e‑mail accounts, social media applications and electronic devices. Allow your child to have a Facebook or Twitter account only if you can be friends/followers.
- Monitor what your child writes on his or her electronic device(s) and the family computer. Regularly check the Internet search history. (The girl who committed suicide in Florida had searched for ways to kill herself, which was discovered later in her search history.)
- Learn the current terminology used by youth today when corresponding with each other.
- Attend school or community functions where cyberbullying is being discussed. Talk with other parents and your child’s Learn the current terminologyteacher and school counselor if you suspect your child is involved in cyberbullying.
- Watch for any sudden or ongoing signs that your child seems anxious, fearful, withdrawn, or uninterested in school or being with former friends.
- Demonstrate to your child that you can be trusted with any cyberbullying information he or she shares with you. Explain that you will keep his or her confidence as long as no one’s safety or health is at risk.
- Explain that you don’t intend to punish your child for being truthful about his or her involvement in cyberbullying. Keep the lines of communication as open as possible with careful, non-threatening conversation.
- Carefully monitor your own reaction if your child reports being cyberbullied. Try to stay calm as you plan your next steps.
- In an age-appropriate manner, explain what happened in Florida, or in a similar cyberbullying situation, and your concern that such a terrible thing must never happen in your family or any other family.
- Remind your child to treat others the way he or she would like to be treated. Teach your child to never say or write anything about another person that he or she would not be willing or comfortable to say to that person’s face.