With most kids having access to internet at such a young age, parents are concerned about cyberbullying more than ever. In an ideal world, children would report any incidents of cyberbullying straight away to a parent or responsible adult person in their entourage. However, most kids who have been targeted or part of an online bullying situation never tell anyone or leave it until it’s too late.
Parents have to be proactive and encourage online safety to prevent their children from being a victim. Here are 6 tips to adopt:
1. Talk to your children:
communication spreads awareness, so make sure to talk to your children about cyber bullying and online behaviour as soon as they have access to internet. Also highlight the fact they need to come to you if they are subject to threatening behaviour and that you’ll always be there to listen to them no matter how silly they think the situation is.
2. Educate your children:
As a matter of fact you should let your children know it’s unacceptable to:
– Share personal information
– Share phone numbers, home, school and email addresses
– Take naked photos of themselves or anyone else and post, email or share it with anyone
– Give bank details
3. Keep evidence:
Show your children how to save messages or photos they receive via the internet. If your child is being bullied any saved hurtful or inappropriate messages or photos should be saved. They should be used as evidence to report any cyber bullying situation or when speaking with the cyberbully’s parents.
4. Use online tools:
many privacy tools are available on social platforms and on the internet to block harassing or threatening messages.
5. Inform the school:
If the school and the teachers know about a bullying situation, they can pay more attention and possibly spot any abnormal behaviour.
6. Encourage your kids not to take part:
sometimes kids fail to understand that even if they didn’t create the original email or message, by passing it on, they are participating in online bullying. So bring it up in your discussion with them and suggest they should rather delete it and not pass it on if it was to happen and also encourage them to report any worrying incidents to you even if it doesn’t involve them.