Escaping the Cyberbully

You can prevent cyberbullying

Children, and people in general, can be downright mean. Schoolyard bullying has been around for a long time. However, children used to be able to go home and get away from the perpetrators.

Today, through technology, cyberbullying is does not stop. Children and teenagers are most susceptible to bullying because they are more likely to take the hurtful words to heart and are less likely to confide in their parents about what is happening online. Thus, the most important thing to do when you fear your child is being cyberbullied is to make sure that he or she knows that you are on your child’s side.

Make your child feel safe

Your child may feel alone, so having parental support is extremely important. You should make sure your child feels comfortable telling you why they are being bullied, who is doing it, and what is the bully saying. If your child is embarrassed about what happened that is causing him or her to be bullied, make sure you are clear that you do not plan to judge them for what happened, and that you only want to help make things better.

After your child feels comfortable enough to tell you about what has been happening, you should print out screenshots of any conversations and/or pictures in case an investigation is needed. Another important step you can take is reaching out to the school. Many schools today do acknowledge cyberbullying and the school administration is responsible for making sure their students feel safe enough to pursue their academic endeavors. The school should know the correct steps to take to stop the cyberbullying. This may include an investigation or by the police if violent threats are involved. Besides leaving it up to the school, if your child is being bullied through sites such as Facebook or Twitter, you may also want to block the bullies from being able to contact your child on those websites.

Prevent cyberbullying

If you can prevent cyberbullying in the first place, that is, of course, best. Although it is not always easy to prevent, there are some steps that you can take as parents. Make sure you make it clear to your child that he or she should not give out account passwords and should only correspond with friends he or she knows well. Make sure you and your child figure out how to block users on various social media accounts and always stress to your child how important it is to ignore cyberbullies instead of responding to them. It is also important for you to monitor their accounts in some capacity, perhaps through an app such as Monocle, limit their screen time, and, most of all, make sure they feel comfortable confiding in you.

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