Cyberbullying is the term used to describe bullying that occurs through technology-based forms of communication. As the use of text messaging, email, and social networking sites continue to increase in numbers, so do the incidents of cyberbullying by our young people.
Here are some suggestions for parents to use with their children to help reduce cyberbullying:
Suggestion 1 - Establish Rules Establish specific rules regarding your child’s internet, social media, and cellular phone activity, and then thoroughly explain the rules to your child. Be clear about any consequences that may occur if your child fails to follow these rules.
Suggestion 2 - Explain Appropriate Behavior
Make it clear that your child should not engage in any behavior online that he would not engage in during face-to-face interaction.
Suggestion 3 - Monitor Be a parent and monitor your child’s online activity which includes how much time is spent online and consider installing monitoring software on your child’s device.
Suggestion 4 - Filter Install filtering software on your computer to help protect your child from viewing inappropriate content online. This includes sexually explicit and verbally vulgar text and images.
Suggestion 5 - Communicate Speak with your child regularly to establish an open line of communication. This may make it easier for your child to come forward and tell you he is the victim of a cyberbully.
Suggestion 6 - Talk to School Personnel Speak with the School Personnel regarding the school’s cyberbullying policy. If you should expect cyberbullying is happening to your child, report it immediately to the School Personnel, then to your local police department.
Parents that educate themselves and their children on the warning signs and dangers of cyberbullying can help to prevent the emotional distress that occurs with this form of bullying. Parents should always be aware of their child’s online activity and enforce necessary rules to keep them safe.