Being a parent in the digital age is hard work. Whether your child is in elementary school, middle school, or high school, bullying is a big concern. Often unseen and rarely reported, bullying in the physical world is hard to detect. Now, imagine how hard it is to identify if your child is a victim of Cyberbullying. The digital age parent has to maintain vigilance in both the physical world and the digital world. To help with this task we’ve compiled a list of helpful hints.
Cyberbullying comes in many forms. Here are a few examples:
- Threatening or harassing e-mails.
- Inappropriate text messages.
- Repeated unwanted contact through cell phone.
- A website set up to mock somebody.
- On-line polling websites.
- Forwarding a message or photo which was meant to be private.
- Using someone’s password to sabotage somebody’s email account, social media account or other personal account.
Tips to share with your child
- Don’t react. Bullies often look for a reaction from the victim. If you don’t react, it will be less appealing for the bully to tease you.
- Don’t respond to insults. Responding to a bully won’t change their opinion of you, it will only encourage them to continue their taunting.
- Be civil and don’t retaliate. This will only reinforce the bully’s behavior and could even escalate the situation.
- Don’t be a bully too. Remember, everything you say can be recorded and forwarded to other people.
- Save the evidence. Save the evidence and share it with someone who can help. Even minor situations can escalate.
- Use on-line reporting tools. Most social networking and chat sites have moderators and reporting procedures. Reporting an incident doesn’t make you a tattle tale, in some cases it’s the only way to make the bullying stop.
- Know when to ask for help. Whether it’s from your parents, teacher, or the police, some problems are too big to handle yourself.