Nothing is more difficult than to watch your child be hurt and to feel helpless to do anything about it. Seeing your child cyber bullied is especially tough because the aggressors are often just out of reach. Using technology…computers, cell phones, tablets and the like to make your child feel unwanted or unloved is a horrible epidemic that is sweeping our nations and schools. What do we do when it happens to our children? Here are some tips to consider when your child is cyber bullied.
- Cyber Bullying Stories: What We Learned from You
- Cyber Bullying Laws: Will They Protect Our Kids?
- Bullying Through The Years: How Do Methods Change As Kids Get Older?
What do you do when your child is cyber bullied?
Understand the depth of the problem – Most parents take a “not my child” approach to cyber bullying and that is a huge mistake. The vast majority of kids in school these days have either been cyber bullied or have done it to someone else. Both sides of the problem have to be addressed and it starts with paying attention. Parents can’t be oblivious and expect to enact change. Educate yourself about cyberbullying. This video from End to Cyber Bullying Organization is a great place to start:
Recognize that the bully might be anonymous – When your kid is beat up on the schoolyard, you have a set of parents, a principle or a child to correct or talk to. When he is cyber bullied, you might never know what happened or who did it. This means that you have to strengthen your child and focus from that end of the problem. Often, the principal and the parents of the bully are totally unaware of the behavior. Heck…sometimes the bully doesn’t even tell anyone what they are doing.
Begin by taking a powerful stand – This means enacting laws, rules and consequences that are extremely stiff against online bullies. If you do catch someone doing this type of behavior, they should be swiftly and seriously punished. This can only happen if you empower your school, leadership and local politicians to make laws to work with.
Educate your child about what to look for – Cyber bullies look for specific types of victims as a rule and kids are savvy to this type of thing. Make sure you make yourself available to your child without taking steps to embarrass them when they do confide in you about being cyber bullied. Be an ear and a confidante to them and make sure they know how wonderful they are.
Cyberbullying loses it’s power when it becomes uncool to do it. Talk with kids when you get the chance and encourage them to make clubs, join together and fight the problem. When the kids get behind the problem, kids that are bullied have someplace to turn.
Has your child been cyber bullied? How did you handle it?