How Parents Can Help Kids To Respond To Cyberbullying
Bullying has taken a whole new form and it has swept the internet. Cyberbullying can happen in a number of different ways such as phone calls, text messages, social networks or other interactive websites. 51% of teens between the ages of 13 to 17 use social media sites daily and 43 percent of teens reported being a victim of cyberbullying according to Growing Wireless! Mekidz products help to heal physical ouchies but we also care about the emotional well-being of all children. This is why we find it important to share information on how to respond to cyberbullying.
The most common places cyberbullying places:
- Social Media, such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter
- SMS (Short Message Service) also known as Text Message sent through devices
- Instant Message (via devices, email provider services, apps, and social media messaging features)
How to identify cyberbullying:
- Mean text messages
- Harsh emails
- Starting or spreading rumors about someone online
- Posting or sharing embarrassing pictures or videos of someone without their permission
- Setting up fake profiles and posing as someone else
- Creating cruel websites as an attack on someone
How to respond when your child is being cyberbullied:
- Set expectations to have open communication about their social media accounts and have a conversation on what cyberbullying is.
- Be in the know about what social accounts they have and where they are engaging and communicating with their friends.
- Don't engage or respond. The cyberbully is feeding off their reaction and will continue to cycle it. Set the expectation with your children that it is not okay to engage with this type of behavior and no matter how hard it may be, do not post a response back to the person cyberbullying.
- Print and keep copies of all cyberbullying. It is important to provide evidence of the cyberbullying if necessary.
- Report cyberbullying to school or principal. Report it, even if the incident did not happen on school grounds. Many bullies will use what information is online to continue the bullying at school. If the school is unwilling to respond to the bullying then file a report with the police.
- Report the cyberbullying to the social media site and internet provider. Even if the cyberbullying is being posted from a fake account, still report it. Often times social media platforms will investigate or remove the post.
- Report any threats immediately to the police. Threats of death, physical violence, indications of stalking and even suggestions to commit suicide should be reported right away.
- Block from making further contact. Block the bully from the social media sites.
- Tighten up on all privacy settings. Check the privacy settings on their social accounts and also encourage your child to purge people from their following list. Only have their social accounts for close friends and family.
- Check in on your child's emotional well-being. Cyberbullying can take a great toll on them. Seek counseling and support during this hard time.
- Don't take away their cell-phone. Often this can lead to children feeling even more isolated and alone. Most of the kids don't report the cyberbullying in fear that their phone will get taken away.
Kelsey Glynn is a blogger and owner of Social Graces, a business to support others in their social media needs. She is a contributing blog writer for East Valley Moms Blog, a social media content creator, and an avid photo taker. You can catch her adventuring around AZ and living the mom life on Instagram.
- Kelsey Glynn