6 Tips for Raising Your Children in the Age of Cyberbullying via @carinkilbyclark

6 Tips for Raising Your Children in the Age of Cyberbullying

Editor’s Note: As the mom of two teens and one who’ll be a teen all too soon, I know how important it is to have ongoing conversations about cyberbullying and other internet/social media issues. It’s also very important that we as parents are aware of what our children are up to on the interwebs. That’s why I’m happy to bring you this guest post from TeenSafe, an online program that allows parents to to monitor their children’s online activity.

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Regardless of whether you are living in a hut in Australia or in a cottage in the English countryside, if you have access to the internet, then you and your kids are at risk of being victims of cyberbullying, of witnessing someone being cyberbullied or of cyberbullying someone yourselves. 81% of young people saying that it is very easy to bully people online.

Teensafe, in partnership with nonprofits Shirley Ann Sullivan Educational Foundation and Schools TV, has created an awareness campaign to educate parents and kids on how to keep kids safe from the negative effects that come with bullying. The Digital Avengers Cyberbullying campaign teaches parents to raise empathetic children who PROTECT their peers from bullying.

6 Tips for Raising Your Children Age of Cyberbullying

Here are a few talking points that you can use with your children:

1. Think before you post

Whether that’s a revealing photo or details that should be kept private, teach your kids that certain things should be sacred, no matter with whom they are sharing the details. Often, this same media is used against them by bullies.

2. Imagine how you would feel

It’s easy to laugh at someone else’s expense, especially with cyberbullying where nobody can see what you are doing from behind a laptop. Teaching your kids how to empathize is a way of them learning how to put themselves in someone else’s shoes and understanding the severity of the situation. Only in learning this will they realize the detrimental effects cyberbullying can have on someone.

3. Don’t fight it alone

If your kids ever find themselves the victims of cyberbullying, they should be armed with the knowledge that they can come to you and let you know what’s happening, no matter how embarrassing or severe the issue is. Create a trusting environment for them where they can tell you anything, so that they won’t feel the need to fight this battle on their own.

4. Save evidence

We live in an age where meals, silly moments and everything else that happens in our day is recorded with a snapshot or a video. Your kids should use this habit to record any evidence of cyberbullying. So that, whether they are the victims themselves or someone else is, they can help in stopping the bully from doing any more damage.

6 Tips for Raising Your Children Age of Cyberbullying

5. Passive cyberbullying is still bullying

Kids need to learn that even if they are simply sharing or liking a post by a cyberbully, they are still causing damage to the victim. Instead of simply ignoring the post, however, as 90% of teens have admitted, teach your kids to report the post on social media or to comment to try and stop the post.

6. Reach out

There have been cases where victims of cyberbullying have committed suicide. Reaching out to the victim privately, whenever possible, is a bold way of showing the victim they are not on their own and reminding them that no matter how grave the situation is, they will come out of it. Self-esteem takes a hit with cyberbullying and victims often need a support system to get through this negative moment in their life.

I want to hear from you!

What are your tips for keeping your children safe from cyberbullying? Please join the discussion in the comments section below.
 
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6 Tips for Raising Your Children in the Age of Cyberbullying via @carinkilbyclark

Comments 18

  1. This happens way to much in our world today. It is terrible. We raised our boys in a Christian home. We talked about God every day and made sure they knew how much they were loved and that God doesn’t make junk. Thank they were a perfect creation. I also made sure my sons knew they could talk to me about anything. For the most part, I think they did. We need to pray daily for this problem

  2. Cyber bullying can be the worst because it can go unnoticed.It is really important to monitor children on computers and such because of this.Thanks for another great feature and awesome information.

  3. We had bully’s when I was a kid and so it becomes hard to not consider this “part of growing up”. I do think it is so much different when I was young. It was mean back then, but now with social media those words can travel and encompass the child. I can only image how “alone” it would make someone feel.

  4. I am so happy my kids are grown and I don’t have to worry about this. It is so terrible what they do to other kids.

  5. I can’t imagine how hard it is for kids these days–having to worry about being bullied in person AND online. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Bullying is a terrible thing to have to endure. I am glad to see you addressing the issue. I hope that parents will take the advice and be proactive about protecting their children from it.

  7. I am so glad that the internet was just becoming a thing when I was growing up. Being a teen with all the pressures of school and home can be enough, and then to add in the element of strangers (or people you know!) online bullying you can be too much to deal with.

  8. I breaks my heart to hear of all of the cyber bullying incidents. My kids are still young, but I know that they will eventually be in a position where this is something we might have to deal with. Opening up the lines of communication is a must!

  9. My daughter was attacked on the street by a group of thugs that went to her school and it escalated on line that night with young girls threatening her and saying the most awful things about her. It made me ill to see what horrible things young girls do and say. It soon stopped when I found out who the ring leader was and spoke to her grandmother about it. I think more needs to be done to prevent them from being able to bully like that.

  10. My daughter is heading to middle school and so far we have not had to worry about this but I am a little scared about what may happen in the future. Although she will not have any social media channels I know there are other kids who do and kids will talk so I am sure she will hear about anything they may say. I am most worried about when something like this happens and how I will react. I have learned that I have a hard time not losing my cool when it comes to my child, I am super protective! These kids better tread carefully!

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