What to do When Your Child Is the Victim of Cyberbullying
Ignore the message. Don’t ignore the problem.
The NetSmartz® Workshop advocates three simple rules for children facing cyberbullies.
- Don’t respond to the message.
- Save the evidence.
- Tell a trusted adult.
Educate. Engage. Empower.
Educate your children about cyberbullying.
- Start a dialogue at home. Make sure your children understand what is considered cyberbullying and what isn’t.
- Talk about the possible effects and consequences of cyberbullying.
- Focus on prevention methods they may not have considered, such as not posting personal information or provocative photos that someone could use against them, and not sharing passwords with friends.
- Take it seriously! Sometimes sticks and stones matter, so discuss feelings of guilt or depression resulting from the incident.
- Explore various ways to handle the situation, including counseling if necessary.
- Consider enacting a mediation plan utilizing school counselors; the issue may be resolved with a bit of intervention.
- Encourage your children to start an awareness group at school or online to educate their peers about cyberbullying.
- Get the school involved. Just because it happens at home does not mean the school can’t help. Encourage your children to learn about their school’s cyberbullying policy and urge administrators to take a stand against all forms of bullying.
- Let your children tell you about their experiences online; Internet safety experts can’t tell their stories better than they can.
Reprinted with the permission of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. © 2008 National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. All rights reserved.
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