7 Steps to Combat Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying can be just as violent and hurtful as any other type of abuse. If you suspect that your child's being cyberbullied, here are seven steps to end it for good!

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1. Look for Telltale Signs

Watch for possible signs that your child could be cyberbullied: Avoids the computer or cell phone. Withdraws from family or friends. Shows fear or sadness. Decline in grades. Loss of sleep. Lack of eating.

2. Have a Candid Conversation

Discuss cyberbulling with your child. Make sure he knows that cyberbullying is using either the internet or cell phone to spread rumors, post pictures, or threaten others. Talk about the possible effects and outcomes of cyberbullying.

3. Ask Your Child About Her Online Experiences

Invite your child to tell you about his experiences online, and LISTEN. Spark conversation by asking: Have you ever received any hurtful messages or e-mails? Have you ever sent an e-mail, text, or instant message out of anger?

4. Suggest Ideas for Prevention

Suggest ideas for prevention he may have not considered. Protect by not posting personal information or provoking photos. Someone else can use what he posts against him. Choose a password that is difficult to guess, and keep it from friends.

5. Seek the School's Support

Seek counseling at the school for your child, if needed. Utilize school counselors to start a mediation program to attack cyberbullying system-wide!

6. Let Him Take the Lead

Empower your child to actively combat cyberbullying as a leader. Motivate your child to start an anti-cyberbullying group at school or online to educate peers.

7. Urge Administrators to Take a Stand

Inquire about the school's cyberbullying policy. Insist that acts of cyberbullying should have similar policies and consequences for other kinds of bullying. Urge teachers and administrators to take a stance against cyberbullying.

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