Today’s youth interact with each other in virtual formats a lot of the time. The online environment can remove many of the traditional inhibitors to abusive behaviour.
What Parents Can Do
There’s no reason to feel powerless when faced with a cyberbully. Here are some of the things you can do to protect your kids from online bullies and help them to find happiness in their new surroundings:
- Teach your children the basics of Internet safety. They should know to never give out passwords, open emails from bullies, or share personal details of their lives with non-family members.
- Set up email and social media accounts with your kids. Enact appropriate filters and other limits that will help safeguard them from abusers online.
- Document any instances of cyberbullying by printing the comments and presenting them to school and law enforcement authorities.
- Deny the bully online access to your child by blocking communications as needed.
- Inform your kids that, as a parent, you reserve the right to review their online habits and intervene as you see fit. You should never fear performing this role if doing so is in your family’s best interests.
- Direct your concerns to teachers and school administrators. Remember that your tax dollars pay educator’s salaries. This gives you a permanent say in how schools deal with cyberbullying and other threats to your child’s well-being.
Creating a Safe Zone at Home
Kids deserve a safe, nurturing home environment in which to develop their full potential. Here are some ways parents can help achieve this goal:
- Let your children know they can always come to you with any concerns they may have. This is critical for helping them adjust to new surroundings, since they’re still developing their peer networks.
- Structure promotes security. So establish regular study, recreation, and socialization times for your family.
- Pull the plug if necessary. One way to stop cyberbullying in its tracks is to withdraw from the online world, at least for a few hours.
Following these tips will help to create a safer, more positive world for students and adults alike.