If you have a child who spends time online, then you need to keep an eye out for cyberbullying. In the past, children could escape from the taunts and maliciousness of other children once they went home after school let out for the day, but now these harmful actions can continue into the evening through social media, forums and other online contact. These steps will help protect your child from the harmful effects of cyberbullying so that he feels safe and empowered.
Talk to an Adult
Before your child spends much time online, talk to him about how important it is that he let an adult know if he is being bullied while he is on the Internet. He should know that he can fight cyberbullying when he has an adult to support him. By telling a parent or a teacher about the incident, he will demonstrate that he has strength and courage to fight the situation.
Maximize the Privacy Settings
In order to help protect your child from online bullies, you should teach your child to use the highest privacy settings available to block out harmful comments. This will give him control over his online interactions so that he can minimize the cruelty that he may experience from his peers.
Document and Disengage
If your child is the victim of cyberbullying or if he witnesses it happening to someone else, he needs to document it immediately. Teach him how to take a screenshot of the conversation so that he has proof of what the bully is doing. If he is involved in the conversation, he should leave it without reciprocating. If he tries to retaliate with rumors or harmful photographs, it could encourage the bully to be even more malicious, and your child could also be seen as a being cruel.
Report the Situation
Most websites allow users to anonymously report unethical content so that they can remove it while protecting the identity of the person who submitted the complaint. Encourage your child to report cyberbullying to the website and remind him that his name will not be revealed to the bully.
The anonymity of the online world has made some children feel more comfortable with being cruel and malicious toward others, but that doesnâ€™t mean that your child must be the victim of cyberbullying. When you teach him to take these steps, he can protect himself and others so that cyberbullies have less power.