Cyber Safety Consulting
How Do Parents Handle a Cyber-Bullying Situation?
You will first need to determine if this is bullying. You can ask two simple questions. One, is it happening with regular occurrence. And two, is it adversely impacting my child in ways such as showing signs of depression or withdrawing from activities. If either of these answers is yes, then you are looking at some type of bullying. If you are lucky enough to have your child come to you, you do not want to invalidate your child’s concerns. Do not tell your child that this is normal behavior or part of growing up. In today’s society, the consequences are very serious for both the victim and the bully and should not be ignored.
Many parents worry that they will make the situation worse by seeking help. If your child has come to you, then you can assume that it is already a painful and negative experience. The reality is that bullying is being tolerated less and less by both schools and law enforcement. You will want to ensure that your child is not on social media sites that are breeding grounds for bullying. ASK.FM is the number one bullying site among teenagers because it allows users to post things on other users’ accounts anonymously. This has resulted in very dangerous and hurtful comments being made to users. Your child should not be using this site under any circumstances.
Finally, follow your gut and seek advice and help. Screen print any and all instances of the bullying. This will eliminate ‘he said/she said’ discussions should you decide to confront the bully, the bully’s parents or any type of authority with the problem. And above all, support your child through this very painful and challenging experience.