Advice for parents and kids to detect and prevent cyberbullying
Cyberbullying. It frightening to hear about. It’s even more frightening to experience. With technology on the rise, it’s easier than ever for people to access information about anything and to contact anyone. It’s also easier than ever to use both of those for negative things.
- 45% of children and teens admit they have experienced online bullying
- That percentage has more than doubled since 2007 when it was as low as 18%
- 50% of children admit being scared of their online bullies
- 92% of cyberbullying attacks happen through commenting on social media websites
- Bullying victims are up to 9 times more likely to commit suicide
- Only 2 in 10 victims will inform their parents or teachers of online attacks
- Girls are twice as likely to be the victims of cyberbullying
- The type of cyberbullying tends to differ by gender; girls were more likely to say someone spread rumors about them online while boys were more likely to say that someone threatened to hurt them online.
We’ve gathered some tips on how you and your kids can detect, prevent, and stop cyber bullying! The most important thing to remember is that society has made cyberbullying out to be this big, scary thing when we have power over it!
Tips for kids to stop cyberbullying:
Don’t respond or encourage: More often than not what your bully is looking for is some reaction from you. If you don’t give them any, it’s likely they’ll leave you alone. (this tip applies to when your brothers and sisters pick on you too!)
Don’t retaliate: If you retaliate, you are becoming a bully yourself! The saying “revenge is a dish best served cold” is not the way to handle things. Remember, you only have control over how you react.
Save any evidence: The one upside about cyber bullying is that it happens through technology, which means you can keep the evidence. If someone is sending you to mean messages, screenshot them! You can bring them to an adult as proof!
Talk to a trusted adult: You deserve backup. Adults are the best people to do that. If you experience bullying, talk to a parent! If you’re not able to do that, talk to an adult at school, counselors will know how to handle your situation. Schools usually have a way you can anonymously report bullying if you’re scared of people knowing you talked to someone.
Educate yourself: The best way to stop cyber bullying is to recognize it when it starts. Educate yourself and your friends! Learn what cyber bullying is and how you can help others who are dealing with it.
Stay safe online: Make sure you are the only one who has access to your passwords. Yes, even your best friend shouldn’t have it! Make sure you log out of public computers as well. Be careful what you post, if it goes on the internet, it’s accessible in some form forever, even if you think it’s deleted! Finally, don’t open messages or emails if you don’t know the person who sent them. They could be inappropriate messages or even computer viruses!
Tips for parents to stop cyberbullying:
Spot the warning signs: If your children start showing a change in behavior or mood, talk to them! It could be a sign of something more serious than you think. Avoiding group activities or events that they used to enjoy is another flag. Appearing anxious when receiving a text, IM, or email.
Help educate your kids: Teach your children to stand up to bullying. If they see it happening online, show them that they can have a huge effect on that by speaking up. If they are going through it, teach them how to block the bully and explain the importance of deleting messages without reading them. After all, curiosity killed the cat.
Be your kid’s friend: The most important part you can play in your children’s lives is being their friend! I’m not saying to let them do whatever they want, but just be there for them. Talk to them about their lives and try not to make them wrong for their decisions. Talking with them and being there for them is the most empowering thing you can do! If your kids know they can confide in you, you can help them achieve anything!
Tips to Stop Cyber Bullying
More for parents on preventing cyberbullying.
Do you think your kid has been cyberbullied? Check out these tips on how to tell if your child is ready for a cell phone.