Preventing the Crisis of Cyberbullying
Cyberbullying is a growing problem among youth. Many kids fall victim to cyberbullying without their parents even knowing. Here are 10 ways the Cyberbullying Research Center suggests to help prevent your children from becoming involved with cyberbullying:
10 Ways to Prevent Cyberbullying
- Explain to your children that the rules for interacting with people in real life apply to interaction with people online as well. Bullying online can cause just as much harm as bullying in person.
- Make sure the school that your kids go to has an internet safety educational programming in place. This programming should at least prevent your child from being able to engage in online communication/social networking at school.
- Educate your children about what is appropriate to display on the internet and what is not. Problems with the school, police, or damaging their reputation can occur if kids are too care free about what they share online.
- Make sure to use technology appropriately yourself. Your kids learn from what you do.
- Monitor your kids’ activities online either through active supervision or the installation of software. Always use discretion when monitoring your child’s internet use because your child could feel like his/her privacy is being violated.
- If you do decide to use the monitoring software programs be sure to still occasionally supervise your child’s internet use. Kids are smart, and if they're tech-savvy they can figure out how to bypass filters quickly.
- Look out for warning signs. If your child becomes withdrawn or their Internet use increases drastically, they could either be a victim or instigator of cyberbullying.
- Make “Internet Use Contract” and a “Cell Phone Use Contract” and have them in view of the computer. Having your child sign this contract allows them to clearly see what is appropriate and what is not appropriate internet use.
- It is very important to have a loving and open relationship with your child. Victims of cyberbullying need someone who is rational and caring that they can go to, someone they know has the ability to help the problem.
- Teach positive morals and values. Expect your child to teach others with respect and dignity and they will expect the same.
It is very important to catch cyberbullying as early as possible so that your child can be put in a more positive and safer environment. A child who experiences cyberbullying can have problems later on in life if they don't seek help. Make sure that you are open and understanding so that you can be the person to help solve the situation.
What are you doing to prevent cyberbullying?
Image courtesy of Flickr.
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