Regardless of the statistic you find, the fact is simple:
If your kids have a cell phone or a social media account, they mostly likely have experienced online bullying.
Talking about the frustrations and hurt from online bullying is no easy task either. The signs are not always there for you the parent to initiate, and your kids have no desire to “talk out their feelings” with you at that stage!
So instead, we find the best way to handle a cyber bully is preventing the frustration in the first place. Here are the 6 steps to preventing online bullying with your kids!
1. Set information to private.
Online, the wrong information can get to the wrong people in a matter of seconds. Take the time to go through your kid’s profiles and ensure settings are private, so not just anyone can access their information and what they share.
2. Keep passwords strong and confidential.
Likewise, make sure your kids know to never, ever share their passwords. Letting a potential bully get into your kid’s account can be even more embarrassing. Be sure you have strong passwords like mentioned here!
3. Use technology to your benefit.
Many social media platforms are working to prevent cyber bullying for their users. Facebook specifically offers a tool that allows you to report harmful posts and photos. Make sure your kids know how to access and utilize these tools.
4. Think of Grandma.
By this, we mean a couple of things. First, remember that your kid’s life outside cyber space is more important, and instill this idea with your kids. Don’t like what you see online? You do not have to be there. Continue to invite and encourage them to spend time with family and friends.
Similarly, encourage your kids not to post anything your grandma would not approve of. Teaching your kids to think before they post helps manage the pictures that seemed funny at the time but later become cyber bully material.
5. Be exclusive.
This may seem logical to you the parent, but not to your kids. Only allow friends and family to follow your social media presence. Never follow or friend people who you do not know well or make you feel uncomfortable.
6. Know the law.
Colorado has done a good job keeping their harassment statue up to date with online bullying. They now have the ability to apply misdemeanor charges that carry a possible fine of $750 and up to 6 months in jail for online harassment.
The law is “Kiana Arellano’s Law,” named after the Highlands Ranch teen who attempted suicide after awful online bullying directed at her…
If your kids suffer from online bullying, either directly or not, in a way that shows intent to harm, you can distinguish this as criminal conduct and take action.
Do you know of any other ways to prevent online bullying? Let us know in the comments!