Would you know if your child was being cyberbullied? 90% of parents don’t. Wangle Family Insites has published the most up to date information you need to know about cyber bullying and what to do should it happen to your child.
How to Prevent Cyberbullying | Practical Advice For Parents
When does rumour spreading, teasing, and mean behaviour cross the line and become bullying?
We are lead to believe that every time our children go online they may be the target of, a witness to or the perpetrator of bullying behaviour. In the past decade, I have found much of the media coverage about children and young people’s digital lives has focussed on cyber bullying while ignoring all the positive opportunities for creativity, community and knowledge that are at their fingertips...and keyboards.
The words ‘cyber bullying’ don’t necessarily resonate with young people who ask: ‘Oh, you mean the dramas...’ that occur between friends and foes alike both at school, beyond the lockers and online...and often all at the same time. So how we label these behaviours makes a huge difference when parents or other adults talk with and guide their children about managing this risk.
Perceived anonymity and a lack of empathy when a screen is used as a barrier to identification, provides ideal conditions for those wanting to harm others.
So as a first step I think it’s important to come to a shared understanding of what cyber bullying looks and feels like.
Being rude is when someone unintentionally harms another person once; mean behaviour is when someone intentionally hurts others and they do it once.
Bullying behaviour is when someone or a group intentionally hurt and harm others and keep doing it even when they have been asked to stop or when targets of this aggressive behaviour show or express their hurt. And they show absolutely no regret for their actions.
It doesn’t take much for mean behaviour to escalate rapidly into a bullying scenario and the impact can be amplified by the 24/7 exposure to it. Being ‘always on’ doesn’t help those being targeted who are unable to ‘shut out’ the harassment and home is no longer the safe haven it was when I was growing up.
In family discussions about being safe and respectful online remember to talk ‘with’ your children not ‘at’ or ‘to’ them. You’ll be surprised what a difference it makes.
Wangle Family Insites provides you with articles and advice to inform you of online risks so that you can confidently have those conversations.
Robyn Treyvaud- Head of Education Wangle Family Insites