cyberbullying- what parents need to know
Cyberbullying is especially harmful because of its anonymity and accessibility. Cyberbullying can happen 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, which makes children especially vulnerable. Messages and images can be posted and distributed quickly and to a number of people, making cyberbullying very harmful. It can also be difficult to track the offender of cyberbullying because of the user’s ability to delete negative comments or texts just as quickly as they are posted.
1.) Know what social media sites your child is on and monitor them frequently. Also monitor texts and emails. Explain to your child this is for their own, personal safety.
2.) Familiarize yourself with your child’s school policies regarding cyberbullying. Even if the bullying isn’t happening on school grounds, school personnel are often willing to investigate the matter and provide supportive services at school.
3.) If your child is exhibiting three or more of the above warning signs, consult with your family physician, school counselor, or mental health professional in your community.
4.) Most important, have open dialogue with your child. Listen and be empathetic. Provide directives and offer support in addressing the cyberbullying. -Tracy Strepek, LCSW, Extension 351