Question

Children's Health

How can I protect my child from cyberbullying?

A Answers (5)

  • ACharles Sophy, Psychiatry, answered

    Teach your child about cyber bullying. Cyberbullying includes sending mean, rude, vulgar, or threatening messages or images; posting sensitive, private information about another person; pretending to be someone else in order to make that person look bad; and intentionally excluding someone from an online group. 

    These acts are as harmful as physical violence and must not be tolerated. We know from research that the more time a teen spends online, the more likely they will be cyberbullied – so limit online time.

    Talk with and listen to your child, every day.

    Take note of any mood swings.

    Be a good example of kindness and leadership in your daily routines and interaction with your child. Values are caught and not merely taught.

     

  • ARealAge answered

    To protect your kids from cyberbullying, teach them the following safety rules:

    • Never give out their personal information online.
    • Keep their passwords secret from everyone except their parents, even their best friends.
    • Never respond to an intimidating or threatening e-mail. If your child gets a message like this, she should save it or print it out and show it to an adult.
    • Don’t open e-mails from people they don’t know.

    Remind your kids to never put anything in an e-mail that they wouldn’t want others to see. Also, teach your kids to be as courteous online as they are in person, and think before they send. Sometimes it’s much too easy to rattle off an angry e-mail and hit “send” before getting a chance to calm down and consider the consequences of the message.

    From Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children by Jennifer Trachtenberg.

    Take the RealAge Test!

     

  • ARaychelle Lohmann, MS, LPC, Psychology, answered

    Parents you play a vital role in protecting your teen from cyber bullying. First and foremost know what your teen is doing online. Spend some time reviewing the cyber bully protection tips below with your teen.

    1. If you've become a victim of cyber bullying, take down your page(s)!  No exceptions!
    2. Don't fill out those online surveys. If you do, be very selective about what kind of information you post. No personal information!
    3. Give your parents access to your accounts. This is for your protection.
    4. Only accept close and "real friends" to your social media sites.
    5. Don't talk to strangers. If you don't know them, block them from your site.
    6. Don't reply to any degrading, rude or vulgar posts.
    7. Block all people from your site who post those things in tip 6.
    8. Report inappropriate posts, pics, videos, etc., to site operators.
    9. Don't delete inappropriate material. Take a screen shot; print it out, or save it. This is your evidence should you need it in the future.
    10. If a friend tells you that they see something bad about you online, ask him to print it out or save it for you.
    11. Tell a parent or a trusted adult if you are being targeted by a cyber-bullying. Don't keep silent.
    12. Never, ever, share personal information with others online that can come back to bite you. If you want to share something big with a friend, do it face to face. Don't do it online where the world is your audience.
    13. Never, ever, share your username and password with anyone except a parent. 
    14. Make your username and password unique so that no one can figure them out.
    15. Don't ever provide an itinerary of your day on your social media site(s). It is not safe for others to know every step that you're going to be making during the day.
    16. Take a stand against cyber bullying. Don't only stand up for yourself but get others involved as well. Help break the silence and put an end to bullying.
  • AShawn Edgington, Pediatrics, answered
    Follow these tips to help protect your child from cyberbullying (when a minor uses technology as a weapon to intentionally threaten or hurt another minor):
    • Listen carefully to what your child is saying to you. Be sympathetic and stay calm. Be sure you don't place blame on them, and don't look for fault. Your child needs to know that you understand what is going on and that they can count on you for support.
    • Teach your child the defensive measures they can take to limit online attacks, like the Ignore/Block/Report (I/B/R) program.
    • Get professional help if you think your child needs extra support or outside advice.
    • If your child's safety is at risk, document all of the online and/or text message correspondence, and then contact the authorities. Cyberbullying is a serious offense and is taken seriously by authorities.
    • Keep the lines of communication open with your child and spend extra time with them. Provide extra encouragement whenever possible, and be a friend to your child, as well as a parent.
    • If you suspect your child is being bullied online while they are at school, contact your child's teacher or the administration of your child's school. But, you will want to try and get your child's approval first. Ask for the school's cooperation in getting the bullying at school to stop.
    • Always stick to the facts, write them down, and keep copies of everything.
    • Depending on your child's age and the situation, you might be able to contact the cyberbully's parents for help.
    • Support and nurture your child's self-confidence levels.
    • Tell your child not to feel ashamed, that they are not alone, and to reach out to people they can trust for help.
  • AJill Grimes, MD, Family Medicine, answered
    You can protect your child from cyberbullying by being aware of what your kid is receiving and sending. Remember, your kid might be the bully or the victim. Teach your child more digital citizenship. Your child needs to really understand what is appropriate online etiquette.
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