Back to School Part 2: What You Can Do When Your Child is the Cyberbully

Posted: January 12, 2016 in Human Trafficking Is...
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In today’s society cyberbullying is on the rise.

Cyberbullies threaten, intimidate, and abuse using one or more of the following tactics. The following list was compiled by Enough is Enough

 

Cyberbullying Tactics

 

Gossip: Posting or sending cruel gossip to damage a person’s reputation and relationships with friends, family, and acquaintances

Exclusion: Deliberately excluding someone from an online group

Impersonation: Breaking into someone’s email or other online account and sending messages that  will cause embarrassment or damage to the person’s reputation and affect his/her relationship with others

Harassment: Repeatedly posting or sending offensive, rude, and insulting messages

Cyber stalking: Posting or sending unwanted or intimidating messages, which may include threats.

Flaming: Online fights where scornful and offensive messages are posted on websites, forums, or blogs.

Outing and Trickery: Tricking someone into revealing secrets or embarrassing information, which is then shared online

Cyber‐threats: Remarks on the Internet threatening or implying violent behavior, displaying suicidal tendencies

Copyright 2008 Enough is Enough www.enough.org

 

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In September, I wrote a post titled: “Back to School: What You Can Do When Your Child is Cyberbullied”

which gave 10 steps parents/caregivers can take to help their child deal with a cyberbully.

But what can you do when you’re child IS the cyberbully?

 

Below is a list of 10 steps to take when your own child is cyberbullying others. Presented by Sameer Hinduja, Ph.D. and Justin W. Patchin, Ph.D. and cyberbullying.org

 

10 Things You Can Do When Your Child IS the Cyberbully

 

  1. Acknowledge the issue. As a parent, accept the reality that your child could be engaging in online behaviors that are hurting others. Rather than try to trivialize, rationalize, or ignore the problem at hand, you realize that anyone (including your own flesh and blood!) can be very cruel to others, given the right circumstances.
  1. Remain calm. When addressing cyberbullying, try to discuss the issue in a level-headed manner without demonizing, disrespecting, or judging your child. Remember that your son or daughter isn’t the problem; it is the behavior. Deal with it, but treat them with dignity. Otherwise, they may lash out and retaliate if they feel attacked or victimized themselves, and no progress will be made.
  1. Keep an open line of communication. Many youths engage in cyberbullying to get revenge for something someone else did first. Make sure that your kids know they can come to you and discuss issues they are having with peers (offline or online). Give kids the opportunity and skill set to solve interpersonal problems in appropriate ways, instead of resorting to revenge.
  1. Stop the bullying. Goal #1 is to get the bullying to end and never happen again. Ensure that all instances of bullying are stopped immediately, regardless of who started it. No one deserves to be mistreated, for any reason, ever.
  1. Understand the root of the problem. We hear that “hurt people hurt people.” It is critical to identify the reason(s) your child has acted out. Is it an unhealthy way of coping with stress in their life? Because they themselves are being victimized? Because there are no rules in place and no threat of sanctions to deter them? Try to get to the bottom of the issue.
  1. Investigate. Take measures to thoroughly find out the extent of your child’s bullying. It could span multiple environments, websites, apps, and devices. It could be very direct and observable, or indirect and extremely subtle. Work to get to the bottom of what exactly happened.
  1. Make children understand how targets feel. Explain the severity of cyberbullying and how it would feel to be on the receiving end of hate or harassment that specifically highlights the way your child would be hurt the most. Try to cultivate empathy and compassion in kids in creative and compelling ways, so that they really understand that we all have our sore spots, hot buttons, and vulnerabilities.
  1. Set up parental controls. Monitor your child’s online activities, both formally and informally. This can be done through the installation of software or apps on their laptop, tablet, or phone. You should also routinely and randomly check their devices to see what they are doing, at least until you feel sure that they can be trusted.
  1. Share your concerns. You are not the only parent who has ever faced these problems. Connect with others so that the entire community can rally around the issue and take a stand. This united front can help to create and promote a culture where all members of a peer group recognize that bullying is always wrong and not cool at all.
  1. Stay educated. While we know that your lives are extremely busy, it is important that you take the time to continually learn about new technologies and sites that your kids (and their peers) are using. You should also know where to get help (start with http://www.cyberbullying.us), and interface with others (especially school staff) who have relevant experiences and strategies to share.

 

 

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Share these anti-bullying videos with your child.

 

 

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