Cyberbullying Advice for Parents

With access to the internet in so many forms, it can be easy for teens to get caught up in dramatic situations online. Here is some great cyberbullying advice for parents.
Nowadays, teens have access to smartphones, tablets, computers and other devices, making it easy for them to either participate in or be a victim of cyberbullying. It is important to keep them informed of the consequences of this. But how, exactly?

Teach them in a variety of ways

Sometimes, hearing it from their mom or dad is the last thing they want to hear. Instead, show them a movie that addresses the topic of cyberbullying well and watch it with them as a family activity. Watch their reactions and discuss what they noticed in the film. It could be a way to have a natural conversation about the topic, without it feeling forced. Another way would be to find an interesting book that is relatable to them, in a language they understand or to share a news article on the topic and discuss it with them.

Reach out to them

Whether it seems like it or not, they are listening to you. They need to hear that you will be there whenever they need it. Ask about their day at school, but do not push them if they are not ready to speak up. Let them know they have a safe space with you if they need it and remind them that you love them often.

Help them become digital citizens

We cannot just give our children access to the internet blindly. They need to know that everything they post, words or images, can be seen by anyone, anywhere. It could affect their future employment, their education and their personal relationships. They need to know the difference between appropriate posts and things that should be left in private. If they have a social media account, they should feel comfortable showing you what their profile looks like. I am not saying log into their account without their permission. I am simply stating that they need to be reminded, if it is not something their employer or family member would not want to see, they should not post it online.