3. Help them understand the impact of their actions
Your child simply might not understand the consequences of their actions. To them, the behaviour they are exhibiting may not seem serious, but to the recipient, the impact could be significant. For every 10 people who are bullied, 3 will self-harm, 1 will go on to have a failed suicide attempt and 1 will develop an eating disorder. Additionally, we know that people who have been bullied, on average, achieve lower grades and therefore the bullying could reduce their future career prospects.
Talk to your child about these statistics and ask them to put themselves in the shoes of the person they are bullying. How would they feel if it was happening to them?
4. Seek to resolve
Once you have identified the source of your child’s behaviour, it is important to find a productive and positive way in which you can resolve the situation.
If they require it, maybe seek further emotional support from a therapist, counsellor or someone at Ditch the Label. If your child would like advice on how they can stop bullying or if they just need someone to talk to, they can do so via our website DitchtheLabel.org or they can DM us on Twitter to speak to somebody.
If your child knows the person they are bullying offline, you could also suggest a mediation between your child and the recipient. A mediation can feel scary for those involved but is often incredibly powerful; it is essentially a face-to-face conversation between the person who is being bullied and the person doing the bullying in a controlled, equal environment.
If they only know the recipient in an online environment, encourage them to apologise to the user for their actions. Taking responsibility for the hurt they have caused might help them to understand that the gravity of the situation.
5. Teach your child good netiquette.
Teach your child how to behave properly online; help them to understand that their behaviour in online environments should reflect their offline behaviour – they may have forgotten that there is a person behind the profile.
Remind them to be respectful of other user’s views and opinions and to be courteous and respectful of other people’s feelings when sharing their own.