Tips to prevent cyberbullying

Set parental controls on devices your child can access

Talk to your child about what it means to have friends and followers online. Are they real friends? Can they trust them?

Be aware that your child might start exploring romantic relationships. Talk about what they can safely share and who to trust

Encourage your child to be kind to others and think about the impact of words and actions

Talk to your child about what bullying is (intentional and repeated) and how people might bully others online

Encourage your child to tell you if they see or experience cyberbullying (even if it’s a friend)

Talk to your child about how they use the internet and what they enjoy

Suggest they talk to a teacher at school or contact organisations like Childline if they feel uncomfortable opening up to you

Tips to deal with cyberbullying

Don’t jump to conclusions

Gently explore with your child what has gone on before the message or the post

Stay calm

If you find out your child is experiencing cyberbullying or cyberbullying others, it’s important to keep your cool

Where did it start?

Be aware that cyberbullying can be a continuation of, or a response to bullying already happening at school or elsewhere

Discourage retaliation

Don’t encourage your child to retaliate in any way that is angry, offensive or threatening

Seek help

You could talk to your child’s school or, if your child feels harassed or threatened, the police. There are also charities like Kidscape that can give advice. Additionally, organisations like Family Lives offer emotional support to parents

Let them keep their device

Think carefully before taking away your child’s access to their phone or tablet. While this might stop cyberbullying, it can also take away connections to other people and increase loneliness and feelings of isolation

Report abuse

Help your child report any offensive content to the social media provider; show them how to do this on their own as well

Encourage positivity

Encourage your child to broaden their network of friends and to take part in activities that make them feel good about themselves

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