cyberbullying stories

Hear from real families and directly from the experts

Nicola’s story – my child was a cyberbully


Nicola talks candidly about finding out her daughter was bullying others online and how they dealt with this as a family.

Is my child a cyberbully?

No parent wants to think of their child cyberbullying someone else. But young people who may have never bullied anyone face-to-face can get drawn into cyberbullying, sometimes without realising that’s what they’re doing.

more info

Guidance on how you can help stop your child being a cyberbully

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What you should do

Find out why

Try and establish the facts around the incident and keep an open mind. Often as parents we are blind to the behaviour of our own children so try not to be on the defensive. Think about areas of your child’s life that may be causing them distress or anger and leading to them expressing these feelings online.

Talk it through

Talk about the blurred line between uploading and sharing content because it’s funny or might get lots of ‘likes’, versus the potential to cause offence or hurt. Tell then that bullying other’s online is unacceptable behaviour which could get them into trouble with the school or police and they could end up losing friends.

Teach by example

Model and encourage positive behaviour in your child and praise them as they take this on board.

Learn from it

Above all help your child learn from what has happened. Think about what you could do differently as a parent or as a family and share your learning with other parents and carers.

What you shouldn’t do

Don’t get upset

Stay calm when discussing it with your child and try to talk with other adults to work through any emotions you have about the situation.

Don’t ignore it

Take the situation seriously and don’t blame someone else. As a role model, it is best to show your child that taking responsibility for your own actions is the right thing to do.

Don’t condone it

If your child was cyberbullying in retaliation, you should tell them that two wrongs cannot make a right and it will just encourage the bully’s behaviour.

Don’t take away their devices

This could make the situation worse and encourage them to find other ways to get online. Think about restricting access and take away some privileges if they don’t stop the behaviour.

How cyberbullying can affect children of different ages

Real families talk about their experiences in these videos from Virgin Media

Age 5-10

Playground: playing nice

Age 11-13

On hand: playing nice

Age 14+

In touch: playing nice

Hear from the experts

Views from professionals working with children affected by cyberbullying

The teacher

Headteacher Vic Goddard on dealing with cyberbullying in a large school environment

The police officer

Chief Constable Olivia Pinkney talks about when the police should get involved in a cyberbullying incident

The counsellor

Tolga Yildiz from ChildLine explains how they can help children with confidential advice

Protect Your Child

How to manage the situation if your child is affected

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Resources

Where to get further help and advice

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