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.
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
Playground: playing nice
On hand: playing nice
In touch: playing nice
Hear from the experts
Views from professionals working with children affected by cyberbullying
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
Tolga Yildiz from ChildLine explains how they can help children with confidential advice