There are benefits to online social networking: your child can connect with their classmates, learn more about their community, and even join great causes around the world. However, there are also potential challenges that every parent must prepare for.
Cyberbullying: What Parents Can Do
What Parents Can Do
The Massachusetts Attorney General's office offers the following tips for parents in handling cyberbullying:
- Look for warning signs. If your child’s Internet use becomes obsessive or if they become withdrawn from regular activities, they may be a victim of cyberbullying.
- Tell your child not to respond. It is better to ignore distressing e-mails, messages, and comments.
- Tell your child to “block” bullies. If harassment is via e-mail, social networking sites, IM, and/or chat rooms, delete or suspend your child’s current account and create a new one or block the bullies.
- Save the evidence. Preserve/print/take screenshots or photos of comments and images sent via e-mail, websites or text messages. Note the date and time when the cyberbullying occurred.
- Remove hurtful websites. Review your Internet service provider (ISP) or cell phone provider’s policy and follow the procedure to have any webpage created to hurt your child removed.
- Get your child’s school involved. Learn the school’s policy on cyberbullying and ask for guidance on how to handle repeated incidents.
- Become familiar with social media sites. Don’t be afraid to monitor your child’s use of the Internet and social media sites.
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Cyberbullying is a form of bullying in which the bully or group of bullies sends or posts hurtful images, messages, or threats through e-mail, text messaging, instant messaging, mobile apps, or social media sites. This type of bullying, unlike other forms, often allows for anonymity and more frequent attacks or incursions.