How to talk to your kids about cyberbullying
Written by a NortonLifeLock employee
Cyberbullying is not very different from the ill reputed bullying that happens in the school yard. It has the same psychological and social implication that leaves the formative minds of children insecure. What makes cyberbullying a little more intense than bullying is it not limited to the school yard.
A security suite that helps protect your devices.
Free security software just doesn’t have the resources to keep up with new threats as they emerge. That’s why you need a multi-layered defense to security. Meet Norton Security Premium — protection for up to 10 of your devices.
According to a 2015 survey 34.4% of students between the ages of 11 and 15 have been cyberbullied. This includes children who have been threatened online to be hurt, had rumors spread about them, or had mean and hurtful comments or pictures of them online.
This onslaught of hateful messages follows children everywhere they go. Left with no respite, many children avoid interaction with adults and peers, show a drop in grades, display anger, depression, self harm and in extreme cases resort to suicide. Children don’t like to talk about such incidents. They are often embarrassed to admit they are cyberbullied or they don’t know that what is happening to them is a type of cyberbullying. They also feel no one will understand what they are going through and will try to fight it alone.
Parents, educators and caregivers need to recognize the signs of cyberbullying and do whatever it takes to help the victims. Bombarding them with questions like “Are you being bullied?” will only drive them further away. Instead find out what their school day feels like. Ask “Who did you have lunch with?” “What are the kids in school talking about these days?” Most children will respond with some answer that will give you an insight about what’s going on in school.
Here are few ways parents can talk to their children about cyberbullying:
Ask your child about what he/she knows about the recent rise in cyberbullying. Children don’t like to come up and say they are victims. It is better to talk about an incident reported in the news and see your child’s view on it.
Be there for them. Assure your child that you will be there for him/her if such a thing were to happen to them even if they are somewhat responsible for it. Let them know that you will keep all conversations between the two of you private and will not intervene unless it’s absolutely necessary.
3. Cyber rules
Every home should have certain guidelines and rules for the usage of technology. Besides the amount of time children spend online, teach them online etiquette. It’s as simple as expecting them to behave online the way they would in real life. This means they should not use another person’s cell phone or computer without his/her permission circulate embarrassing photographs or video about another person forward hurtful or embarrassing messages or media use anonymous or unrecognizable screen names to communicate use foul or abusive language that could embarrass or hurt others
Treat your children like adults when you are explaining the rules to them. Let them know why they are enforced in the first place. The use of technology is a privilege and must be handled responsibly. Make them understand that breaking rules has consequences that are beyond your control. There are laws that protect victims of cybercrime.
5. Safety first
Talk to them about how important cyber safety is. Keep their computers, laptops and cell phones protected with a comprehensive security suite tailored to protect children from online threats. Encourage your children to block and ignore people who send hateful messages.
Let your child know that you understand that there are two sides to each story and you will do your best to support your child. If your child knows someone who is being bullied encourage your child to convince the victim to report the incident to the school office. Remind your child that there is nothing to be ashamed of when he/she is a victim of cyberbullying. It’s the cyberbullies who should be ashamed of their actions. They are unhappy people who want to have control over your child’s feelings so that he/she feels as badly as they do. There is always a solution to every problem in life. So instead of dwelling on it, encourage your child to engage on activities that excite them like sports, hobbies, hanging out with positive thinking friends. And if there is a need seek help from parents, teachers, and trusted adults, they have got your back.
Want to know more about cyberbullying? Read our blog What is Cyberbullying?
Our best protection. One low price
Norton Security Premium helps protect up to 10 of your Windows PCs, Macs, Android smartphones or your iPads.
Editorial note: Our articles provide educational information for you. NortonLifeLock offerings may not cover or protect against every type of crime, fraud, or threat we write about. Our goal is to increase awareness about cyber safety. Please review complete Terms during enrollment or setup. Remember that no one can prevent all identity theft or cybercrime, and that LifeLock does not monitor all transactions at all businesses.
Copyright © 2020 NortonLifeLock Inc. All rights reserved. NortonLifeLock, the NortonLifeLock Logo, the Checkmark Logo, Norton, LifeLock, and the LockMan Logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of NortonLifeLock Inc. or its affiliates in the United States and other countries. Firefox is a trademark of Mozilla Foundation. Android, Google Chrome, Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google, LLC. Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc. Alexa and all related logos are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. Microsoft and the Window logo are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the U.S. and other countries. The Android robot is reproduced or modified from work created and shared by Google and used according to terms described in the Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution License. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.