Cyberbullying is a form of online harassment where a bully tries to embarrass, threaten, shame, or hurt the victims.
According to Pew Research Center, 59% of US teens have been victims of cyberbullying. The most common forms of cyberbullying include rumor spreading and name-calling.
Being a parent in the digital age keeps you on your toes and awake all night. The digital world has created a space between virtual and real life. So, you need to understand your kids from two different perspectives and act accordingly.
Read on for more information.
#1. Keep Computer And Smart Devices In The Common Area of The House
Keep the smart devices and computers in the common area of your house. It’s an area where you can notice your kids while working in the kitchen or home office. If you observe your kids changing expressions or being sad, it’s time to ask questions.
If you live in your mind rather than the now, you may zone out in conversations. The virtual world is a cherry on the top. So, it’s hard to realize when your kids are being upset, especially if they stay in their room and use their devices. Set a rule in the house that kids can only play games or use social media in the house’s main area.
#2. Focus On The Importance of Becoming Digital Citizens
Educate your kids on why it’s essential to be responsible when interacting in the digital space. It’s a whole world out there, and you need to present yourself most respectfully.
Teach ethics, respect, positive communication, and kindness to your kids so that they would know how to behave with others around them.
#3. Learn How Social Media And Online Gaming Works
Familiarize yourself with the modern means of technology and tools of communication. It’s hard to decode a situation when you have no idea what it’s about! For example, your kid may share an incident on Minecraft, and you would have no clue.
Learning online gaming and social media platforms can help you understand what’s normal and what is not acceptable. But, unless you know, how do you expect to set the ground rules? Online videos, articles, and tutorials can help you with such knowledge.
#4. Build A Strong Relationship with Your Kids
Mutual trust and respect are the foundation of a relationship, including the one you share with your kids. It starts at an early age, but you need to continue working on the relationship. If you don’t share a strong bond with your kids, you may need external help.
You need to provide a safe space to the kids such that when they share an issue with you, they do it on purpose and not out of fear. If the element of fear is prominent in your relationship and every time you hear the story and react, they may feel scared to talk to you again about things that may upset you. You need to be the strong one here and listen to their stories calmly.
#5. Set Out The Rules of Online Communication
It’s easy if you set boundaries and expectations at your house. Set the ground rules for online communication. Your kids must know what topics are okay to discuss and what best conversations to avoid. They must understand that it’s not okay to share personal images with people they don’t know. For example:
- Tell your kids that it’s not okay to share their home address or email address while playing games online with others.
- They must not leak out family information or secrets online.
- They can’t post anything too violent, so a parent needs to check what they publish.
- Tell them respectfully that it’s for their safety and keep them away from cyberbullying.
- Keep upgrading the rules and discuss them regularly so that they would know what to expect.
- Share stories and examples so that they can learn how to stand up for themselves.
- They must understand that bullying is a strict no! They must tell you at once if they are being bullied or if they don’t know why someone is being hateful towards them.
- Teach your kids that stranger danger exists in the online world too. So, they just can’t be friends with random strangers. You need to approve first!
Wrapping It Up
It’s a challenge to be a parent at this age and time, but you can try your best. Preventing cyberbullying is possible when you share a strong bond with your kids and educate them about the online world’s dos and don’ts.