Be the Change, Stop Bullying & Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying Prevention for Parents

Keep the Lines of Communication Open

It is extremely important to build a trusting, open relationship with your child. Make sure your child knows they can come to you with any issue involving an online medium (i.e. social media). Lines of communication with your child should be open so that if someone is making inappropriate comments, they feel comfortable coming to you with that information.

 

Familiarize Yourself with Technology

Use the Internet with your child. Parents should be familiar with their child’s online activities. Parents should be open to learning about technology so they can keep up with their children and understand the risks they may face while on the Internet. Talk openly and frequently with your child about their interests on the internet and what is going on in social media. Stay connected!

 

Teach Online Safety

Be sure to use a unique, complex password on all accounts and devices. It is important to regularly change these passwords and to use different passwords for each account. Advise your children to never share passwords, not even with close friends.

Help your child create usernames that do not provide personal information about themselves. Make sure their username does not include their full name, hometown, school, or other information that can lead to the child’s identity or location.

Teach your children to log out of anything that requires a username and password when they finish their work. Also, teach them how to properly log out of computers (like school or library computers) to prevent others from gaining access to their information and possibly posting/emailing from your child’s account.

Teach your child about unsolicited mail and not to click on links or download attachments in emails from strangers or emails they are not expecting. Emails from unknown individuals may contain viruses or spyware that could damage computers and steal personal information—including money from bank accounts. Some viruses can “spoof” the name and email address of friends and fool individuals into thinking the message is from someone known.

Trust Your Gut! If your child engages with someone online who makes him/her feel uncomforable, they need to seek the support of a trusted adult. 

 

Establish Rules about Technology Use

Remind your child that their phone is a privilege, not a right and it may be taken away or have further restrictions if rules are broke.

Consider establishling rules in the following areas:

  • Time limits on internet usage, text messaging, and phone calls
  • Times it is appropriate to use phones or internet (ex: not during dinner time or at school)
  • Your monitoring of their accounts (phones, social networking sites, internet use)
  • The content put up on social media sites (ex: pictures, locations, statuses on Facebook)
  • Bullying (talk about cyberbullying, and consequences of them posting mean/inappropriate comments or partaking in bullying. Also talk about what to do if they are being cyberbullied.)

 

You can put together a contract with your child, which ensures that your child knows and understands your expectations for their use of these technologies. This should be collaborative! Include consequences for breaking any of the rules set in place with the contract, so that the child understands what happens if he/she breaks the rules. 

 


The above information was disseminated from published material by the Norton Staff (2013) and other published material by the staff at the Cyberbullying Research Center (2014).


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