Cyber bullying

One in 10 kids experience cyber bullying, and that number is on the rise. What can parents do to stop or prevent this? With more and more social networking happening online, it’s understandable how the incidence of cyber-bullying has increased. But it’s not acceptable, and parents need to play a large role in preventing and combating this form of bullying.

Cyber bullying can be conducted through online social networking sites like Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, Snapchat and vai text.

About 10% of students say they have been bullied online or through their mobile phones. Of them more than 90% say that this cyber aspect was part of an overall bullying campaign which included face-to-face bullying.

Here are some tips on how parents can help with this growing problem of cyber bullying.

Be cyber savvy

Learn everything you can about information and communication technologies and how your child is using them. Talk to them about the places and sites they go online and the activities that they are involved in.

Encourage communication

Provide an environment in which your child will come to you if anybody says or does something that makes them feel uncomfortable or threatened online or via mobile phone. Stay calm. If you “freak out” they won’t turn to you for help when they need it.

Watch for signs that your child is being bullied online

These could include a reluctance to use the computer or go to school.

Take action

If the bullying is coming from a student at the same school, meet with school officials and ask for help in resolving the situation.

Talk to them about responsible computer and mobile phone use

Teach them to never post or say anything that they wouldn’t want the whole world – including you – to see or read.

Monitor your child’s computer use and have their log-ins

To keep children safe parents need to have access to email, private messaging and social networking accounts children hold. It’s not invading their privacy.


This article was written by Fiona Baker, former editor in chief of Mother & Baby, Pregnancy & Birth and Wondertime magazines, for Kidspot, New Zealand’s leading parenting and pregnancy resource. Sources include Bullying No Way, National Centre Against Bullying, Raising Children Network, and Bullying Hurts.


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