Couple of weeks ago “exactly the third week of November” was the Bullying Awareness Week. This national campaign, which aims to raise awareness about bullying amongst students in Canada, dragged my attention to very important matter; how we are as adults and parents are concerned to protect young people all the time wherever they are.
Never dream that your responsibility limits may stop by school gates, as parents we keep thinking about our kids wherever they are at school, playing, sleeping, studying or social networking!
Bullying and cyberbullying come amongst long list of parents’ concerns these days. With the increase in use of social networking, cyberbullying has become increasingly common, especially among young people. Tweens and teens are in constant contact with peers; updating statuses, uploading and looking at photos, and instant messaging. Children are linked to friends on a 24-hour basis, which has its advantages as well as its dangers. Cyberbulling is one of the major dangers that our kids may face while social networking.
What Teens should do if they got cyberbullied? I would say to every teen, you have to pause and think before you post/message/e-mail anything or react on any post/message/e-mail. Here are also some advises that may help, according to PREVNent , Canada’s authority on bullying:
- Stand up to bullying behavior you see online. If you know who the sender is, let him or her know that cyberbullying is not okay with you but don’t engage in responding to nasty or aggressive messages. Reach out to the person on the receiving end. Let him or her know that you are there and you care. Delete the message and do not pass it along.
- Talk to a trusted adult ” ideally your parents” about your online relationships and what you see online. If you are being cyberbullied or concerned that someone else is, you don’t have to deal with it alone.
- Refuse to forward an e-mails or messages to become a part of the solution not the bullying process.
How can parents help preventing cyberbullying? The first and last secret key to help your kids throughout their hard times is to be the first ones come to their mind and the closet to them on time of any problem. Being a friend to your teen will save you a lot of efforts searching and investigating the reason behind their suffering or pressure. what should we do?
- Listen to your teen and be their advocate. Cyberbullying can quickly escalate and requires swift adult intervention.
- Reassure your teen all the time you are in their side, you will not take away their phone or Internet, but if they encounter anything online that makes them feel uncomfortable, or if they receive any messages or view content that is harassing or upsetting that it is important to talk to you.
- Look into the matter and keep a record of emails, chat room history, web postings or phone messages that you can take to your Internet Service Provider or the police.
- Take action and report incidents of cyber bullying to your child’s school and to your Internet Service provider. School boards have Codes of Conduct that include cyberbullying.
Your kids should feel your support and backup for them all the time specially in time of crisis like cyberbullying. You may find them avoid discussions about their online activities or appear unhappy, or distressed, particularly after using the computer or viewing their cell phone. Then it’s your role to spot the signs of your child suffering and to take an immediate action.
Did you experience any kind of cyberbullying in the past? share your experience with us!