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What is the parent's role in cyberbullying?
The parent’s role plays a crucial part in their child’s safety. Parents should be the one trusted place that children can go when things go wrong. However, they are often the place children avoid when things go wrong. Why? Parents may have a tendency to overreact. Most children will avoid telling their parents about a cyberbullying incident for fear that it might make things worse. For example, they may call the other parents of the child or children involved, the school, or take away the privilege to use the computer and the internet. On the other hand, they may at times, underreact and rarely do they get it “just right” where the parents really understand and are calm about the situation.
It is important for parents to be supportive at this time and not lecture the child. This time may have lasting effects on the child. These attacks follow them into your otherwise safe home and wherever they go offline. And when over 500 million accomplices can be recruited to help target or humiliate your child, the risk of emotional pain is very real, scary and very serious. So we can’t ignore it.
Some things to do to help your child:
- Inform the school so that the school’s counselor can be aware of in-school bullying as well as how your child is dealing with things.
-Notify your pediatrician, family counselor or clergy or rabbi for support if needed
-It is so important that you are there to provide the necessary love and support that your child needs. Help your child feel secure and take this very seriously.
-Parents need to understand that a child can be a cyberbully as well as a victim of cyberbullying and can alternate between the two roles during only one incident. If your child is being cyberbullied your actions must be proactive.
- If you find any indication that personal contact information has been posted online, or any threats are made to your child, you must speak with your local law enforcement agency.