The amount of time our children spend on devices increases each day. Proportionally, so does their level of risk of being exposed to Cyberbullying while on those devices. In our house, we approach the start of a new school year. Our kids (14 and twin 7 year olds) will not only have their own personal devices, they will also receive tablets from their schools. So it is a great time to discuss this increasing problem. Now is the perfect time to empower them to fight against cyberbullying when they encounter it by discussing these tips for kids to fight cyberbullying.
Almost 90% of our children report witnessing cyberbullying related to to people’s appearance, race, religion or sexuality. According to a McAfee Study.
It affects our children in numerous ways. First, the study shows that of those who witness cyberbullying feel a significant emotional impact. This is best seen in the fact that 53% of victims report that they became defensive or angry over the cyberbullying. Also, due to this, 47% of victims delete their social media accounts, to escape further attacks. Cyberbullying has often been attributed to children being expelled, forced to move to a new school, and has been a contributing factor in Youth Suicides.
It’s a Problem for Boys & Girls
This is a problem that happens to boys and girls. It happens differently with each gender. According to Teensafe.com:
- Girls (41 percent) are more likely to experience cyberbullying at some point in their life compared to boys (28 percent)
- When girls cyberbully, they tend to post mean online comments
- Girls favor social media outlets like Snapchat or Instagram while boys often interact over gaming consoles
- Male cyberbullies often post hurtful photos or videos
What Can Parents Do?
So what can a parent do about this? In the same reports above, 24% of our sons and daughters report that they do not know what to do if they would be harassed online. The safety net of privacy settings and parental controls are often missing. 39% of our children do not enable their privacy settings on social media. Sadly most parents are not up to speed on the current apps that the kids are using. but you can change this. You can have these important discussions. If you do this, then you will be helping to change the negative trend we are facing of Cyberbullying increasing each year. I have put together these seven tips for kids to fight cyberbullying that are more based on common sense. They should apply to each and every social media platform, or gaming console where your children may be at risk.
7 Tips for Kids to Fight CyberBullying
These are points you should discuss with your children and make sure they understand what they are being told. Let’s take a look:
- If you are being bullied online (cyber bullied) tell a parent or other adult what has happened.
- If the Cyberbullying is school related, report it to an adult at school.
- When you have a conflict with someone, talk to them in person. If you are concerned how that person will respond, have an adult help you talk to them.
- Don’t open any messages from a person trying to cyberbully you. Block their access to your accounts. Report their accounts to the operators of the platforms they have bullied you on. Cyberbullying is prohibited in the Terms of Service (TOS) of most Social Media and Online Platforms, as well as on gaming systems.
- Do not give out your phone number or passwords to anyone else. They may be used to access your accounts or to harass someone else by using your account.
- Never forward photos, texts, or harmful words or materials to other people’s accounts. When you do, you then are an accessory and partaking in the cyberbullying even if you didn’t start it.
- You need to keep all posts or messages sent to you that qualify as cyberbullying because they can be used for evidence in instances where legal intervention is required.
The final advice I will leave you with is this; If at any point the cyberbullying crosses over into threats of harm, spreading of pornographic materials, or any other criminal activity, then you need to bring in your local police and authorities. Many of these agencies have cybercrime divisions that aid you in resolving any problems. Our kids need our protection. I hope these tips for kids to fight cyberbullying will help!
Please look at my other guides to help keep our kids safe online. Here is my advice for Keeping Kids Safe While Playing Pokemon Go, check it out.