Family Guide to Stopping Cyber Bullying

Cyber bullying is a growing problem among children and teens. Cyber bullying is bullying that takes place using cell phones, computers, and tablets as well as communication tools including social media sites, text messages, chat, and websites. Here a our top tips for families to stop cyber bullying.

1. Tell an Adult

Children should not be afraid to tell a parent, teacher or police if they are or have been cyber bullied. It is important for child to feel comfortable to report any messages that are harassing or threatening.

2. Anti Bullying Program

Many schools already have anti-bullying programs in place but if your school does not, parents should insist that one be implemented. Anti-Bullying programs provide children with a safe environment and knowledge on what to do if they ever encounter a bully. Programs address all types of bullying and solutions.

3. Laws & Enforcement

If your school does not already have a relationship with local law agencies it should consider building a relationship. Law Agencies can help enforce cyberbullying.

4. Parent Awareness

Parents should be on the lookout for signs that their child is being cyber bullied. Signs of cyberbullying include but are not limited to not wanting to go to school, acting depressed, having nightmares or lost interest in computers.

5. Bullying Awareness

Parents must communicate with their children about bullying and cyberbullying. Parents should also encourage their children to communicate back if they are ever bullied themselves.

6. Computer Time

Parents may not be able to monitor all their children's internet activity but it may be helpful to keep computers used by children in common areas of the home.

7. Save Evidence

If your child is being bullied it is extremely important to save all internet activity which includes, emails, chats, instant messages and web pages sent or posted by bullies. This information can be used as evidence against the bully.

8. Don't Respond to Bullies

It is our natural reaction to respond to a bully but parents should educate their children not to respond to bullies. Parents should explain to their children how important it is not to reply back to a bully. If a child responds back with a threat it can be used against them.

9. Private Information

Parents should educate their children not to give out any private information when online. This information includes, full names, addresses, phone numbers, passwords, etc. Kids should not post anything they would not want to be made public.

10. File Complaint

Parents should file complaints with the internet service provider or website if their child is being bullied. Cyber bullying is against most services "terms of use" and violaters can be prosecuted in some instances.

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