1 in 5 children report being bullied, making it an essential discussion topic to have with our children. With bullying transitioning from in-person to online, the do’s and don’ts of preventing and addressing cyberbullying are changing too. We’re here to give you the best tools to stop cyberbullying in its tracks and prevent your child from becoming a victim.
DO Educate Your Child About Bullying
Discussing the many faces of bullying helps our children identify bullying when it's happening, whether with themselves or their peers. By giving our children the tools to understand how bullying can look, we not only minimize their chances of being a victim, but also give them the confidence to stand up if they see it happening. By understanding what bullying is and what forms it can take, your child will be better equipped to address the situation. If you’re still unsure of what specifically to talk to your child about when it comes to bullying, we highly recommend UNICEF’s here.
DO Empower Your Child To Speak Up
Reports show that 54% of students who are bullied don’t speak up, with 56% feeling that their bully will influence other students’ perceptions of them. With the need to be accepted and the fear of isolation, rejection, and embarrassment, speaking up can be challenging for our kids. If your child is being bullied or knows someone who is, remind them of the importance of standing up for the right thing. If your child is still hesitant to come forward, many schools also offer anonymous tips for bullying that will allow your child to address the issue without the fear of retaliation.
DO Teach Your Child To Treat Others With Kindness
A Harvard study recently found that the majority of kids value personal success over caring for others. By being a positive role model for our kids in how we treat others, we can show the importance of treating others how we want to be treated. Combined with educating our children on empathy and encouraging kind habits, we can give our kids the tools to be kind human beings while serving as a role model for their peers.
DON’T Cut Communication
70% of parents struggle to communicate with their children between balancing busy schedules, work, and school. With the madness of the daily grind, we may unintentionally be shutting ourselves off from a direct line of communication with our kiddos. By being actively involved in our children’s daily lives, we can keep an open dialogue for our children to come to us in the early stages if they are experiencing bullying before things go too far.
DON’T Allow Unlimited Access Online
Cyberbullying has increased 70% since the start of the pandemic. If your little one has access to a smartphone or tablet, layout guidelines when using their smart device to avoid unlimited online access. To prevent unwanted or harmful messages from coming your child’s way, you can easily monitor who they’re talking to by limiting tech usage to family common areas, setting up parental controls on their devices, and limiting specific app usage if harmful behavior presents itself.
Bullying is a serious issue that can lead to depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and worse. By understanding the severity of bullying and taking necessary action to stop it, you’re protecting your child while also modeling how to prevent others from being bullied. After you’ve taken steps to address the situation, be sure to reassure your child that everything will be okay. If you’re concerned, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s school, a healthcare professional, or trusted individual.Bullying is a serious issue our children can experience both directly and indirectly. For additional resources on bullying, please visit StopBullying.gov. Have any tips you want to share on how to stop bullying? DM us @myticktalk and we’ll share your tips to help other parents.