Fighting Cyberbullying: What Parents need to Know

It is not uncommon to find problems struggling to find an answer to how to prevent cyberbullying, oblivious to the fact that they are often guilty of contributing to the problem themselves. While making mistakes is pretty natural, it is important to acknowledge them and make a dedicated effort to avoid them in the future. To help you in this regard, we have highlighted some of the blunders that parents are sometimes guilty of making, and followed them up with suggestions on how you should ideally act. This will be helpful in overcoming the dangerous effects of cyberbullying among teens.

Lack of Supervision

How Parents Act: Some parents are so busy protecting kids physically and financially that they end up ignoring what their kids are up to on their phones, laptops and computers. As a result, they find themselves oblivious to the dangers that the youngsters are exposed to.

How they should actually act: Parent should pay attention to what their kids are up to, especially on their phones, laptops and computers, as these three platforms are frequently mentioned in cyberbullying facts. Monitoring or parental control software can come in real handy, though be sure to inform kids about it beforehand so that they don’t feel cheated or spied on.

Ignoring the Change in Kids’ Behavior

How Parents Act: Parents do not have enough stamina and energy to observe the child closely after coming home from a hectic day. Symptoms that tell us there is something wrong, like sudden change in eating habits, sleeping disorder, change in mood and behavior etc. often go unnoticed.

How they should actually act: Parents must know the routine of kids, the time they spend online, their social media friends, their most favorite games, their eating habits and sleeping routine. If they notice a change in routine behavior, they must probe it to get to the root cause of this change. Questions like how are things at school, your mobile working well, what did you do on laptop today etc. will be helpful in this regard.

Failing to understand Kids’ Problems

How Parents Act: Have your kid showed mood swings lately? Is he showing poor performance in weekly tests and quizzes? Is he not obeying you? If yes, then what will your normal reaction be? You would probably get mad at him to such a great extent that you may even punish him.

How they should actually act: If your kid is doing anything that irritates you, whether it’s his changing attitude or poor performance, you must first ask him about it as there is always a reason behind everything. Just because kids can be careless and reckless at times doesn’t mean they are always at fault. You must understand them and their problems. Maybe he is being bullied at school or on social media, and he is too reluctant to share this with you. Get to the bottom of the problem.

Lack of preventive measures

How Parents Act: Parents usually give personal mobile phone and computer to the kid at a very young age, and that too without educating them on safe and responsible use of technology.

How they should actually act: Before granting digital privileges to kids, parents must educate them on responsible use of technology, while also warning them of the potential consequences of irresponsible and reckless online behavior.

There is no better way to fight cyberbullying than to assure kids that you’ve got their back at all times. The problem becomes complicated only because of your absence from your kids’ daily life and failure to fulfill your responsibility of teaching them responsible use of technology.

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