Prevent Your Child from Becoming a Target
· Make sure your child knows not to post information that could be used maliciously.
· Visit your child’s online communities and discuss the values demonstrated by those who participate.
· Bully-proof your child by reinforcing your child’s individual strengths and fostering healthy friendships.
Action Steps and Options
Make sure your child knows not to retaliate, to save the evidence, and to ask for your help if he or she is having difficulties. Identify the cyberbully or bully group. Ask your Internet service provider for help. There are different ways that your child or you can respond to cyberbullying:
· Calmly and strongly tell the cyberbully to stop and to remove any harmful material.
· Ignore the cyberbully by leaving the online environment, blocking communications, or both.
· File a complaint with the Internet or cell phone company.
· Send the cyberbully’s parents a letter that includes the evidence of cyberbullying. Demand that the actions stop and harmful material be removed
· Seek assistance from the school.
· Contact an attorney to send a letter or file a lawsuit against the cyberbully’s parents.
Prevent Your Child from Being a Cyberbully
Make it clear that all Internet use must be in accord with family values of kindness and respect for others. If your child is being bullied at school, work with the school to stop the bullying and make sure your child knows not to retaliate online. If you know your child has cyberbullied others, be very proactive in preventing any continuation. You can be held financially liable for the harm your child causes to another.
Sadness or anger during or after Internet use. Withdrawal from friends and activities, school avoidance, decline of grades, and depression can be indications that your child is being bullied at school.
Responsible Management of Internet UseKeep the computer in a public place and supervise. Find out what public online sites and communities your child uses and review what your child is posting. Emphasize that these are public places!