A Parental Guide to Cyberbullying:
- Cyberbullying has become prevalent after the Internet revolution. Bullying is bullying, irrespective of age it’s been in society and no parent wishes to learn that their child is being bullied, be it physically, mentally or in the virtual world.
- Here is a proactive guide for any parent or career; it’s simple and jargon free to enable you to become cyber safety smart parent.
- Communication is utmost important; all parents should be able to discuss bullying in an open manner with their child. It’s important to discuss openly the subject of bullying frequently with children. The integrity of one’s child is an important factor, by good communication can you then judge if something is untoward.
- In the coming articles we shall discuss more on different types of parenting and how each of these parents can practice to be a perfect cyber parent.
- The use of a Smartphone, Desktop Computer, Laptop or iPad will be done on a network within the home. We have to really understand ‘Is our network securely conﬁgured?
- The parent should have full admin rights and they shall conﬁgure their children’s device.
- Set time limits using Screen Time agreement (Both Smartphone and Internet – Screen Time Agreements).
- Set parental control on media, games & applications.
- Managing your child’s requests / expectation.
- You can have daily / weekly reports on their activity, by turning ‘On’ daily / weekly reporting. Here you’ll be advised of:
- Screen Time App – If it’s an IOS Device.
- Digital Wellbeing App – If it’s an Android Device.
- You can also use paid Child Monitoring Apps i.e. Net Nanny, Teen Angles, Weird Safety, Activity Logger, Spector Soft, eBlaster & Spy Agent.
- One App that is mandated for any Parent having teens / adolescents is “ReThink Words”: It provides an important opportunity for adolescents to change their minds and not post hurtful messages online.
- Adding money to your child’s bank account.
- Removing options from payment accounts.
- An overview of what they purchased.
Is your child a victim of bullying? :
- When a child is being bullied it’s hard for them to open up, they don’t know what to do or who turn to! Significant signs that you’d be on the lookout for are:
- Losing track of time whenever he/she is in front of the computer.
- Get cracking when they are interfered in their online session (meals time, study time and likewise).
- The children have difficulty in completing the task or work and keeps it piling up.
- Isolation from other people and most of the time would like isolation from others and most of the time the child would like to be alone.
- The child becomes defensive over excessive use of internet.
- Obsessively checking the cell phone on internet to see if there are any messages and need to upgrade their Facebook / WhatsApp status.
- Should your child tell you they’re being bullied or there is a strong suspicion that bullying is a problem, you’re the best solution for resolution. Things you could do to address the situation are:
- Speak with your children’s teacher or principle, be open with your child and gain their confidence.
- Don’t support your child to fight back.
- Don’t support your child to be more security mindful with their gadgets.
- Speak with the psychiatrist, police and get advice.
- Speak with the bully’s parents which is key to closure of the situation.
When your child is a bully! :
- In the norm of things, conversely no parent wishes to find out that their child is a bully. Parents of a bully are the best resource for no conflict resolution.
- They’re a bad loser always.
- Likes to be aggressive.
- Likes to be hero most of the time.
- Lacking in empathy & compassion.
- Always like to be in charge of things at home or in the school.
- Fights with their siblings.
- Do treat seriously, this won’t be a passing phase & probably there will be other victims.
- Have open discussions with your child and make it a continual process.
- Help your child to build empathy.
- Discuss the situation with the teachers of the bully, gain their guidance and support for a closure.
- Ask why are they doing this.
- Be patient, don’t add fuel to the fire!
Parental Onus :
- As a parent, you need to take onus and take a key role, prevention and stopping which is the key factor. So, the parent could do:
- Always be positive when giving feedback when they do well, in turn this builds their self-esteem.
- Give them self conﬁdance to stand-up for what they believe in.
- Teach resolution without any violence.
- Be serious in your ownership even though he / she is single child, the child will pick up on this as you’re being positive.
- Discuss their day, the positives & negative, be open every day for few minutes.
- Don’t mock others in front of your children, negative breed’s negative outcomes.
- Openly discussing with your child, being open and upfront, not hiding anything. All they have to do is ask and this will give them confidence and build their self-esteem. Trust should be built and this is critical.