Cyberbullying: What Parents Can Do

Source: one tough job

What Parents Can Do

The Massachusetts Attorney General's office offers the following tips for parents in handling cyberbullying:

    • Look for warning signs. If your child’s Internet use becomes obsessive or if they become withdrawn from regular activities, they may be a victim of cyberbullying.
    • Tell your child not to respond. It is better to ignore distressing e-mails, messages, and comments.
    • Tell your child to “block” bullies. If harassment is via e-mail, social networking sites, IM, and/or chat rooms, delete or suspend your child’s current account and create a new one or block the bullies.
    • Save the evidence. Preserve/print/take screenshots or photos of comments and images sent via e-mail, websites or text messages. Note the date and time when the cyberbullying occurred.
    • Remove hurtful websites. Review your Internet service provider (ISP) or cell phone provider’s policy and follow the procedure to have any webpage created to hurt your child removed.
    • Get your child’s school involved. Learn the school’s policy on cyberbullying and ask for guidance on how to handle repeated incidents.
    • Become familiar with social media sites. Don’t be afraid to monitor your child’s use of the Internet and social media sites.

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Cyberbullying is a form of bullying in which the bully or group of bullies sends or posts hurtful images, messages, or threats through e-mail, text messaging, instant messaging, mobile apps, or social media sites. This type of bullying, unlike other forms, often allows for anonymity and more frequent attacks or incursions.