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Dr. Anthony Komaroff Offers Advice to Parents on Cyberbullying

www.endcyberbullying.org

It is important to remember that kids and students victimized by cyberbullies are not alone in their struggle. Parents play a critical role in influencing a child’s social life. Parental action may affect the exposure of children to cyberbullying and reduce the harmful effects of online harassment.

Dr. Anthony Komaroff, a professor at Harvard Medical School, stresses the necessity to talk to children about what they do, see, and experience online. Komaroff believes that parents should start these conversations as soon as children start using the Internet as a precaution of the many dangers of the Internet.

Komaroff also advises parents to report any cyberbullying that the parent or child may encounter. In some cases, the cyberbullying may be illegal and should be reported to the police. Threats and sexually explicit content are examples of situations in which the police should be notified. Even if the cyberbullying is not illegal, it should still be reported to the school.

Besides protecting children from cyberbullying, Komaroff expresses the need to talk to children about not becoming cyberbullies themselves. Comments and posts on the Internet have the ability to cause unintentional harm and should be reviewed to prevent offensiveness that may hurt others.

Bystanders also greatly affect cyberbullying on the Internet. Cyberbullying that involves spreading harmful information involves the actions of a group. According to Komaroff, parents should educate their children on the harm they may cause by passing on hurtful comments or laughs at the victim. By refusing the participate in online harassment, children can help victims and take away the bullies’ power.