Oftentimes, cyberbullies rely on the feeling of isolation experienced by victims of online harassment to inflict emotional and social pain. However, it is important to remember that these kids are not alone; parents can be their closest advisers and can negate some of the threats from online bullies.
A study discussed the ways parents may affect the online interaction of their children. Monitoring internet usage of children is considered to be an effective way to prevent cyberbullying. Here are some suggestions to what parents can do to stop a problem before it’s too late.
Parents should learn and keep up with emerging technology. By being aware of popular sites on the internet, parents will have an easier time checking up on children. An effective way to achieve this is for parents to learn about the newest technology alongside their children. This allows parents to see the type of social interaction their children are experiencing.
Parents and children alike should both be informed about the child’s school’s responsibility in dealing with bullying outside of the school. States such as Kentucky and Colorado have passed legislation calling for authority to punish cyberbullying. It is essential that parents and children be cognizant of the school or the authority’s responsibility to take action against cyberbullying.
Lastly, parents should proactively access cybersafety resources to become familiar with recent trends in technology and social media sites. Programs such as the Cyber Friendly Parents Project express the need for parents to educate their children in using social networking services safely. This may include making sure not to give away personal information and interact with anyone unfamiliar.
As the internet continues to expand and cyberbullying continues to become a prevalent issue in society, it is important for parents to take action and provide support for their children.