Learning that your child may be bullying people online can be upsetting, but you need to deal with it. Here’s how you can address the issues and educate your child on how their behavior affects others.
- Acknowledge the problem. Realize and accept that your child could be engaging in negative online behavior. Do not try to rationalize or ignore the issue and realize that someone is being victimized. There are many reasons why your child might be being cruel to another.
- Remain Calm. Promote Empathy. Getting angry with your child or stressing out can aggravate the situation. Talk to your child calmly and try to encourage empathy so that your child puts themselves in the position of the child being bullied. Learning to be empathic and look at things from all sides instead of just lashing out promotes a more thoughtful approach.
- Promote Open Communication. Encourage your child to talk to them about what is driving their behavior. Is there some other issue that is causing them to act out? Do they have a real issue with the person they are bullying. If so talk about what the issue is and finding constructive ways to deal with it.
- Stop Them from Bullying. This is key to do. You must help deescalate the situation as quickly as possible for all parties involved. Put your foot down and take the necessary action to end the bullying immediately.
- Investigate the issue and understand the real problem. Finding where the problem started and what caused it can help you understand what actions to take to truly resolve it and move on.
- Set Up Parental Controls. You may need to enact controls on your child’s internet usage from their social media accounts to possibly making router changes to block or control the time they spend online.
- Share Your Concerns. Explain to your child why bullying and cyberbullying is wrong. Share articles online about the detrimental effects and the consequences to people being bullied. Education and understanding can lead to real change not just in the short term but over the long term.