Cyberbullying is becoming worryingly common in Ireland in recent years. Children of all ages are spending more and more time using technology from texting on mobile phones to posting on social media websites.
What is considered cyber bullying?
Cyber bullying is when a child or teenager begins targeting another child through technological means, either through email, by text, phone calls or by posting on social media sites and blogs. The main problem with cyber bullying is that it can occur at any time of day. While traditional bullying is limited to the boundaries of the school, cyber bullying can occur at weekends, during school holidays. Cyber bullying can also be anonymous which protects the bully meaning they are more likely to say or do things they wouldn’t do to the victims face.
If your child is being cyber bullied
One in ten kids experience cyber bullying and that number is set to increase. What can parents do to put an end to or prevent cyber bullying altogether? With the huge increase in social networking happening online, its understandable how there has been an increase in cyber-bullying instances. However, it should never be considered acceptable and should never be tolerated.
It’s important for parents to realise that cyber bullying is just as traumatic and unacceptable as any form of bullying and it is an area where parents must exercise vigilance.
The following are some useful tips that parents can use to help deal with cyber bullying:
Be aware of information and communication technologies and know which sites your child is visiting. Make sure they know what sites they have permission to visit.
Provide an environment in which your child feels comfortable opening up you. Make sure they know that they can speak to you if anybody should threaten or upset them online. Remember to react in a calm manner otherwise they won’t come to you in times of need.
Keep an eye out for signs that your child could be being bullied online, including if you notice a reluctance to use the computer or not wanting to go to school.
If your child is being bullied by a student at the same school, then you will need to meet with a teacher or principal and ask for help in resolving the issue. Ensure that your child knows how to responsibly use mobile phones and internet.