Bullying is an unfortunate part of life. For most children, at one time or another they will be the victim of bullying. As scary as bullying can be for tweens, it can also be worrying for parents.
In the past couple of years, the rise of social media and the influx of mobile phones have led to the creation of a new type of bully: the cyber-bully.
What exactly is a cyber-bully?
A cyber-bully is someone who uses technology to threaten or harrass another person. This can vary from spreading rumours online, to sending upsetting text messages, or even emailing inappropriate content. A cyber-bully can wreak havoc at any-time using a mobile phone, computer or another electronic device.
How to prevent cyber-bullying
  1. Make sure that your tween keeps all her passwords private. She should understand that passwords are never to be shared with anyone, (other than you, the parent), not even best friends.
  2. Tell your tween it’s always best to limit her online communication to positive or neutral comments. If she is angry at someone, it’s never wise to use technology as a way of expressing this. It’s really important that your tween knows to never send an email or instant message that may come back to haunt her.
  3. Limit your tween’s internet and mobile phone use. She doesn't need to have access to the internet or making calls at all times. Less time spent online means your tween won’t be as prone to cyber-bullies.
  4. Sit your kids down and talk to them about internet safety so she understands what she should and shouln't be doing online,
  5. Always keep the family computer in a common area of the house, and monitor your child’s online use.
  6. Encourage her to report any abuse to you immediately. If your child knows you are keeping an eye on her online activities, she is more likely to tell you straight away when she is being cyber-bullied. This will allow you to do something about it as soon as it happens.