Tackling tricky topics – Cyber Bullying

Cyber bullying is when someone uses technology like texting, online chat rooms and social networks to bully someone. Children may find it hard to talk about cyber-bullying so it’s important to let them know that they can talk to you about anything.

Top tips for broaching the subject;

Stay calm. Children need to know that you’ll listen without judging or threatening to deal with a bully yourself.

Conversation starters;

Who’s sent you a message today? What did you talk about?

How to deal with it;

Keep the evidence, find out how to take screen shots on http://www.take-a-screenshot.org

Don’t punish the victim by removing internet access or phone use as fear of this may prevent children from wanting to tell you if something is going on.

Do monitor internet access and phone use and take an active interest in what’s going on.

Don’t feed the trolls. As with all bullies, ignoring them is a good tactic.

Talk about why people bully others, bullies are usually insecure with low self esteem, if your child can understand this they will feel better about themselves.

Un-friend and block anyone who is causing distress. You can block callers and texters as well as on-line “friends”.

You can find lots more info about cyber-bullying on http://www.internetmatters.org/issues/cyberbullying.html

and http://www.childline.org.uk/Explore/Bullying/Pages/online-bullying.aspx

For these and other difficult topics spend some time with your kids looking at http://www.kidsmart.org.uk or http://www.childnet.com/young-people and remember that the most important thing is to talk about it.

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