Cyberbullying – How Parents Can Help Their Children

Article Date: 1st November 2018
Tackling A Difficult Problem.

Parents face many challenges, one of them is coming across the phrase “cyberbullying” and perhaps not really knowing too much about it.  

Cyberbullying is defined as deliberately upsetting someone using information technology especially the internet or telephone.

For some children and students it is a part of everyday life and for adults it can be difficult to understand how does bullying make a child feel.

A lot of parents growing up did not have access to a computer, online social networks, or had their own mobile phone to text others so it is very difficult to relate to that situation from a child’s perspective.

The concept of bullying is not new. However, there are a variety of new ways that it can occur without parents being familiar with them.

If parents cannot recognise the problem it doesn’t make it any less real or less damaging emotionally to the child.

At Software4Students, because of our site demographic we can highlight this issue but it is always best to read websites that are an authority on the matter.

Technology may create new variations of old problems but it can also provide us with the information to educate ourselves to deal with these new challenges.

Having learned of BullyingUK through Twitter, it’s safe to say that their website is a great place to start for information in relation to cyberbullying.

One-in-Five Children Affected

The realisation that children under 13 are already using social networks – even though younger users are supposed to be ineligible – indicates that parental controls within the software are not being used.

Again, parents who didn’t grow up facing these challenges will find it hard to spot them as an adult so it’s not a question of blame, simply a case of educating ourselves on this upsetting trend and knowing what remedies are available.

Surveys have further revealed that around half of the parents questioned said they had not talked to their children about how to protect themselves from cyberbullying.

While it was known that secondary school pupils were subject to cyberbullying, prior to reports on cyberbullying it was unclear that younger age groups were seriously affected too.

Parents considering mobile phones and laptop computers as Christmas gifts may decide that it is a good opportunity to speak to their children about this issue.


Where Do We Go From Here?

The website offers a range of how-to guides that offer support and advice on dealing with cyberbullying.

The Anti-Bullying Alliance in the UK offers these thoughts:

1. Don’t give out personal details such as your mobile number, address or email online

2. Regularly check and clean your friends lists on social networking sites

3. Keep evidence – callers and mailers can be traced

4. Find the “report abuse” or “block sender” options on your favourite websites

5. Remember that sites you create and emails you send can be traced back to you

6. Protect your password to keep your files and information safe

7. If you are being bullied in any way you must tell someone who can help – a teacher, parent/carer, friend, sister/brother or other relative.

Anti Bullying Week 2019 takes place from the 12th-16th November. It’s a great opportunity to reinforce the messages about how your school, workplace or project approaches bullying. This includes knowing what steps to take if someone is being bullied, ensuring your pupils or employees know what to do if they are being bullied, how you will deal with anyone who bullies and that everyone should take bullying seriously because of the long-term impact it can have on friendships, self-esteem as well as emotional and mental health and well-being.

You can raise awareness at any time of the year with the fantastic Bullying UK wristbands.