I’ve been asked for my advice on ITV ‘This Morning’ about what to do if your child is being Cyber Bullied.
Bullying a subject close to my heart as I was bullied in my first year of secondary school for a little while and I got alepeica as I didn’t tell anyone as I thought it was my fault.
So stay involved in your child’s life. One simple way is to eat regularly together, where you chat, listen, share and laugh. Don’t nag your kids all the time about eating their broccoli or the way they hold their knife and fork ALL the time! Be mindful of keeping the lines of communication and conversation active – you’re building bridges not walls between you.
Here are some of my top tips.
Don’t respond. If someone bullies you, remember that your reaction is usually exactly what the bully wants. It gives him or her power over you. This isn’t always easy but don’t give away your power to the bully – ignore them.
Don’t retaliate. Getting back at the bully turns you into one and reinforces the bully’s behaviour. Break the whole cycle of aggression. Think of it like a game of tennis – if you don’t return the serve there’s no game .
Save the evidence. The only good news about digital bullying is that the harassing messages can usually be captured, saved, and shown to someone who can help. You need to do this even if it’s minor things in case things escalate.
Talk to a trusted adult. You deserve and need support. It’s NEVER OK to be bullied. It’s always good to involve your parents but – if you can’t – speak to a teacher as they usually know how to help. Sometimes both are needed. If you’re really nervous about saying something, see if there’s a way to report the incident anonymously at school.
Block the bully. If the harassment’s coming in the form of instant messages, texts, or profile comments, do yourself a favour: Use preferences or privacy tools to block the person. If it’s in chat, leave the “room.”
Be civil. Even if you don’t like someone, it’s a good idea to be respectful and to not sink to the other person’s level. Also, research shows that gossiping and talking about others behind their back increases your risk of being bullied. Treat people the way you want to be treated.
Don’t become a bully yourself. Show respect, kindness and empathy towards everyone. There’s truth in the old saying about walking a mile in someone’s shoes. Don’t be quick to judge other people- you don’t know what problems, home life or things they are battling privately. Be tolerant of others.
Be a friend, not a bystander. Watching or forwarding mean messages empowers bullies and hurts victims even more. If you can, tell bullies to stop. It’s time to let bullies know their behaviour is unacceptable & cruel. If you can’t stop the bully, at least try to help the victim and report the behaviour.
Learn ways to build up your own self esteem and self confidence so bullies don’t target you.
I run ‘Confidence Classes for Kids’ workshops and my ‘Can Do Kid’ Journal is launching in 2 weeks which has 128 of my activities to build strong self esteem and resilience in children of all ages.
NO child deserves to have their childhood marred by bullying so ‘Talk & Teach’ your child ways to stay safe online.
For excellent information, videos and advice about bullying go to CEOPS