This week is Anti-Bullying week and the Childnet Education Team has been very busy delivering internet safety sessions all over the UK in schools. The theme this year is ‘The Future is Ours; Safe, Fun and Connected.’ We always mention cyberbullying in the majority of our sessions, however this week we have emphasised the importance to educate young people and parents surrounding the consequences and harmful effects bullying through technology can have. We have spoken to young people and parents about what they can do if they are ever worried, concerned or if they find themselves in a cyberbullying situation.
When speaking to young people, we are emphasising to them the importance of saving any evidence of cyberbullying and to always tell someone as soon as they are worried about someone being mean to them on the internet.
It’s imperative for parents to know what to do and at Childnet we are constantly disseminating our messages surrounding cyberbullying. As parents, have a glance down these top tips about what to do:
Tips to help with cyberbullying
- Don’t deny access to technology: this may prevent your child from speaking to you about cyberbullying. When we asked a group of pupils about why they wouldn’t tell someone, if they were being cyberbullied, their main response was that they were worried the technology that they use on a daily basis would be taken away from them.
- Discuss cyberbullying with your child: explore the tools available together and know how to report nasty messages.
- Save the evidence: encourage your child to save the evidence of any messages they receive. This is so they have something to show when they do report the cyberbullying.
- Don’t reply: most of the time the bully is looking for a reaction when they’re teasing or calling someone nasty names. Tell your child not to reply, if they do they’re giving the bully exactly what they want. Instead, they should tell someone about what they have seen.
Of all the weeks in the year, make this the time where you talk to your child about cyberbullying. Whether you talk to them about where to report to or making sure they save the evidence or even if it’s just to reassure them that you would not take their technology from them if they ever told you that they were being cyberbullied, all these conversations can help parents and young people understand how and what to do if they were ever concerned. The internet is a wonderful place, make sure you empower yourselves with the skills in order to help protect your children and yourself online.