Top Tips for supporting children age 11-14 with cyberbullying.
- Listen, and offer support and encouragement. If your child is the victim of cyberbullying, remind them that this is not their fault and that no one deserves to be treated in this way. Some young people think that if they are the target of online bullying, they must have done something wrong.
- Encourage your child to save the evidence. They can do this by taking a screenshot of what has happened or by keeping the messages they have received. You can easily capture a screenshot on most smartphones and tablets by holding down several buttons on the device at the same time, (e.g. the home button and the power button). By doing this they will have proof when they report the cyberbullying and it helps you understand exactly what has happened.
- Don’t deny access to technology. Although it can be very tempting to remove a device from a young person if they are being bullied, having their device taken away may prevent them from speaking to you about worrying issues in the future.
- Use the tools available. Report, block and take a screenshot. You can report a person or profile, as well as content e.g. a post, video or comment. This will then be flagged to the service who will review it against their terms and conditions. Have a look on our, ‘How to make a report’ page for further guidance.
- Don’t reply. Most of the time a bully is looking for a reaction when they are being mean online. Tell your child not to reply, instead they should tell a trusted adult what has happened. Reassure them that even if they are also at fault, they should come and talk to you or a trusted adult. You can then work out the best way to resolve the situation together.
- Involve them in the next steps. Ask your child what they want you to do next. This might involve speaking to school to get support and advice.
Conversation starter ideas:
A simple and effective way to support your child with cyberbullying is by having a discussion. Some of the following conversation starters may be useful:
- Do you think people are more likely to get bullied online or offline? Why?
- What is the difference between banter and bullying?
- Do you think sometimes people take things too far online?
- Do you think people feel they can say or do what they want online because they are behind a screen?
- How would you/ your friends respond to cyberbullying?