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With 1 in 10 children now experiencing cyberbullying knowing how to protect your child online has never been more important. Read our top tips for keeping your children safe online.
Posted on Tuesday 05 September 2017 in Parenting
With 1 in 10 children now experiencing cyberbullying knowing how to protect your child online has never been more important. Our childcare experts have put together key advice for parents below.
As a parent, you know your child better than anyone. You are best placed to identify and deal with any incidences of cyberbullying they might encounter. Children who have been bullied will have difficulty in overcoming this problem alone and will need your reassurance and encouragement in tackling it.
If your child is avoiding school, or seems upset, sad or angry (especially after using their phone, tablet or PC); if your child is withdrawing from usual activities, suddenly showing disinterest in their devices or rapidly switching screens when you enter the room, they may be a victim of cyberbullying.
There are 4 questions that, when taken together, you can use to help confirm that the behaviour you are dealing with is bullying:
If you are concerned that your child has received a bullying, offensive or harassing message, it is very important that you encourage them to talk to you. Responding to a negative experience by stopping their access to mobile phones or the internet might result in you being left out the loop the next time this happens.
Children need to understand how much all forms of bullying, including cyberbullying, hurts and how important it is not to stand by when someone is being bullied. It is important, therefore, that children learn "netiquette".
You should explain the following guidelines to them and stress how important it is that they be followed:
Use the parenting skills that you apply to every other aspect of your child's life to help them stay safe in their online lives. The single biggest thing you can do to keep your child safe online is to engage with what they do. Let your child know that you are there to listen and that you are available to help them should they get involved in cyberbullying in any way.
If you'd like to learn more about protecting your child online please visit barnardos.ie/cyberbullying.