Sunday, October 22, 2017

Protect Your Child From Cyberbullying!

Disclosure: This post is part of a sponsored outreach. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Cyberbullying is using information and communication technologies to deliberately and repeatedly behave in a manner intended to harass, threaten, humiliate or harm others. 

Below are steps that you can take to protect Your Child From Cyberbullying

  • Make sure your child is (and feels) safe. The safety and well-being of your child should always be the foremost priority. Convey unconditional support. Parents must demonstrate to their children through words and actions that they both desire the same end result: stopping the cyberbullying
  • Talk with and listen to your child. Engage your child in conversation about what is going on. Refrain from freaking out. Take the time to learn exactly what happened, and the nuanced context in which it occurred. Also, don’t minimize the situation or make excuses for the aggressor.
  • Collect evidence. Print out or make screenshots of conversations, messages, pictures and any other items which can serve as clear proof that your child is being cyberbullied. Keep a record of any and all incidents to assist in the investigative process. Also, keep notes on relevant details like location, frequency, severity of harm, third-party involvement or witnesses, and the backstory. 
  • Contact the police when physical threats are involved. Most states have laws related to online threats, and law enforcement can assist in these cases either informally or formally. If your local department is not helpful, contact the County Sheriff or the State, as they have more resources and expertise in technology-related offenses.
  • Contact the Office of Civil Rights. If the bullying is based on race, sex, or disability. The U.S.Department of Education takes these cases very seriously if children are limited in their ability to learn and thrive at school because of discrimination.
  • Consider speaking to an attorney. Some cyberbullying crosses the line into unlawful or criminal behavior. Aaron Minc is a nationally recognized leader in Internet Defamation Law whose practice includes the removal of damaging content from the Internet, competitor defamation, Internet extortion, cyber-attacks, on-line harassment, revenge porn, uncovering the identities of anonymous Internet users and more. News media publications frequently call upon him to comment and/or speak on topics related to online privacy issues and cyber-attack. Find him here on Facebook!

The old "sticks and stones" saying is no longer true — both real-world and online name-calling can have serious emotional consequences for our kids and teens. Do you have ideas to protect your child from cyberbullying? Let us know in the comments. 

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