Wednesday, August 19, 2015

5 Back To School Cyberbully Tips

With the start of school rapidly approaching, parents have a lot on their mind. And with the proliferation of cell phones and tablets at school students and their parents are facing bullying and cyberbullying like never before. Here are five ways to prevent cyberbullying in the back-to-school time of year.

1. Know what's on the phone

Knowing what apps are on your child's phone is key to preventing cyberbullying.
 Ask questions about how the apps are used and what they are used for.
If you don't know what an icon is, ask your kids to tell you about it. 

2. Be the parent – not the friend

School is a tough time for some kids and guidance is the primary role of the parent.  Parents must set some parameters.  
Not their buddy, not their friend, not their pal, just their parent,
We hold their hand crossing the street, make sure they brush their teeth and now we have to see who is talking to them on the internet.

3. Teach empathy

Empathy is walking is someone's shoes.  WE need to teach kids about how much bullying hurts.  Especially the anonymous kind on the internet.
Teaching your child to be empathetic will allow them to walk in that person's shoes and feel their pain if they are being bullied.

4. Encourage social activities

Anything connected to the internet is a big part of the cyberbullying problems,  Laptops, Ipads, xbox and cell phones all connect us.
Many kids who are seen as loners and seem isolated tend to apear vulnerable and are targets to be picked on. Get your kids involved with clubs, groups or sports teams to make sure they have a strong social network.  They need to feel included.
If active socializing isn't for your kid, parents can work to build up the child's self-esteem and resiliency.
Loners probably want to be part of a group and need to be encouraged to build their social skills.

5. Be the role model

Children learn primarily from their parents and the adults in their life. What you do speaks louder than what you say.  Show empathy in life and point it out when you see it.
Parents can point out characters in tv shows, articles in the newspaper or even on cartoons where empathy and helping a person can be highlighted.

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