You’ve recently discovered inappropriate treatment directed at other children on your child’s phone.
What will you say?
Cyberbullying, a form of bullying or harassment using digital contacts such as texts, email, or social media, is a growing concern for parents. The influence of technology on our culture has never been greater. Kids are using digital devices at an earlier age and are spending much more time in front of them. The ubiquitous use of digital technologies has made them an easy platform for bullying to thrive. According to Stopbullying.org, 15% of all U.S. high school students were cyberbullied last year. Sadly, that number is dramatically higher, a staggering 55%, among LGBTQ students.
We’ve recently explored ways to address bullying when your child is the victim, but what if your child is the bully?
Here are some things to ask if you have discovered inappropriate treatment of other children on one of your child’s devices.
Ask your child if she knows what can happen to kids that are cyberbullied. They can get depressed, become anxious, or worse.
Ask your child what her intention was. What were they hoping to accomplish?
Ask your child what the other child did to prompt their behavior.
Ask your child how else she can manage her feelings towards other children in acceptable ways.
Listening to your child and understanding their behavior and their motivations are key to addressing this issue. Working through intention and consequences can lead to better decision making in the future.