To show your teenager how to respond to Cyberbullying, firstly, put up a list of the steps they should take.
Just having a list will make it more likely your teenager will tell you if they’re bullied online, and will help them feel more in control if it happens.
So the steps could be:
- Tell a parent or adult.
- Save the evidence.
- Don’t respond to the message.
- Log out and calm yourself down. And
- Report or block the bully if you can.
Secondly, go through each of the steps with your teenager to explain them.
- They should TELL YOU so you can support them, help them stay calm and follow the steps they need to take. Reassure them that you won’t get angry or try to take over.
- They SAVE THE EVIDENCE so that if they need it they have a record of the bullying. Check they know how to save the evidence on their laptop, mobile or tablet. How to take a screenshot. And where to save it to. If the evidence can’t be saved, they should write down the date, time, which platform and what was said.
- Explain they DON’T RESPOND to the message because the bully wants a reaction. And they shouldn’t give the bully the satisfaction of knowing they’ve been hurt or upset.
- They should LOG OUT because cyberbullying is upsetting. You can listen if they want to talk about it, and then help them think of something positive or constructive to do to take their mind off it.
- And they should REPORT THE BULLY to the internet or mobile provider to get them blocked. Or change their settings or find other platforms to communicate with friends until it stops.
Finally, support your teenager if they’d like to report the incident to the school or the police.
Initially your teenager may like to just save the evidence. But if they’ve been threatened or intimidated, or the bully finds other ways to continue the cyberbullying, tell them you’re happy to go with your teenager to report the bullying.
Don’t be tempted to take over because it will make them think they’re a victim and can’t deal with it themselves.
At the school or with the police, let them show the evidence and do the talking so they feel more empowered and in control. You just go as back-up.
Then find ways to help your teenager build up their confidence, self-esteem, and ability to protect themselves in the future.
So to show your teenager how to respond to Cyberbullying, 3 things you can do are:
- Put up a list of the steps they should take.
- Go through each of the steps with your teenager to explain them.
- Support your teenager if they’d like to report the incident to the school or the police.
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