While the statistics around cyberbullying are sketchy, we do know that the likelihood of children being bullied online or over the phone increases as they get older and use technology more frequently.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority has created tips for parents to help keep their kids safe online and to give some direction for those who think their child may already be experiencing online bullying. They include:
- Talk to your child about cyberbullying before it happens. Work out strategies to address cyberbullying that both of you are comfortable with so your child knows what to expect if they do report their concerns to you.
- Establish one or two other trusted adults your child is comfortable in approaching about their concerns.
- Be aware of what your child is doing online and explore it with them.
- Keep the lines of communication open so your child will be comfortable about talking to you if something is worrying them. Help your child to develop the skills they need to interact safely and respectfully online.
- Try to locate the computer in a shared or visible place in the home.
- Discuss the kinds of sites that are ok to explore and those that are not and have clear rules about online activities.
- Help your child to block anyone who sends offensive content. Most social networking services allow users to block and report someone who is behaving badly.
Read more on the online parent resource School A to Z