Suspect cyberbullying? Here’s five tips on what to do

Most parents know that when a bullying incident occurs with their child, they should address it immediately. In the case of cyberbullying, online tools are now available to alert parents the moment something happens so they can react in real-time.

Net Nanny offers the following five guidelines:

1. Address it immediately. Speak frankly and openly about the incident with your child to get all the details possible. Ask direct and detailed questions.

2. Uncover the history. Determine if this is the first time for the incident or if it has been an on-going problem.

3. Understand your child’s feelings. Get a clear understanding of how your child feels. Are they just annoyed or are they scared, feeling threatened, or even contemplating extreme and dangerous actions such as retaliation or suicide?

4. Create a plan together. Work with your child to determine how they (or you together) should deal with the cyberbullying. Your plan might be to include school officials in dealing with the issue, change user names and passwords for your child’s online activities, calling and speaking with parents of the offending bully and watching your child carefully for changes in behavior.

5. Consider professional help. If the incident warrants it, do not hesitate to get professional medical help or counseling for your child, and if you suspect any kind of criminal act or predator activity against your child, contact your local law enforcement agency.

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