Help kids prevent, report, and recover from dangerous online harassment and cyberbulling.
It used to be that bullies only cornered kids in physical spaces: the playground, the bus stop, the locker room. But in the modern era of social media, cyberbullies seem to be lurking everywhere. Even the safest of places, like a child’s own bedroom, can be penetrated if there’s Wi-Fi and a computer, tablet or phone. Cyberbullies may use texts, emails and social media to spread rumours, reveal secrets, post embarrassing photos and more. Mums and dads trying to navigate this complex information-age issue may feel helpless against the cruelty, but the good news is that a wealth of new resources is available to help parents and kids alike.
One of the best things you can do to prevent cyberbullying is to be involved in your children’s online activity. Monitor the sites your children visit, connect with them on social media and learn their passwords. Have an open discussion about the threats of cyberbullying, and teach your children specific tactics for staying safe online, like always logging out of accounts, never allowing friends to access their passwords, and using high-privacy settings when available. Teach your children to be respectful to others online, too. Explain why they should never post unkind comments, reveal others’ personal information or share inappropriate photos.
If you learn that your child or another child is being cyberbullied, you have a responsibility to report this information. Bullyingnoway.go.au suggests keeping records of the abuse, reporting the issue to the social media site in question and contacting school officials or esafety.gov.au. Contact law enforcement if there are threats of violence, hate crimes, stalking, breaches of privacy or other illegal matters.
If your child has been cyberbullied, you may want to work with school administrators and child psychologists to help your family recover. Teri Mahaney, founder of the non-profit Heal Bullying, offers free downloads to help children begin a journey of healing through improved self-esteem and self-empowerment. “The goal is to help kids heal if they’ve been bullied,” says Dr. Mahaney. She suggests that parents actively listen to kids and remain neutral and nonjudgmental through the process. To help kids boost self-esteem, Dr. Mahaney recommends that parents offer specific praise each day. “Point out exactly what you like about your kids,” she says, explaining that this will help them see those positive qualities in themselves, too.
This article originally appeared as "How to Fight Back Against Cyberbullying" in the Sept. 2016 edition of Accent by Chubb.
This content is brought to you by Chubb Insurance Australia Limited (“Chubb”) as a convenience to readers and is not intended to constitute advice (professional or otherwise) or recommendations upon which a reader may rely. Any references to insurance cover are general in nature only and may not suit your particular circumstances. Chubb does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and any insurance cover referred to is subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions set out in the relevant policy wording. Please obtain and read carefully the relevant insurance policy before deciding to acquire any insurance product. A policy wording can be obtained at www.chubb.com/au, through your broker or by contacting any of the Chubb offices. Chubb makes no warranty or guarantee about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the content. Readers relying on any content do so at their own risk. It is the responsibility of the reader to evaluate the quality and accuracy of the content. Reference in this content (if any) to any specific commercial product, process, or service, and links from this content to other third party websites, do not constitute or imply an endorsement or recommendation by Chubb and shall not be used for advertising or service/product endorsement purposes. ©2020 Chubb Insurance Australia Limited ABN: 23 001 642 020 AFSL: 239687. Chubb®, its logos, and Chubb.Insured.SM are protected trademarks of Chubb.
Contact a broker today.