It’s the time of year when we take time to stop and reflect on those around us, and how this past year has made us grow and develop. While doing this, we encourage you to take time to look at your child’s social profiles and the things they are posting, commenting and sharing. Ask yourself if what they are sharing is kind?
Is it providing encouragement to others and support?
Are they being pulled into the negative and sharing content that is mean, cruel and hurtful to others?
Cyberbullying can, unfortunately, be a part of social media. However, you can help break the pattern and be part of the solution. You can be a positive role model for your child and their peers. Cyberbullying is defined as repeated, extreme form of bullying among youth, via technology. It is behavior that is abusive and targeting, deliberate, repeated and intended to damage and harm another person. Bullies try to seek power over another person. A onetime mean or rude comment is not considered cyberbullying.
If you see something on your child’s social profiles online that makes you feel scared, uncomfortable or is threatening to them or someone else we encourage you seek help. Talk to your child immediately. If you child is being bullied, you want to encourage them not to engage the bully or delete the comment and take screen shots of all comments, or images. Let them know that what the bully is saying is not their fault and that they are not alone. You are there to help and support them.
If you child is being bullied online, seek help. Contact and notify your local police, report it. If the bullying is involving a peer from school make the school aware of the situation. Block and report the individual on social platforms, if on a website, report it and ask to have the comments removed. If the bullying is happening on a cell phone contact your cell phone provider and ask for the calls to be traced and contact the perpetrators service provider.
At home talk to your children about online bullying and have guidelines around internet usage, be aware of where and what your child is doing online.
Encourage your child if they see someone else being bullied, to step in and tell a trusted adult. If they do nothing, they are saying it is okay and that they agree. Encourage them to be part of the solution, not to comment, share, like or forward posts that are bullying in nature. Stand Up and Speak Up!
Remember to be #sociallysafe and use the THINK rule before they post.
Stacy Maynard & Kerry Hills are moms with successful social media businesses. We have a passion for helping children understand how to use social media safely. We have joined together to implement into classrooms and the community our Socially Safe, Socially Fun, Social Media programs.
We are Moms of kids between the ages of 8 to 15, so we understand the need to help our kids stay safe and create a positive digital footprint. Social Media is not going away and we are passionate about teaching our kids how to use it, have fun and stay Socially Safe.