Stop Speak Support

Once your child goes online, their chances of finding themselves talking with people who will purposely hurt and upset them is, sadly, quite high.  This year’s Anti-Cyberbullying message is Stop, Speak, Support.

So what can you do at home to raise a conversation about cyberbullying? Using information from commonsensemedia.org you’ll find a set of support steps that you can use, if and when something happens.

Explain what it is. Hating and trolling is a form of cyberbullying.  The behaviour is unacceptable, and NO child should blame him or herself for what’s happening.

Talk about why people say nasty things online. It may be for attention, it may be because people know they can get away with it, or it may be because the hater is just mean-spirited. At school we reassure the children that the comments say more about the bully than they do about the child.

Focus on the good comments. There are many supportive places and users of the internet.  Sometimes we can get fixated on the negative and forget that the internet can be a positive place (when everyone plays their part in being a good digital citizen).

Explain that your online identity isn’t your real, true self.  Many children may take online comments personally and begin to feel bad about themselves.

Get help. There are many excellent online sources of information and help available for you and your child.  You can also talk to other parents who may have experienced something similar, or talk to your child’s teacher or the school.

Ignore, block, unfollow. Teach your child NOT to engage.  Block and unfollow the hater using the site, game, or app’s privacy settings.

Flag and report the behavior. Use the community reporting tools to let the company know someone is abusing their guidelines.

Take screenshots. If the trolling is threatening, personal, or hateful, you can save the evidence.

No matter how young your child is, it’s never too early to talk about cyberbullying and being a good digital citizen.  And remember; STOP, SPEAK, SUPPORT

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