Cyberbullying is a perpetual cat and dog chase that never stops and can have disastrous, often life threatening consequences for your child. It is therefore very important for you to keep a vigilant eye on what is going on in your child’s life to avoid any mishaps in the future. As they say; Better be safe than sorry. Here are some practical steps that you as a parent can take to protect your child from online predators and cyberbullying.
A research shows that children who are more closely knitted in a family bond are less likely to go astray and become victims of sexual harassment and online predation. As parents, it is significant that you nurture the bud of parenthood with love, care and trust. Try your best to be your child’s best friend and the first go-to person in times of need.
Never be too busy to listen to your child. In fact, it is healthy to conduct regular probing discussions with your child about issues they are facing at home, school and beyond. Strengthen the tie of trust with them and let them know that they can always come to you if they sense something is dangerous, inappropriate or upsetting. Emphasize that their computer privileges will not be usurped, as this is one the greatest barriers why kids never talk to adults when they are cyber-bullied.
Never be too judgmental; have the patience to be a good listener. Curb your desire to over-react by blaming your child for any undesirable event. If you blame your child or make him/her feel guilty for the turnout of events, they are more likely to withdraw from you in the future and start piling up secrets or sharing them with strangers, thereby putting them at a risk of falling into the wrong hands. Always show understanding and be willing to lend complete support in reaching a proper solution to any problem they might face.
Learn To Be A Little Tech-savvy
Parents normally feel a little left out when it comes to using technology. They prefer to remain aloof while the kids take a dive into the waters of the digital ocean. Where they find an immense treasure of knowledge and skills, they cannot possibly avoid colliding with the dangerous elements of the digital world. If left out alone, they may fall prey to predators.
As parents, you wouldn’t want that, would you? So take a little time out of your busy lives, sit and browse, go through kids social media accounts and review their profiles and privacy settings. Become familiar with Facebook, Twitter and MySpace and learn how they work. Acquire know how of different system operations so that you can check in on browsing history and saved items.
Schools, parents and kids can work together in a trio to prevent cyberbullying. Law enforcement agencies can play their own specific role in case the situation gets out of control. But remember that “Prevention is always better than cure.” We hope that these tips would help you in keeping your kids out of the harm’s way while enjoying the benefits of technology.
Set Up Rules Around The House
Rules give meaning to our lives and teach us timeless values such as discipline and self-restraint. You should set time limits for daily electronic exposure such as using computer, playing games and watching television. If you have a computer in the house, place it in a central location so that you can monitor the child over the shoulder. Doing so would also discourage the child from indulging in any inappropriate behavior. Discuss rules for Internet use and online safety.
Tell your kids you need to have access to their usernames and passwords for all online accounts. If needed, you can activate parental control features from the web browser and restrict their surfing arena in collaboration with the ISPs (Internet Service Provider). But before you do all this and start looking like a dictator to your child, you should politely and logically explain the reasons for setting up the rules and bring it home to them that they are for their own protection and not because of any form of mistrust.
Related: Teenagers are in need of monitoring
Keep A Check On Their Friend List
A proverbial statements says “A man is defined by the company he keeps”. Even if our friends do not completely define who we are, they surely do influence the way we think and behave.
Kids are kids and with their very limited experience and exposure, they cannot always discern between wrong and right people. It is therefore your duty as a parent to not only monitor their friendships at school but also keep a look out for their buddies in the cyber world. Go through their friends’ list every now and then with your kids and inquire about any recent entries.
Ask them how they know each one of them and check their IM chat history frequently to explore the tone and nature of conversations. If your child is smart enough to delete chat history, you can be sure of something fishy going around. In such a case, use of spy-wares being one of the available options, it is always wise to sit down with your child and nip the feelings of estrangement in the budding stage.
Discuss The Do’s and Don’ts of Internet Usage
Like the code of conduct required in the offline world, you need to teach your kids the ethics of behaving in the online world. Tell them never to share personal information, including name, addresses, phone numbers, social security and ID card numbers with any one, no matter how close and trusted. It is preferable if they operate with fake names.
Teach them to refrain from posting pictures and real-time status on social media platforms as such info acts as food for the hunting hounds on the loose and can be exploited for harming your kids. Ask them never to open emails or accept friend requests from strangers. In case of receiving a threatening or a humiliating message, tell them never to respond or reply back. Instead the message should be saved as evidence and reported to an adult.
Make them understand that bullying can be quite hurtful, so they should never initiate or become a part of any such activity. Also, they should never say or share something that they won’t be able to say or willing to face in real life.
Article Source: http://www.imustread.com/2015/11/best-ways-to-protect-cyber-bullying.html