Five ways to discover if your child is being cyberbullied
- Ask them: It’s always best to have an open dialogue with your kids about things that might make them feel unsafe or uncomfortable on and off-line. Often times, directly asking a child if they have been bullied or made to feel uncomfortable, threatened or unsafe online is the best way to start this conversation.
- Pay attention: Paying attention to changes in mood and behavior of your kids can help you spot if something is wrong. If a child is becoming more irritable, withdrawn, sad or anxious, this can be a sign of cyberbullying or that your child is dealing with other stressful situations in his/her life.
- Know their online habits: Ask your children to share with you the websites they like to visit and people they connect with online. Although close supervision is very important when children are engaging in unsafe online activities, parents can usually monitor their children’s online activities simply by expressing a genuine interest in learning about what they like to do online.
- Set limits: Set limits for your kids on when and where the Internet and cell phones can be used. Use computers, tablets, and Internet connected phones in shared spaces at home (i.e., kitchen, den, living room) and keep children’s bedrooms technology free. This creates important boundaries around technology use and will also help you better monitor your child’s online activities.
- Talk about the risks: Talk to your child about safe and unsafe online practices. Kids may not be aware of the risks associated with cyber-bullying or other unsafe online activities. The Internet provides a sense of anonymity that can increase the risk that children will fall victim to bullying or predatory behaviors.
Download the Find Out If a Child Is Being Cyberbullied infographic (.pdf).