Cyberbullying Prevention Tips (2021): What Parents & Educators Need to Know

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Cyberbullying Prevention Tips (2021): What Parents & Educators Need to Know

September 23, 2021

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What is Cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying is any form of bullying that takes place using electronic devices
  • Any form of bullying that takes place using electronic devices
  • Repeated and intentional harm towards someone online, on social media or through texting

Why bullying is not okay

  • Hurting others will not make you feel better
  • Being a bully makes a person feel worse because a person who bullies others can’t really be proud of who they are

3 main types of bullying

  1. Verbal: Teasing, name-calling, putting someone down, threatening to cause harm, saying inappropriate sexual comments
  2. Social: Not including someone on purpose, telling other students not to be friends with someone, spreading rumors, embarrassing others in public
  3. Physical: Hitting, kicking, punching, spitting, pushing, shoving, tripping, taking or breaking someone’s things, making mean or rude hand gestures

Types of cyberbullying

  • Harassment - threatening or embarrassing others
  • Impersonation - pretending to be someone else online
  • Photos - using photographs to hurt or humiliate others
  • Happy-slapping - filming a bullying incident and posting it online or sharing it with others
  • Participating - forwarding along a mean text or revealing photos

Why should parents care?

Cyberbullies can stay anonymous and may have never even met your student.
  • Cyberbullying can happen on any website or app. It is prevalent in apps in our Red zone, Grey zone and even apps in our Green zone
  • Cyberbullies can stay anonymous and may have never even met your child
  • Traditional bullying meant bullies could not access your student when they are away from school. With cyberbullying the bully has constant access to your child through apps and/or social media
  • Kids don't have the wisdom to know who to talk to about bullying unless you offer your support and give them resources

What we'll cover in this course: 

  • What is cyberbullying?
  • Cyberbullying prevention tips
  • Signs that students may be cyberbullied
  • How parents & educators can help victims of cyberbullying
  • How to work with aggressive students

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What is Cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying is any form of bullying that takes place using electronic devices
  • Any form of bullying that takes place using electronic devices
  • Repeated and intentional harm towards someone online, on social media or through texting

Why should parents care?

Cyberbullies can stay anonymous and may have never even met your student.
  • Cyberbullying can happen on any website or app. It is prevalent in apps in our Red zone, Grey zone and even apps in our Green zone
  • Cyberbullies can stay anonymous and may have never even met your child
  • Traditional bullying meant bullies could not access your student when they are away from school. With cyberbullying the bully has constant access to your child through apps and/or social media
  • Kids don't have the wisdom to know who to talk to about bullying unless you offer your support and give them resources

Overview video for parents & educators

3 main types of bullying

  1. Verbal: Teasing, name-calling, putting someone down, threatening to cause harm, saying inappropriate sexual comments
  2. Social: Not including someone on purpose, telling other students not to be friends with someone, spreading rumors, embarrassing others in public
  3. Physical: Hitting, kicking, punching, spitting, pushing, shoving, tripping, taking or breaking someone’s things, making mean or rude hand gestures

Reasons people bully others

  • Loneliness
  • Having problems they don’t know how to fix
  • Jealousy
  • They confuse being a leader with being a bully
  • Anger
  • Trying to fit in
  • They’re bullied at home or somewhere else
  • Want more attention
  • Bullying is normal behavior at home
  • Unaware they are being hurtful
  • Lacking confidence

Who can be a bully?

  • Bullies aren’t all tough looking. They can be male or female, kids or adults. Anyone can bully–even you
  • It’s not uncommon for students to cycle through being the bully, victim, and bystander, all within a short period of time
  • Don’t assume based on one incident that a child is always a victim or always a bully

Parent & educator training video

Signs that a student is being bullied

  • They show signs of anxiety when they go to class or receive a message on their phone
  • Withdrawn from family and friends
  • Anger or aggression towards others
  • They display signs of depression
  • They give excuses not to go to class
  • They spend less or no time doing activities they once loved

What is cyberbullying and the impact is can have on kids?

  • Cyberbullying is the repeated and intentional harm towards someone online, on social media or through texting
  • Typically, drama starts at school and kids bring it to the computer
  • Parents should look at the bigger picture and the history of the online situation because often kids have been engaging in online attacks prior to reporting being bullied
  • Kids can protect themselves from cyberbullying by being good digital citizens
  • In the past, bullied children used to get a break from bullying. Now, students can receive mean messages at anytime
  • The ability to be anonymous on social media can make people act out. Some people will write things online that they would never say in person to someone’s face
  • Bullied students often experience a combination of physical, verbal, and cyberbullying
  • With students having constant access to mobile devices, cyberbullying and bullying are intertwined
  • Students who are at risk of being bullied offline are at risk of being bullied online

Types of cyberbullying

  • Harassment - threatening or embarrassing others
  • Impersonation - pretending to be someone else online
  • Photos - using photographs to hurt or humiliate others
  • Happy-slapping - filming a bullying incident and posting it online or sharing it with others
  • Participating - forwarding along a mean text or revealing photos

3 questions to ask your students

  1. What is one reason someone might bully others?
  2. Who can be a bully?
  3. Can liking a mean post on social media be considered cyberbullying?.

Bullying prevention tips training video

Bullying is overwhelming. Whether your student is being targeted by bullies, they see bullying happen, or they have trouble managing their emotions, learning how to prevent bullying can help create a positive environment at school and online. Bullying prevention can help you keep your family safe.

Cyberbullying in the news

Cyberbullying can be unrelenting and seem inescapable since it is online and on phones. –Huffington Post
  • “Once kids go online, their chances of finding cyber bullies, haters, and trolls is, sadly, quite high.”Common Sense Media
  • “Cyberbullying has the potential to affect someone day and night and it allows the perpetrator the ability to be anonymous.”The Guardian
  • “Cyberbullying is worse than the schoolyard kind.”CBS News
  • “Unlike bullying, cyberbullying can be unrelenting and seem inescapable since it is online and on phones. It can happen at any time of day, outside of the school walls.”Huffington Post

Signs your student is being cyberbullied

If you notice a change in your student's habits then that might be a sign that your child is being cyberbullied.
  • Shows signs of aggression
  • Change in habits
  • Loses interest in activities they once enjoyed
  • Withdrawn, doesn’t want to talk

Three keys to success

  • Building a positive profile-Protecting your future
  • Being safe online-Protecting you from bad people online
  • Anti-bullying-Protecting you from others at school (and helping you get along with friends)

These tips may help students to...

  • To be more popular
  • Get invited to events
  • To have a lot of friends
  • Not get in trouble
  • Be accepted
  • Be liked
  • Get into your dream college someday

Why parents need to teach bullying prevention

  • The sooner you can identify bullying behavior in your children or others, the sooner it can be stopped
  • The best bullying prevention is early intervention and teaching students about bullying before it becomes an issue
  • According to experts, by 8 years old behaviors become habits
  • A repeat bully at 8 years old has a 1 in 4 chance of having a criminal record by the age of 26
  • As parents and educators, it’s important to teach students how to interact socially without bullying one another
  • Positive communication skills can help prevent bullying

Where does bullying behavior come from?

  • Bullying doesn’t happen out of the blue or randomly
  • Children’s behaviors and personalities are molded and shaped by life at home
  • Children learn about social relationships by observing subtle messages their parents give through conversation and body language. Then, kids bring that knowledge to school

How can you prevent bullying behavior?

  • Children learn from verbal and nonverbal messages from their parents
  • Teach your children that they can always come to you if something isn’t right so you can work on fixing it together

Risk factors at home that can provoke bullying behavior

  • Cruelty, rejection, or neglect from an adult figure
  • Witnessing domestic abuse
  • Irregular, unproductive, and repeated discipline
  • Parents who have low participation in school
  • Home life that lacks family unity

Factors at home that can prevent bullying behavior

  • Open communication between parents and children
  • Impactful and consistent parental monitoring
  • Uniform boundaries and expectations
  • Parents who are actively involved in school and activities

Promoting positive problem solving skills

  • With a loving approach, set limits and boundaries with your children
  • Trust your child to make decisions, whenever possible
  • Encourage your children to solve the problems they create
  • Allow your children to make mistakes
  • Teach your children to learn from their mistakes
  • Avoid overly stern admonishments when mistakes are made

Teaching your students how to be positive bystanders

  • Encourage students to take action by letting an adult know when they witness a bullying incident
  • Remind them not to participate by joining in or laughing and encouraging bullying behavior by others

How to manage screen time

  • Before having a family conversation, make sure everyone unplugs and puts away their devices
  • Have everyone in your family place their devices in a designated spot away from the dining area during meals

How you can influence your students to be good digital citizens

  • Model positive online habits and behaviors for your children
  • Modeling positive behavior can be more effective than setting firm rules
  • By being respectful online, you influence your children to do the same
  • Kids can get in trouble with friends, the authorities, and the general public when they’re upset and post online
  • Teach your kids to take time to calm down before posting anything online

How you can monitor online activity

  • Keep the family computer in a common area of the house
  • The best monitoring tool is having a healthy dialogue with your kids; not an app or keeping them away from electronics
  • Create a digital friendship with your child and make sure you follow them on all of the apps they are on
  • Consider not commenting directly on your child’s posts on social media. Give them the social space they need
  • Use Google to search for your child online the same way colleges will
  • Search your child’s first and last name
  • Next, search for your child’s first and last name in quotes
  • Then, search your student’s first name, last name, and their school
  • Search your student’s email address
  • Use Google to search for your student’s username on Instagram

3 questions to ask your students

  1. Who are 3 adults you can talk to if you witness bullying?
  2. What should you do if you want to post on social media while you’re upset?
  3. What activities can I be more involved in?

Ways students cyberbully other students

Kids cyberbully by posting/sending hateful or threatening messages online or on social media.
  • Posting/sending hateful or threatening messages online or on social media
  • Hacking social media accounts
  • Impersonating someone else online or on social media
  • Posting pictures of people without their consent
  • Spreading rumors on social media and online
  • Sending verbally abusive messages in online games

How parents & educators can help victims of bullying training video

If your student sees bullying take place, tell them not to “like/heart” that post.
  • Surround your kids with like-minded parents and friends
  • Know what your children do after school
  • Be supportive, get involved and talk to students about their day
  • Encourage your teen to take a break from computers and devices
  • If your student sees bullying take place, tell them not to “like/heart” that post
  • If you can identify the cyberbully, consider contacting your school counselor, the bully’s parents, or (if it’s threatening their safety) the police

How to tell if a student is being bullied

  • They show signs of anxiety when they go to school or show similar signs when they receive a message on their phone
  • Withdraw from family and friends and may want to be alone
  • Anger towards others
  • They show signs of depression
  • They give excuses not to go to school
  • They spend less or no time doing activities they once enjoyed
  • They have trouble sleeping
  • There is a change in diet that leads to weight gain or loss

What you can do if a student is being bullied

  • Be supportive and remind them they’re not alone and it’s not their fault
  • Avoid minimizing, rationalizing, or explaining bullying behavior
  • Work with them to try and solve the problem together
  • Teach them that fighting back is never the answer
  • Remind them to never confront the bully or the bully’s parents alone
  • Tell them that there are  ways to improve their situation
  • At a young age, teach them to report bullying to a trusted adult
  • Encourage your child to bring facts in writing if you meet with their school

How you can help older students who are struggling

  • Remember that older children can be more reluctant to ask for help from adults
  • It is critical to be aware of  warning signs that your child is suffering, especially since older children may not be open about their struggles
  • Don’t assume that your child will talk to you about their issues
  • Address concerns right away

How you can talk to your student about bullying and other issues

  • Invite your child to discuss their point of view on bullying
  • After listening to your child, tell them your point of view
  • Next, brainstorm together and write down all ideas for overcoming this issue
  • Review your list with your child
  • Determine which ideas you both agree on and discuss how to put them into action

How you can teach a student to manage their emotions

  • Pay attention to your child’s mood and feelings
  • When your child is overwhelmed with emotions, use that as a learning opportunity
  • Support your child’s feelings
  • Give your child a vocabulary to verbally label their emotions
  • Encourage your child to use their vocabulary when they’re feeling overwhelmed
  • While helping your child solve problems, set boundaries so they know they can (and should) come to you for guidance
  • Teach your child to have empathy and treat others with respect while still setting suitable limits on how others can behave around them
  • Model the behaviors you’re teaching your child

What you can do if a student is being cyberbullied

  • Cyberbullying is a very big deal in your child’s eyes, especially if they are reaching out and talking to you about it.
  • Banning tech is not the answer
  • Taking breaks from technology is more effective than taking it away
  • Have consistent and current discussions about using tech safely
  • Learn how to use apps, devices, and sites before allowing your children to use them
  • Create a digital safety contract for your family

3 questions to ask your students:

  1. Is it okay to confront a bully or their parents alone (without your parents)?
  2. What are some words you can use to label your emotions when you’re upset?
  3. What are some of your favorite apps and websites?

How to work with aggressive students

Speak up if your student is a victim or aggressor

  • Kids are going to make mistakes. As parents it’s important to make sure they don’t keep making the same mistakes
  • Teach your kids to own up to their mistakes and find a way to reconcile their mistakes

How to approach aggressive students

  • Avoid being aggressive or dismissive when you approach an aggressive student
  • Be collaborative. Working through issues together helps students develop positive connections with their peers and improves their problem solving skills
  • It can be helpful for an aggressive student to find the right outlet for their emotions
  • Having an outlet allows students to experience negative emotions, in a positive way, without hurting themselves or others
  • Some outlets students can utilize:
  • Playing an instrument
  • Being involved in sports
  • Practicing martial arts
  • Writing/poetry

How to talk through issues with your child

  • Have an uninterrupted tech free conversation
  • Identify your child’s thoughts and feelings without dismissing them
  • Never ignore your child’s feelings
  • Verbally acknowledge their feelings with a word or sound
  • Describe the problem as opposed to giving orders
  • By describing the problem, you invite your child to help find a solution
  • Acknowledge your child’s feelings while you redirect inappropriate behavior
  • Never verbally attack your child or teen
  • Focus on describing how you feel about their behavior
  • Avoid placing blame, just give information in a simple and respectful way
  • Offer choices as opposed to threats and orders
  • Speak as concisely as possible and avoid giving long lectures
  • Change the mood by using humor as opposed to anger
  • Share a similar experience you had
  • If your discussions don’t seem to be working, try putting your words in writing

The benefits of teaching your children empathy

  • Teaching empathy gives children the tools to:
  • Have positive relationships
  • Be respectful of themselves and others
  • Have the ability to set limits in their own lives without using inappropriate behaviors or words

Teaching your students about empathy

  • Teach your child to have empathy and treat others with respect
  • Set suitable limits on how others can and should behave around them
  • Remind your child that empathy does not excuse or allow for bullying behavior

What to do if your student is bullying others

  • Sit down and have a discussion with your child
  • Let your child know that bullying will not help them make friends or be popular
  • Let them know your feelings about bullying
  • Clearly state your expectations
  • Discuss and plan ways for them to make amends
  • Once they know how to make amends, make sure they take action

3 questions to ask your students

  1. What should you do if you make a mistake?
  2. What are some after school activities you would like to try?
  3. Why is it important to learn empathy?

Toll-free support lines to call

Suicide Hotline: 1-800-784-2433

Crisis Call Center: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Lifeline Crisis Chat: CrisisChat.org

Steps students can take to prevent cyberbullying

Before posting anything online, ask yourself if this is something you would want college admissions, future employers, family, or classmates to see.
  • Keep posts Light, Bright and Polite
  • Never post your personal information online or on social media
  • Don’t post online or social media when you’re upset
  • Before posting anything online, ask yourself if this is something you would want college admissions, future employers, family, or classmates to see
  • Be as polite online as you are in person
  • If you see cyberbullying talk to a trusted adult
  • Flag and report any inappropriate or hurtful messaging
  • Block and don’t respond to messages or posts from cyberbullies
  • Before posting anything online, ask yourself if this is something you would want college admissions, future employers, family, or classmates to see.

Cyberbullying prevention tips from more experts

Teach students that if they wouldn’t say something to someone’s face then they shouldn’t say it online. –Mercedes Samudio
  • “On-going conversation is an invitation for the child to confide in their parent, and to ask for help if they are exposed to threats or inappropriate content online.”Clayton Cranford, Cyber Safety Cop
  • “Teach students that if they wouldn’t say something to someone’s face then they shouldn’t say it online.”Mercedes Samudio, The Parenting Skill

More cyberbullying resources

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