How To Start the Conversation With Your Child
Critical Items to Address
Tell kids that if they wouldn’t say something to someone’s face, they shouldn’t text it, IM it, or post it.
Give kids a code of conduct.
Ask your kids if they know someone who has been cyberbullied.
Sometimes they will open up about others’ pain before admitting their own.
Where To Go For More Information
Common Sense Media - Cyberbullying
Netsmart Workshop - Introduction to Safety
Tips for elementary school kids:
- Keep online socializing to a minimum.
- Explain the basics of correct cyber behavior.
- Tell your kids that things like lying, telling secrets, and being mean still hurt in cyberspace.
- Tell kids not to share passwords with their friends.
- Let them use sites like Webkinz or Club Penguin where chat is pre-scripted or pre-screened.
Additional Ways To Limit Potential Problems
Tips for middle school kids
- See what they’re posting, check their mobile messages.
- Tell your kids what to do if they’re harassed.
- Shouldn’t respond or retaliate.
- Block bullies immediately.
- Tell you or an adult they trust.
- Do not delete the messages because in persistent cases, the content should be reported to a cell or Internet Service Provider.
If your kid is doing the bullying--
- Establish strict consequences and stick to them.
- That goes for mean or sexual comments about teachers, friends, and relatives.
- Remind them that all private information can be made public.
- Posts on friends’ walls, private IMs, intimate photos, little in-jokes can all be cut, pasted, and sent around.
- If they don’t want the world to see it they better not post or send it.
- Don’t start what you don’t want to finish. Game chat can get ugly fast. Make sure your kids are respectful because hurtful retaliation happens all the time.
- Tell teens to think before they reveal. At this age, children experiment with all sorts of activities, many of which should not be made public.
- Remind your teens that anything they post can be misused by someone else.
- If the student, staff, or facility is affected by a posting, it will be investigated by school staff. Any Code of Behavior violations will be addressed, if appropriate. Support and community resources will be provided to teens and families as well.
Working With the School
Tips for high school students
Remind them they are not too old to ask for help. They can talk to:
School resource officer
School social worker