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Cyberbullying



Posted on Tue 5th of May at 8:20 am

Cyberbullying
Cybersmart acma


Cyberbullying is when technology like SMS, email, social networking or chat is used to threaten, exclude, intimidate or humiliate a child. To help stay safe, children need to learn how to use these services positively and what to do if they are the target of cyberbullying. This is important because cyberbullying can result in negative academic, social and psychological outcomes for children. This is Sarah, she was chatting on a social networking site when a girl from her school started posting unkind comments about her taste in clothes. Within moments, more comments were added by other students at her school. While ideally Sarah should report the behaviour to her parents, many children don't. They're worried that their parents will take away their access to technology and that their parents might make the issue bigger - or worse. There are a number of ways to address cyberbullying. Try talking to your child about what you as a family will do if cyberbullying occurs and have an agreed approach - this may encourage them to go to you if things do go wrong. Encourage your children not to respond to any cyberbullies. If the bullying continues, it may be useful to save the messages as evidence. If the bully is from school talk to the school about how they can help address the issue. Ask the school what their procedures are and what the outcomes might be. Providing support for children who are cyberbullied is critical. Help them stay connected online and offline to friends and family that they trust. If your child seems distressed, seek professional help. You can also make your child aware of the Cybersmart Online Helpline - which provides a link to free, confidential online counselling. Check out these related topics or click the links for specific tips and more information.

Young children

Cyberbullying occurs when the internet, email or mobile phones are used to deliberately and repeatedly engage in hostile behaviour to harm someone.

Cyberbullying is less common between young children with the likelihood of a child being involved in cyberbullying increasing with age. Cyberbullying can have negative academic, social and psychological outcomes for children, so providing support for children who are involved in cyberbullying is critical.

For young children, general internet safety tips are a good starting point to help them to develop appropriate online etiquette and to learn appropriate responses to bullying behaviours. The following tips can help you to manage cyberbullying with your child.
•At this age children's internet use should still be closely monitored. To help with this try to keep the computer in a shared or visible place in the home.
•Keep your child connected online and offline to friends and family that they trust. This helps to protect them from potentially negative outcomes.
•Help your child understand that what they say and do online is important. Encourage your child to use the same manners, communicate with others in the same way and report others who aren't being nice, just as they would in the offline world.
•Advise your child not to respond to any negative messages and to report any negative messages they receive to you or another trusted adult.
•If your child has passwords for their online activities advise your child never to share their password with friends—friendships may be shortlived at this age and former friends can mis-use passwords to cyberbully.
•If your child has been involved in cyberbullying and seems distressed or shows changes in behaviour or mood it may be advisable to seek professional support, including through the Cybersmart Online Helpline at www.cybersmart.gov.au/report.aspx. The Cybersmart Online Helpline provides free, confidential online counselling for children and young people. Your child's schools may also be able to provide support and guidance.
•If there is a threat to your child's safety the police can help. In life threatening and time critical situation call Triple Zero (000).


Older children

Cyberbullying occurs when the internet, email or mobile phones are used to deliberately and repeatedly engage in hostile behaviour to harm someone. Cyberbullying occurs most commonly among older children and teens.

Cyberbullying can have negative academic, social and psychological outcomes, so providing support for children and young people who are cyberbullied is critical. Helping children to manage responses to negative online behaviour and keeping them connected online and offline to friends and family that they trust are important measures to protect them from potentially negative outcomes.

The following tips can help you to manage cyberbullying with your child.
•At this age your child's internet use should still be closely monitored. To help with this try to keep the computer in a shared or visible place in the home.
•Talk to your child about cyberbullying before it happens. Work out strategies to address cyberbullying that you are both comfortable with, so your child knows what to expect if they do report concerns to you or another trusted adult.
•Reassure your child that you won't block their access to the internet if they report concerns about cyberbullying. Help them to stay connected online and offline to supportive family and friends.
•Help your child to block anyone who sends offensive content. Most social networking services allow users to block and report someone who is behaving badly.
•Advise your child not to respond to any negative messages but to save the messages and details of the senders. You may want to save the messages for your child so that they don't keep reading them and potentially feel worse.
•Encourage children to support their friends and report concerns about friends who may be involved in cyberbullying.
•Help your child to develop the skills they need to interact safely and respectfully online. Guide their online activities and help them learn to communicate appropriately with friends and family.
•Advise your child never to share their password with friends—friendships may be shortlived at this age and former friends can mis-use passwords to cyberbully.
•If your child has been involved in cyberbullying and seems distressed or shows changes in behaviour or mood it may be advisable to seek professional support, including through the Cybersmart Online Helpline at www.cybersmart.gov.au/report.aspx. The Cybersmart Online Helpline provides free, confidential online counselling for children and young people. Your child's schools may also be able to provide support and guidance.
•If there is a threat to your child's safety the police can help. In a life threatening and time critical situation call Triple Zero (000).


Teenagers

Cyberbullying occurs when the internet, email or mobile phones are used to deliberately an repeatedly engage in hostile behaviour to harm another someone. Cyberbullying occurs most commonly among older children and teens.

Cyberbullying can have negative academic, social and psychological outcomes, so providing support for children and young people who are involved in cyberbullying is critical.

For many teens, their online life is an important part of their social identity. Many teens fear that parents might disconnect them from the internet and therefore their supportive friends as a 'solution' to cyberbullying. This prevents some teens from reporting cyberbullying issues. Some teens are also concerned that parents will make cyberbullying issues worse.

To help teens deal with cyberbullying:
•Talk to your teen about cyberbullying before it happens. Work out strategies to address cyberbullying that you are both comfortable with, so your child knows what to expect if they do report concerns to you or another trusted adult. Reassure them that you are will be there to support them and won't disconnect them from their online world.
•Encourage your teen to tell you or another trusted adult if they receive or hear of negative messages, or are excluded by others. Help them stay connected to trusted friends and family both online and offline. This is an important protective measure against the potentially negative outcomes of bullying.
•Advise your teen not to respond to any negative messages but to save the messages and details of the senders. You may want to save the messages for your teen so that they don't keep reading them and potentially feel worse.
•You can help your teen report any concerns to the administrator of the service used, including the mobile phone provider (if SMS is involved), website administrator (if social networking or chat services are involved), or internet service provider.
•Understand your school's policy about cyberbullying—do they have a policy and what is the likely outcome of a complaint about cyberbullying if another student is involved.
•Encourage your teen to support their friends and report concerns about friends who may be involved in cyberbullying.
•Advise your child never to share their password with friends—friendships may be shortlived at this age and former friends can mis-use passwords to cyberbully.
•If your child has been involved in cyberbullying and seems distressed or shows changes in behaviour or mood it may be advisable to seek professional support, including through the Cybersmart Online Helpline at www.cybersmart.gov.au/report.aspx. The Cybersmart Online Helpline provides free, confidential online counselling for children and young people. Your child's schools may also be able to provide support and guidance.
•If there is a threat to your child's safety the police can help. In a life threatening and time critical situation call Triple Zero (000).

More Information

The Cybersmart program provides a range of cybersafety materials for parents and their children. For more information, resources, advice and tips, visit the Cybersmart website. Encourage your children and teens to take a look around the website. If you have young children, you may like to explore it together to help them understand how to protect themselves against online risks and make the most of their experiences online.


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