About bullying and cyberviolence
Bullying takes different forms at different ages but involves repeated episodes of aggression – physical or verbal intimidation and harassment – by an individual or group towards a victim. Young people who bully are learning to use power and aggression to control and distress others. Victims can feel increasingly powerless and trapped in abusive relationships. As a parent or guardian you can:
- Teach your children that if they see someone being bullied, they should try to get help and not laugh, stand by or join in.
- Pay attention to the relationships in your children's groups. Ensure that no-one is excluded and that inappropriate behaviours are addressed.
- Help kids see the value of offering support to those who are bullied.
- Work with your child's school to educate others about the problem of bullying.
- Be a good example for your children. Model respectful behaviours at home and in your daily interactions.
Parents can also protect their children against "cyberbullying." Here's how:
- Familiarize yourself with online activities, as online communication is a very important aspect in kids' lives. Learn about the websites, blogs, chatrooms and "cyberlingo" that your children are using.
- Keep the computer in a common area so you can monitor activities.
- Talk openly with your children about the risks of online or cyberbullying. Let them know you are there to support them.
- Talk to your children about acceptable behaviour online and offline.
- Report any incidents of online harassment and threats of physical violence to the local police or your internet service provider.
- Report any bullying that occurs over your child's cell phone to your phone service provider. You may have to change the phone number if the problem does not stop.
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