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.
Note on Sources

Adapted from PREVnet Bullying Resources and the Canadian Red Cross website.

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