Coping with a Child who is Cyberbullying
What steps can you take for dealing with a child who is Cyberbullying?
The following strategies are vital:
Discuss and create a firm understanding of what cyberbullying is and what it’s repercussions can be
Find out what is causing the cyberbullying behaviour
Establish the rules for responsible internet and computer use
Teach skills of empathy at home
Monitor and supervise internet usage in the home appropriately
Build their self-esteem at home
Facilitate letting off steam in a positive way
Work on the child’s ability to Manage Anger – Look at how they express anger, if necessary implement anger management skills. Encourage them to express their anger in a respectful and assertive rather than aggressive manner. Practice assertiveness skills in the home. Encourage them to talk about the reasons for their anger.
Investigate any neglected Emotional Needs of the child – cyberbullying often happens in homes where the child is failing to get the emotional acknowledgement they desire. In homes where the parents are busy, or emotionally constrained this can facilitate the emergence of bullying behaviour.
Explore the child’s Social Skills - the more socially skilled and emotionally literate children are, the better able they will be to initiate and maintain enduring friendships, and thus fulfil their need for acceptance.
Give your child something to shine in (sport, hobby, arts) – children often draw power and self-worth from bullying, build their self-esteem and their creative outlets/sense of achievement.
Discuss screen violence and Desensitisation – The sense of removal children have from those on the other end of the screen can desensitise them to the possible effects of their actions. Use film and tv to take time to address that desensitisation and discuss the screen characters and the rights and wrongs of violence.
Teach respect for diversity – ‘Being different’ is often cited as a prime reason for people being victimised. Teach the child to respect and be tolerant of differences whether in social ability, verbal acuity, race, gender, religion, sexuality.
O’Moore, M. (2014) Understanding Cyberbullying. Veritas
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.