Some Ground Rules To Avoid Cyberbullying
- Warn children about the importance of privacy and the dangers of predators and sexting. Teens need to know that once the content is shared with others, they will not be able to delete or remove it completely.
- Keep your home computer in a central and open location. If your computer is in the open, you can physically monitor your children while they are online.
- Most operating systems allow you to create a different account for each user. Separate accounts can lessen the chance that your child might accidentally access, modify, change settings, and/or delete your files. You can set up certain privileges (the things that can and can’t be done) for each account. Doing so will also help you track your child’s computer usage. Since there will be a different profile for your child, there are chances that they do not hide files in their account. If need be, you can access their accounts and know if they are involved in anything inappropriate.
- Kids will make mistakes using media. Try to handle errors with empathy and turn a mistake into a teachable moment. But some indiscretions, such as sexting, bullying, or posting self-harm images, maybe a red flag that hints at troubles ahead.
- Expand your children’s online experience and their autonomy when you feel it is age-appropriate for them. If they demonstrate competence in safe and secure online behavior and good decision making, you can allow them personal accounts on social media platforms. Until then, you should have access to their social media accounts.
- Look at the privacy settings available on social networking sites, cell phones, and other social tools your children use. Decide together which settings provide the appropriate amount of protection for each child.
- Help your children identify safe, credible Web sites and other digital content, and be cautious about clicking on, downloading, posting, and uploading content.
At last, in any sphere of life modelling what you want your child to do is the best way to go. Do what I do” is so much more powerful than “do what I say” in any aspect of parenting. Be a role model for ethical internet usage. As much as you teach your child about the right use of the internet and set limitations on smart device usage, you must go by the rulebook.
In what other ways can parents prevent cyberbullying? Share in the comments section below.