6 Things You Should Do About Kids and YouTube Safety
Research has stated that 43% of kids have, at one time or the other, been bullied online. The sad news doesn’t even stop there – at least one out of every four of these kids have been a repeat victim.
If that is not enough to set your bells off, wait till you find out that only 1 in 10 victims will let their parent or a guardian know about their abuse.
This puts you, as a parent, in a tight place since you might not even know that there is a problem in the first place. What you can do, though, is mitigate your kid’s chances of getting cyberbullied at all.
1 Have ‘The Talk’
There are a lot of talks going on in homes today, and the one with cyberbullying is almost never mentioned. The world is not where it was yesterday, so this should be put into the equation.
Sit your kid down and let them know that you are aware of this being a serious problem. Create an atmosphere that lets them know you will keep an open mind and wont judge so that they can come at you with issues that they might have.
On your part, ensure you keep the end of the bargain. When your kid brings an issue to you, don’t dismiss and wave it off – or get all edgy about it. That would be shutting them down for when next they want to approach you with such information.
2 Set Online Rules
Not setting rules about what your children can share, say or engage with on the internet might be setting them up for cyberbullying. Accept the fact that your kids have an online life – then set rules to guard them in the right way to keep such lifestyles healthy.
While keeping your kids out of the way of cyberbullying, ensure you also set strong rules about them engaging in it too. That way, the internet can become a better place for another kid elsewhere.
3 Monitor Your Kids
This is not an excuse for you to go all out and spy on your kids, but you have a moral right to want to know what’s going on in their lives.
In fact, it is surprising that many parents are more concerned with who their kid is hanging out with, where they are going and such related information than they are about what these kids are doing online.
In case you haven’t noticed, the online world is where almost everything happens these days.
Thus, it would not be out of place to monitor your child’s internet activity. The kind of monitoring and parental controls to enforce will be dependent on the age and maturity level of such a child, till the extent where they can handle themselves on the web.
4 Talk to The Schools
It is a laudable thing that many schools are now teaching kids how to deal with bullying. The only problem is, the most serious bullies have changed their playing field and moved the game to the online world.
This almost renders the teachings from the schools ineffective or at best, mildly effective.
You should let your child’s teachers know that you are aware of this problem, and they should put effort into teaching how to avoid this. Not just how to avoid it, but ensuring their kids don’t get involved in doling it out too.
Again, that makes the internet a better place for many kids and drops the negative statistics.
5 Teach Proper Responses
Dealing with a bully is not exactly rocket science. Being on an online platform even makes things easier in this case, but you have to let your kids see it.
Teach them the proper ways to react when they feel a cyber bully is coming onto them.
Some of the ideal responses are, but not limited to:
- Blocking the bully – This stops the bully from being able to reach out to them on the platform anymore.
- Not engaging – Engaging with the bully will only aggravate the issue and fuel the fire. Ignoring them will eventually make the issue die down since they won’t have any other comments/ responses to feed on
- Changing their contact information – Even after blocking, some cyber bullies can devise ways to get in touch with your kids off the internet. It is, thus, advisable that they do not list their contact information at all. In the case they have, now might be a good time as any to change it.
- Saving the attempts – It is also recommended to save any and all messages sent by the bully. This will come in handy should you plan to take the matter up further.
6 Be Accessible
Buttressing the first point from above, you should always make yourself accessible and available when your kids bring these matters to you. Also, threatening to take away your kid’s computer, blaming them or overreacting in any way can make them become secretive with you in the future.
Create a warm atmosphere around this topic lest your kid become a product of accumulated bullying.
Nothing good comes easy, and all of these steps take time. Executed right, though, you would have equipped such a kid with skills to not only deal with bullying but adversity in any form too.
That, and the fact that you have just set them up for a healthier life.
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