You may think you know what your child is doing online, but chances are you don’t know the full story. Even if you have family rules regarding technology use, your child could still be at risk for cyber bullying.
Whether it happens online or not, children and teens who are bullied are more likely to be depressed and may even think about or attempt suicide. Warning signs that your child may be experiencing cyber bullying include:
- Becoming upset after using the computer or cell phone
- Changes in normal behavior
- Inability to sleep well
- Loss of appetite
Prevent Cyber Bullying
Talk with your child about cyber bullying and follow these tips to help prevent your child from being bullied or being a bully online:
- Ask your child what they are doing online and who they are interacting with.
- Establish time limits on technology use.
- Follow your child on social media sites or have another trusted adult do so for you.
- Install parental control filtering software on devices.
- Know your child’s passwords, but assure them you will only use them in case of emergency.
- Make rules about where your child can use technology; the best place is in an open, family space and not in their bedroom.
- Talk with your child about cyber bullying and other online issues regularly. Make sure you child knows to tell you immediately if he or she experiences cyber bullying.
- Visit your child’s favorite websites to become familiar with what they are viewing.
Learn more about helping kids use the Internet safely and preventing cyber bullying. Additional resources are available from the American Academy of Pediatrics, including tips to help your child log on safely.