Cyberbullying: Is Your Child Safe Online?

Is your child safe from bullying on the Internet? Online cyberbullying can be as cruel as anything that happens on the playground -- and harder to defeat.

Is Your Child a Cyberbullying Victim?

Most children won’t tell their parents that they’re being bullied because they’re afraid their parents will take away the Internet or insist on complaining to the bully’s parents. Sometimes children who are bullied are ashamed and blame themselves. Reassure your child that nobody deserves to be mistreated. Tell her that some people try to hurt others to make themselves feel better or because they’ve been bullied themselves. Let your child know that it’s important for you to know what’s going on so you can help her.

Signs that your child is being bullied can be hard to spot but may include:

*Seeming nervous or unusually quiet, especially after being online.

*Wanting to spend more or less time than usual on online activities.

*Not wanting to go outdoors or to school.

*Problems sleeping or eating.

*Headaches or stomachaches.

*Trouble focusing on schoolwork.

4. Remind your child to treat others as he wants to be treated. This means not striking back when someone is mean to him and to support friends and others who are being cyberbullied.

5. Finally, limit the amount of time your child is online. The Rochester Institute of Technology study showed that children are more likely to get into trouble on the Internet -- including bullying others or being bullied -- the more time they spend online.

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