The aftermath of cyberbullying

Published: Tuesday 15th November 2016 by Rich Sutherland

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To help school and home life run as smoothly as possible for children, HEY Today and KCOM are supporting an eight-week cyberbullying awareness campaign run by Internet Matters. In this final post, we share tips and advice on what happens next.

As discussed in previous articles, the issue of cyberbullying is serious. That’s why it’s imperative that parents and teachers continue to work closely with those involved. This will help them to move on, and most importantly prevent the harassment from happening again.

Whether you are the parent of the victim or the perpetrator, here are some actionable tips for during the aftermath of cyberbullying.

Don’t be afraid of discussion

After a cyberbullying incident, it is vital that parents of the victim work towards rebuilding trust. This can be easily achieved by creating an open and ongoing discussion with them.

Talk about self-confidence and work on ways in which they can boost it. Make sure that they know that there are people out there who care about them and want to help solve their problems.

Likewise, if your child was the bully, it is vital that you openly chat about the severity of the incident. Ensure that your child fully understands the impact and damage that this sort of behaviour can cause – both in the real world and online.

Don’t be afraid to let a bully know that their actions could result in them being reported to the school and police, and possibly prosecution.

Fellow parents and teachers should also be aware of the signs of cyberbullying. Perhaps their child or class has not had to deal with such issues, but it is important that they are ready to deal with the situation if it ever arises. Share our helpful articles with them to warn of the dangers and educate on how to prevent cyberbullying from happening.

Continue to take preventative measures

Don’t presume that just because the behaviour has been initially dealt with that it won’t rear its ugly head again. Be vigilant and keep a close eye on those involved. Now that you know the key signs, it should be easier to spot if your child is being bullied online or is intimidating others.

The continuation of online safety measures will also go a long way in preventing online harassment. Remind your child to think twice before posting on social media and to use diplomacy and tact to avoid online arguments.

Ensure that your child is only accepting requests from their real-life friends. Also encourage them to change their privacy settings to guarantee strangers cannot get access to personal information.

It’s important to remember to include your child in these safety measures as much as possible. Wrapping them up in cotton wool and banning them from social media or technology will only make you seem like the bad guy.

Throughout this process, it helps to treat your child as an equal and explain calmly and kindly why they need to stay safe on the internet.

If you suspect something, confront or report it

If you notice any repeated behaviour after the cyberbully has been dealt with, don’t hesitate to report it to the school or police. Be sure to nip it in the bud quickly before it escalates like last time.

The bully has had their chance to stop behaving this way and you shouldn’t have to tolerate your child being harassed online. Also, it could prevent other children having to undergo similar treatment.

Alternatively, if you notice your own child has relapsed into their old habits of online intimidation, confront them about it immediately with a level head.

Thank you for reading this series of posts. If you’re a parent or teacher who suspects that cyberbullying is taking place, please read our articles on common types and how to tell if your child is being bullied.

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Published: Tuesday 15th November 2016 by Rich Sutherland

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