Cyberbullying
Two thumbs up for Telus, who have just posted a video on cyber bullying called “Let’s Discuss Cyberbullying with Bill Belsey of bullying.org. In a little over 8 minutes, the interview talks with kids and parents about Cyberbullying. Here are the highlights. Please click on the link below to see the video.

Cyberbullying is very much like traditional forms of bullying. It is a relationship issue about power and control. It involves repeated and intentional use of informational technologies that results in harmful impacts. While it is like traditional forms it is also quite different in that often the bully can not be seen, and the bullying often happens out of sight on a cell phone, or computer.

Some of the signs to watch for of a child being cyber bullied can include the child becoming anxious or withdrawn, their grades affected. They may become not as socially outgoing as they were before. We need to listen to our kids
fight for the time each day without technology present and be present so can see if they are being bullied.

If you find out they are being bullied, first calm yourself so you can be open to hearing them without your own anxiety interfering and making them less likely to talk. It is so important to listen to your kids and let them know they are not alone, that you will support them no matter what. It is so important to establish and maintain trust with them. Don’t threaten to take away their cell phone or access to the internet as this may make them withdraw from your further when they most need you close. We need to listen to them without judgement and let them know we are there for them.

What we say online we can’t take back, so it is very important to think before we click. Online activity leaves a digital footprint. There is no such thing as a completely private message on the internet, so we want to leave the best most positive footprints we can.

If you know someone is being cyberbullied, be sure to listen to them. Nearly 90% of the time it happens with other kids are around and parents are not. It is so important not to be a “cyber bystander”. Instead be an “UP-Stander”. When kids stand together and befriend them, most bullying of any kind stops within 10 seconds. Be there and by listen. Support your friend and let them know you are there for them. You have the power to do that. You don’t have to fight the bully, that usually makes it worse.

Be careful what you share online. Don’t put personal information online – you don’t know who is going to see it. We need to become much more aware of what our kids are doing with technology. For example have time where no technology is allowed so conversations can occur with true listening and interacting, so we can see how our kids are doing. For example, have a no cell phones at the table rule. Talk with them, hear what they have to say, keeping trust with our kids is the single most important thing we can do with our family.