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Cyberbullying, Haters, and Trolls

When should parents intervene in a cyberbullying situation?

Many kids don't tell their parents that they're being cyberbullied. Kids might feel embarrassed or ashamed to let you know they've been targeted. They also might be afraid your involvement will make things worse. But, if you find out your kid has been cyberbullied, it probably means the issue is major enough for you to get involved.

Try this: Collect more facts by talking the situation through with your kid. Work out a plan of action together. Make sure you and your kid agree on what the outcome should be. Ramp up your efforts as the situation demands.

Another reason not to rush to a solution: Research indicates that peers sticking up for each other is a very effective defense against bullies. Bullies work by trying to isolate their victims. When kids rally around the target, it thwarts the bully. Encourage your kid to reach out to friends for support.

If your kid is being bullied by someone he or she knows, it's a good idea to talk it over -- face to face -- with the kid's parents. These steps can help you get on the same page and resolve the conflict together:

Schedule a meeting. Although your impulse may be to confront the kid's parents immediately, it's better to set a time to meet and discuss the situation when everyone's feeling calm.

Explain that you're there for your kid. Say that your kid reported the incident and you want to follow up. That takes the heat off the parents and allows you both to discuss your kids' actions.

State your goal. Yes, you're angry and hurt, but your goal should go beyond blaming. You want to end the bullying and have your kids stop engaging in destructive behavior.

Let the other parents talk. Hear them out; they may have information you don't know about.

Bring the evidence. Show printouts or the devices on which the bullying occurred.

Work together. As much as possible, try to enlist the other parent so you can work as a united front.

Talk about next steps. Create a plan for how to proceed as well as a check-in schedule so you can see how things are progressing. Depending on whether things calm down or escalate, you may need to bring in a neutral party -- a teacher, a counselor, even a community leader -- to deal with the problem and help you all move forward.

Of course, if there are any real threats to your child's safety, you should contact the authorities immediately.

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Teen, 16 years old written by minehexxer

As a victim of online harassment, I have learned to live by the saying "sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me". Let's face it: the World Wide Web is a huge place, and we'll never be able to rid it of all bullying and mean comments, so why fret over the things that are outside of our control? Mean words directed at someone are just that: words. You can choose to let them get you down, or you can put them into context and move on. The authorities should only be contacted if there's a real threat of violence, or breaks the law in any other form (doxing the bullying victim, for example).
Kid, 10 years old

minehexxer, I would like to say that your comment was very helpful and gave great advice to bullying victims. I have been teased and bullied every year from kindergarten to third grade. (I'm going into fourth.) This comment was personal, not in a bad way, because it came close and addressed issues and described smart ways to deal with it. I hope I continue to see encouraging comments and reviews from you like this one in the future!
Teen, 17 years old written by ShiroSans

Since there is the Internet, and there is social media and all sorts of devices that connect to the internet, cyber bullying has become a big issue. As the parent, you should act immediately before it becomes a bad scenario. What you should do is collect data about the ones doing the cyber bullying and collect evidence. You may need this evidence in the future. you should continue to monitor, ban, change privacy settings, and all the things that have been said over and over again. If you still don't know what to do, just go on Google, and do some research. You'll learn a lot about cyber bullying.
Kid, 12 years old

As said in the blog, a lot of children are emberrased about it. I know a lot of parents may be thinking "What have they got to be embarrased about?" but it is embarrasing to a lot of kids and I can't really explain it. If it starts becoming serious such as death threats I would recommend try and get your child to avoid that person as much as possible, if not possible I would recommend just going to a different sight or changing IP (If they know your IP) and if it is serious delete your current accounts and create a different one, you can also report them. For when a parent should intervene is mostly up to the parent, but I would recommend if you don't want to directly confront your child about it you can just find out what sites the bully is at and try to limit access to that area, for example if it is on skype you could just limit your child's contacts to only people you know you can trust won't cyber bully him or her. If it is on a website or server or gaming commnity I would recommend reporting that person as almost every place online that has rules has a cyber bully rule if that website is more official or is a buisiness/proffessional place.
Kid, 12 years old

As a cyber-bullying victim I have learned you need to seem like a happy camper when someone is teasing you, but ignore them. Cover up your webcam and only talk to people you TRULY trust. :-)
Kid, 11 years old

This topic gets mixed up a lot, I recommend monitoring the child and guiding the child. Do not ever, EVER intervene telling the bully that you are an adult (unless it is a voice chat situation). Cyberbullies even at age 9 can create and track down your child's website account/user. And at worst, slow your internet to a halt. Please consider my words, these will prevent your child from being humiliated by the cyberbully(s).
Teen, 14 years old written by LostInPLace

Immediately. DO NOT let it get bad. It's important to report it to the school, and keep them with there friends to stop isolation. Stop it as soon as possible. Do not Delay.
Kid, 12 years old

I think that if your child is being cyberbullied that there are many ways to prevent that. 1. Block the user 2. Stay off the site 3. Ignore them 4. Report the user 5. Act like it doesn't bother you, maybe the bully/bullies will stop
Kid, 11 years old

A good alternative is also to report them to the police if they send threats.