From The Pulse, December 2019 Issue, California State PTA
Kids may not always recognize teasing as bullying – especially when it happens online – and some may be too embarrassed or ashamed to talk to their parents about it. That’s why it’s important to talk about online and digital behavior before your child starts interacting with others online. To prepare your child to go online – or if you know that your child is being bullied online – offer them these steps that can be taken immediately:
- Sign off the computer. Ignoring a bully and walking away is definitely not a coward’s response! Bullies thrive on the reaction they get, and if you walk away or ignore hurtful emails or instant messages, you’re telling the bully that you won’t engage.
- Don’t respond or retaliate. If you’re angry or hurt, you might say things you’ll regret later. Cyberbullies often want to get a reaction out of you, so don’t let them know their plans have worked.
- Block the bully. If you get mean messages through an instant messaging or a social networking site, take the person off your buddy or friends list. You also can delete messages from bullies without reading them.
- Save and print out bullying messages. If the harassment continues, save the evidence. This could be important proof to show parents or teachers if the bullying doesn’t stop.
- Talk to a friend. When someone makes you feel bad, sometimes it can help to talk the situation over with a friend.
- Tell a trusted adult. A trusted adult is someone you believe will listen and who has the skills, desire and authority to help you. Telling an adult isn’t tattling – it’s standing up for yourself. And, even if the bullying occurs online, your school probably has rules against it.
For more information and resources on bullying prevention, visit www.capta.org/bullying-prevention.