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  • Caroline Jones

Cyber Bullying

Here is some information regarding cyber bullying that may be of interest:

  • 82% of parents fear their kids will be targeted over group chat.

  • Cyberbullying bigger concern for parents than health and wellbeing issues.

  • 87% of children aged 12-15 have a social media profile in the UK.

Snapchat and WhatsApp are very popular for group chats on the age group 11-16. How can you prevent future cyberbullying:

  • Block the bully. Most devices have settings that let you electronically block emails, messages, or texts from specific people.

  • Limit access to technology. Although it is hurtful, many kids who are bullied can't resist the temptation to check websites or phones to see if there are new messages. Keep the computer in a public place in the house and put limits on the use of cellphones and games. You might be able to turn off text messaging services during certain hours, and most websites, apps, and smartphones include parental control options that give parents access to their kids' messages and online life.

  • Monitor use of social media. A number of programs and apps can monitor teens' social media accounts and alert parents to any inappropriate language or photos. Many software programs and apps are available — from free to expensive — that can give you detailed reports of your child's browsing history and tell you how much time your child spent online and on each site.

  • Know what sites your child uses. This as an opportunity to encourage kids and teens to teach you about something they know well — technology! This shows your child that you are interested in how they spend their time online, while helping you understand how to best monitor their online safety.

  • Be part of your kids' online world. Ask to "friend" or "follow" your child on social media sites, but do not abuse this privilege by commenting or posting anything to your child's profile. Check their postings and the sites kids visit, and be aware of how they spend their time online.

  • Put it in writing. Write smartphone and social media contracts for your kids that you're willing to enforce.

What Else Should I Know? What if it's your kid who's behaving badly?

  • While that can be upsetting, it's important to deal with the problem and not expect it to go away. No matter what's causing the bullying, tell your child that it's unacceptable. Set and enforce consequences.

  • If needed, talk with teachers, guidance counselors, and others who might be able to help.

  • As always, be a role model for your kids. Help them understand the benefits and dangers of the digital world. If you don't get upset and use angry words in your own posts and replies, they're less likely to. Talk about healthy ways to respond — or not — when you disagree with others.

Think twice before you post anything online because once it’s out there you can’t take it back. It is easy for any comments or posts you make online to be taken out of context and these could be damaging to you in the long term. Read more about digital footprints and how this can affect your life both online and offline. For more information and advice-


  • Age 13 is the minimum age to sign up for Snapchat.

  • The minimum age of use for WhatsApp is 16 years old. It had previously dropped to 13 years old but in April 2018 returned to 16, as a response to data-protection legislation.

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