As parents, we play a vital role in teaching our children about the dangers of bullying.  We want to ensure that they know how to handle themselves in a bullying situation and we want to make sure they aren’t the aggressor.  Social Media has allowed bullying to have a permanent home online.  The only advantage of this is a parent’s ability to track the situation in real time.  Here are a few tips to help prevent Cyberbullying in your family.

 By Sharon Vinderine

1. Be a follower
Find out what social accounts your children currently have and let them know that you will be following them.  This makes them think twice before posting something inappropriate.

2. Sign a contract
Make a contract with your children outlining your rules for their social media behaviour. Include the consequences of inappropriate behaviour.  This way you’ve set out the rules in advance and there should be no surprises if they break that contract.  It will be their mistake to make and their punishment to live with.

3. Keep their passwords
They want social accounts?  Well, in exchange, you want their passwords to those accounts.  This empowers you to shut down those accounts as soon as you see something inappropriate or alarming.  It’s your job as a parent to halt those behaviours.

4. Take up teaching
Understanding what bullying is and how to prevent it needs to start at home. Parents and children should talk about the topic and talk about it often because, as our children go through their teenage years, it’s almost a right of passage to try and “bend the rules.”  By having open and honest conversations and teaching them about what to look out for online, you are setting them up for success.
Sharon Vinderine is the Founder of Parent Tested Parent Approved (PTPA), where over 100,000 parents come on a monthly basis to make purchasing decisions for their family. She resides in Toronto with her husband and two children, aged 10 and 11 respectively.