Children often find it difficult to tell their parents that they’re being bullied, so it’s important for parents to talk to their children and show that they’re there for them. Show an interest in how things are for your child at school, and in the friends they have there. If it turns out that your child might be the victim of bullying, tell your child that the people who bully and upset others are doing wrong. Emphasise that it’s not your child’s fault – anybody at all can be bullied or suffer offensive treatment. Make it clear that the situation can be changed. Then try to agree with your child on how you should get in touch with the school and who you should talk to.
- Talk to your child about what’s happening
- Talk to the class teacher responsible or another responsible teacher at the school
- Contact the headteacher at the school
- If the school can’t help you, contact your municipality or principal
- If the school doesn’t do enough to help, report the situation to the Child and School Student Representative or the Equality Ombudsman, if in Sweden, or try to find an equivalent authority if you’re in another country.
Parents might also have to talk to their children on how to be nice to others. All adults should also be aware that they act as role models for the children around them. Children do as we do, not as we say.
What can adults do to stop cyberbullying?
- Parents often ask their children how their day where in school or at activities after school. We think parents should involve the Internet in their daily discussions with their children, show an interest in what your child is doing – but without monitoring them. Show an interest and find out what social media your child uses, how they work and who they’re friends with online. If you show an interest in your child’s online life, there’s more of a chance of them asking you for help if anything does happen.
- Talk to them about how to be a nice person online. For instance, let them know it’s important to ask for permission before publishing pictures of other people, not to write nasty things about other people or post pictures which might upset or hurt someone else.
- Talk to your child about what to do if something happens online. Tell them that they should talk to an adult at home or at school in the first instance.
- Make it clear that you won’t take their mobile away or force them to stop visiting a site if they decide to talk to you about problems (some children and young people, it seems, decide not to speak up because they’re afraid that adults won’t understand and take their mobile/computer away instead).