With an increase in the number of children in Rhode Island who own personal electronic devices, the concern about cyberbullying continues to rise. The dangerous practice of relentlessly bullying others from an electronic device can be virtually unnoticeable unless people are actively looking for evidence that mistreatment is occurring. Even though the bullying may not be physical, it is still extremely damaging and can result in legal consequences.
Parents who are aware of these dangers and are proactive in teaching their children about their role in preventing cyberbullying can potentially reduce the number of incidents that happen. According to Parents.com, one of the most imperative steps a parent can take is to develop a strong and trustworthy relationship with each of their children. A relationship where their children feel comfortable talking with them about content they have seen that is hurtful or concerning. Parents should also set limits for where and for how long, their children have accessibility to social media outlets. If they own a computer, they should put it in a high-traffic area in their home where they can easily monitor their children’s activity when the device is in use.
Michigan State University reports that when cyberbullying is detected, parents help their child save any applicable information and evidence of the bullying and share it with the appropriate authorities. Parents should also teach their children to never reply to a mean message online and to think twice about who they choose to share their personal information with. If children do have social media access, parents should talk to them about setting boundaries when they are adding new people to their list of friends.