Mobiles and Bullying – Tips for parents
Your children might know more about mobiles, apps and social media than you, but there’s a lot you can do to help them avoid cyberbullying and use their mobiles safely and responsibly.
Tips for parents:
- Your parental skills still apply in the digital world. So even if you feel you don’t know enough about mobile apps or social media, trust your instincts and make sure you engage with your children about how they are using their phones. You can also visit the eSafety website to find out more about the apps, games and platforms your children are using.
- Take an active interest and talk to your children about setting family rules for device use and help them develop their eSafety skills.
- Familiarise yourself with privacy tools and settings and make sure your children use them appropriately. This can include setting social networking pages or blogs to “private” rather than “public”. The eSafety website has specific information about popular games, apps and social media platforms used by kids – that can help you get up to speed on what your child is using and how they can protect themselves.
- If your child is cyberbullied talk to friends, family and parents of your children’s friends to see how they help their children in the digital world. The eSafety website has useful information about what to do about cyberbullying and how to report offensive online content.
- Advise children not to respond to cyberbullying. Rather, save offensive texts, social media posts (take a screenshot) emails or voice messages because they can be used to investigate – but do not allow children to keep viewing the offensive material. Do block the offenders and consider ways you can give your child a break from technology (without taking away their phone) perhaps by providing a distraction or another activity.
- Remember that cyberbullying is about relationships not technology. It’s crucial to communicate with your child. Stay calm and reassure them they’ve done the right thing telling you when they’ve been the victim. Don’t threaten to take away their mobile because it’s the way they connect and such a threat may mean that they don’t tell you about bullying or inappropriate content/contact.
- Stay informed: visit the eSafety website and keep in touch with your child’s school so that you are aware of their policies on preventing bullying and eSafety.