There are 5 steps parents need to know and take – now!
|Know your children's Net Neighborhood.|
Contract. If you child is cyber bullying, this demonstrates a lack of responsibility in proper usage of his/her technology. If a Family Online Safety Contract is not already in place, implement one. If one is in place, reinforce and/or amend the rules and expectations. Talk about what is appropriate behavior and what is not. A “time-out” or “limiting time” from technology is sensible. However, without communication and ownership of wrong-doing, it does little to change behavior.
Consequences: Consequences should be reasonable and in-line with the degree of offense. Research supports that making meaningful amends to the victim or implementing restorative justice measures benefits both the bully and the victim. Avoid punishment for punishment sake or taking away technology altogether. This does nothing to change behaviors or attitudes.
Counsel and Connect: Many cyber bullies demonstrate a lack of regard or respect for the well-being of others. In short, they lack empathy. Through counseling or other empathy-building groups (such as youth groups, clubs, teams) or gatherings (such as family time, celebrations, holidays), purposefully integrate exercises and activities into your routines or practices which promote kindness, mutual respect, and compassion for one another.When children learn how to connect with the feelings of others, they are more likely to value them.
For more valuable tools which are easy to implment, pick up your copy of... Cyber Bullying No More: Parenting A High Tech Generation
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