I am going to be doing a series of posts with Keeping Kids Safe Today author Joyce Jackson! We will be cross posting a series of articles on this topic for the next few weeks. Check out all of our posts here!
Raising your little cyberbully starts when your child is two years old. It probably starts before that, but
let’s begin at the “Terrible Two’s.” Yes, some parents just never grow out of that tantrum age.
How your child behaves online as a tween or teenager starts with you. They mimic and parrot back your
behavior each day and take it online when they are old enough to be there. Raising cyberbullies starts
years before your child gets online.
Cyberbullying is not an Internet problem. Cyberbullying is simply a form of bullying delivered through
digital media. It’s a behavioral, bullying problem gone high tech. It can hit a level of viciousness not
known offline but it is bullying, pure and simple.
Bullying behavior is learned early in life. Good behavior practices are learned at the youngest of ages,
too. Kids can learn to deal with all kinds of emotions without using violence or aggression.
Stopping cyberbullying begins with teaching your young child how to respond appropriately when
others use insults, threats or hitting. They can learn early that these are not appropriate behaviors. You
should also encourage them to avoid other children who behave that way. Have you been online
lately? Sound familiar?
Most importantly, show your child appropriate behaviors by the way you act. Of course, kids learn by
example. The behavior, values, and attitudes of parents and siblings have a strong influence on them,
too. Values of respect, honesty, and pride in your family and heritage can be important sources of
strength for children, especially if they are confronted with negative peer pressure, live in a violent
neighborhood, or attend a rough school. It will carry over one day online.
The connection between offline behavior and online aggressive behavior has not been made in the
research yet. It already has, however, in my mind, with the amount of cyberbullying going on. You can
stop it early, well before your child ever touches a computer or cell phone.