One of our employees logged onto Instragram the other day and found some very inappropriate, cyberbullying comments on the photos of a user who is in her twenties. She figured it was just another troll, a disgruntled peer set on attacking on anyone who was different than them.
She was wrong.
The source of the bullying, profane comments were from a 10-year-old girl.
Everyone talks a lot about what to do if their child is being cyberbullied–but what if your kid is the bully? No parent wants to consider that their child is victimizing others and they may even defend their child by saying that no one is perfect and no one speaks kindly to or about someone 100% of the time. While that may true, cyberbullying is serious. Some states, like Florida, even have laws against it. So not only could your child be hurting another kid, but they could also be breaking the law.
But how do you know what they’re up to?
You create an open line of communication when it comes to the internet. Sometimes kids feel like they’re entitled to private internet lives, but the truth of that matter is that’s a privilege that comes with age and maturity. Until that day, there’s nothing wrong with conducting social media checks. You should know what your child is posting to the internet for all their friends and family to see. The internet is not like a personal diary that teens keep their most private thoughts in. The internet is something that is public and permanent and has the tendency to come back and bite those who misuse it.
Be your child’s advocate, don’t let them become the victim, but definitely don’t let them become the bully.