Grandparents: learn about cyberbullying and what to do
IF YOU suspect your grandchild is being cyberbullied, there are actions you can take to help protect them now and into the future.
What is cyberbullying?
It's hurtful, intentional and dangerous behaviour occurring online and through technology. It can happen in -
- SMS or text messages.
- Chat rooms.
- Discussion boards.
- Instant messaging.
- Online games.
- Photo sharing apps, e.g. Snapchat and Instagram.
- Social networking sites and apps like Facebook, Twitter and Ask.fm.
It can occur in several ways:
- Hurtful messages, images or videos.
- Imitating others online
- Excluding others online
- Humiliating others online
- Nasty online gossip and chat.
How can it be stopped?
Cyberbullying is a crime and it can be stopped through one or more of the following actions. You should get your grandchild to -
- Immediately talk to someone they trust -like a parent, sibling, uncle/aunt, teacher or friend, or contact Kids Helpline.
- Not retaliate or respond - it could be used against them.
- Block the bully and change their social media privacy settings.
- Report the abuse to the service and get others to as well.
- Collect evidence such as saving mobile phone messages, take screen shots and print emails or social networking conversations
- Do something they enjoy - catch-up with friends, listen to good music, watch a good show or chat online to people they can trust.
- Remind them they didn't ask for this - nobody deserves to be bullied and they will get through this.
- Contact your grandchild's school teacher or counsellor. Most schools have a policy to manage cyberbullying and should be able to provide support to you and your grandchild whether the bullying is by a student at their school or not.
What neither you or your grandchild should to. Don't -
- Join in - don't comment on posts, images or videos.
- Forward or share posts, images or videos that will hurt others.
- Leave negative groups and conversations.
For information on cyberbullying and how your grandchild can lodge a claim, go to the eSafety Commissioner's website. Complaints can be made by an Australian child aged 18 and under, and by a person authorised to make a complaint on their behalf such as their parent or guardian.