4 Steps to Protect Your Teen From Cyberbullying

You can’t control how peers treat your teen, but you can lower your teen’s risk of cyberbullying by preparing them to recognize it and respond early, so together, you can stop it and get them support right away.

Strengthen Security

Help your teen turn on privacy settings on their social media accounts. That might be making their accounts private or changing their settings so they only get direct messages from people they know.

Engage With Your Child, Set Boundaries, and Make Rules

  • Start by asking your teen how they like to use social media. What kinds of accounts do they follow? How do they connect with other teens? Getting a broad sense of their needs and preferences for online use helps teens establish a healthy baseline.
  • Discuss the pros and cons of time spent online and talk about red flags for negative online behavior.
  • Co-create expectations around time spent online, tone of voice when engaging online, safe sharing, and how to handle any negativity.
  • Co-create a system for working through either seeing or experiencing cyberbullying.

Talk About What Cyberbullying Can Look Like

Let your teen know all the ways cyberbullying can show up:

  • Mean messages, rumors, name-calling, or threats on social media
  • Fake accounts pretending to be them
  • Sharing their content without their permission
  • Explicit messages, images, or content they don’t want to see, or explicit content of them shared by a former partner to “seek revenge” and cause distress
  • Someone keeping tabs on them by asking who they’re with, what they’re doing, or where they are

Get Them Ready to Respond

  • Tell your teen you want to know if they’re being cyberbullied, and that you’re here to help.
  • Talk with your child about whom they’d go to if they were being cyberbullied, including teachers, coaches, or other adults they feel safe opening up to.
  • Go through what the reporting process would be like and how you could be involved to support them.

young child standing in the school hallway with his head down grasping a folder and kids in the hall whispering and pointing at himGet more info, support, and actionable tips in The Choose Kindness Project’s Parent Playbook on How to Help a Child Being Bullied.






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