No parent wants to imagine their child as a bully but the sad fact is that it happens sometimes. When you first find out it’s your tween doing the bullying, it can be a bit devastating. Upon learning something like this, parents must take a few minutes to gather their thoughts and create a plan of action to help the offender see the error of their ways.
It’s important to realize that being a bully doesn’t make your child a bad person or you a bad parent. However, cyberbullying is serious and something that you must deal with immediately. Don’t ignore the problem and hope it will go away on its own because things normally get worse without intervention.
Talk to your child about the situation but be calm when you do and don't let your emotions get the better of you. It's important to focus all of your attention on your child, not on your own anger or disappointment. It's imperative to to learn what is going on in youd kid's mind and determine what is motivating them to be a bully. Understanding why it’s happening will help you find ways to deal with the problem.
What to Do When Your Tween Is a Cyberbully
After learning all you can about the reasons behind your child’s actions, below are some ways you can react upon discovering that your tween is cyberbullying:
Tell them this type of behavior is not acceptable and that it must stop immediately.
Never just say, "Stop doing it!" and leave it at that. Your tween needs more information and support to make a change and understand why they must stop.
Explain to your child that they will have to face the consequences of their actions.
Find out the legal ramifications for bullying in your state and explain these to your child. Let them know what will happen if they are reported to the school officials and/or to the local law enforcement.
Monitor your tween’s Internet activity carefully and if they have a Smartphone, monitor it too.
If you’re not computer literate, learn all you can about this type of technology. The more you know, the better you can keep tabs on your child to make sure they're not causing trouble or being compromised by digital dangers.
Dealing with cyberbullying and tweens is a delicate situation that should be handled carefully. It’s important for you to help your child understand that this is a serious problem and that this type of behavior is unacceptable.
Let your tween know that you don’t agree with their actions regardless of the reason for it and then take steps to educate them on how to change. Remember: this is a difficult time for your tween and you may need to eventually consider seeking counseling for your child. A professional may be able to reach your tween and help in ways that you cannot on your own.