What to do if your Child is being Cyber-bullied

child
child

Bullying of any kind is an awful experience for a child to go through but cyber-bullying is especially insidious because there’s no physical escape from it.

All it takes is a mobile phone to ensure that your child can be bullied at any time, day or night, regardless of whether they’re at school or at home.

Are there certain signs that could indicate that my child is being cyber bullied?  

Yes. It’s time to talk to your child about cyber bullying if

  • your child is avoiding school, or seems upset, sad or angry (especially after using the phone or PC)
  • your child is withdrawing from usual activities
  • your child suddenly lacks interest in computers or rapidly switches screens when you enter the room

Be honest with your child

Make sure they know not to give away personal information online, especially on public websites or to people they do not know. Personal information includes their name, address, phone number, email address, photographs of themselves, or any financial information such as bank account numbers.   

However, it’s also important to show your child that he or she should not allow cyber bullies to ruin their relationship with the internet. Remain calm and show them that the matter can be dealt with in a way that does not involve retaliation. 

Be aware that social media has probably become an extension of children’s daily lives – a hurtful comment online can be devastating. 

By telling your child “don’t use that site anymore”, your child is effectively being punished for being bullied.  Some things you and your child can do together are: 

  • Block or remove the person as a follower. It is also advisable for children to block others they see abusing people online  
     
  • Report the issue to the site/app or phone company 
  • Get your child to take screenshots of the evidence which may be required by the Gardai or the school  
     
  • If the bully attends your child’s school, parents should link in with the school to advise what is happening.  The school will have an anti-bullying policy which will include cyberbullying.  
     
  • For more serious instances of bullying or abuse such as harassment, grooming or sexually inappropriate content, contact the Gardai. 

For more information, articles and videos about online safety, visit our Digital Ready Hub. 

Safer Internet Day 2021: Free webinars for parents and teachers

webinars
webinars

Safer Internet Day 2021 takes place on Tuesday, February 9th and promises to deliver a fascinating insight into internet safety and how we can empower young people to make healthier online choices.

If you’re a parent, carer or teacher, there are three seminars happening over the course of the week that will help you understand the challenges facing the next generation and how to help them.

Hosted by the Irish Safer Internet Centre, here are the details for the #BeKind Online Webinar Series:

Tuesday, 9 February: 7.30pm-8.15pm 

·     Title: Empowering Healthy Online Behaviour in Teenagers

·     Guest Speaker: Dr Nicola Fox Hamilton, cyberpsychology researcher, member of the Cyberpsychology Research Group at the University of Wolverhampton and lectures in Cyberpsychology and Psychology in IADT, Dun Laoghaire.

·     Audience: This webinar is for parents of teenagers.

·     Register here

Wednesday, 10 February 7.30pm-8.15pm

·     Title: Empowering Healthy Online Behaviour in Younger Children

·     Guest Speaker: Mark Smyth, Consultant Clinical Psychologist

·     Audience: This webinar is for parents of younger children.

·     Register here

Thursday, 11 February 7.30pm-8.15pm

·     Title: Empowering students to build digital resilience and manage their online wellbeing

·     Guest Speakers: Jane McGarrigle and Tracy Hogan (Webwise)

·     Audience: This webinar is for teachers, educators, school leaders and education stakeholders.

·     Register here

Resources

* Safer Internet Day would not be possible without the support of the European Commission. Currently the funding is provided by the Connecting Europe Facility programme (CEF). Find out more about the EC’s “European Strategy for a Better Internet for Children” on the European Commission’s website.

Don’t miss Safer Internet Day 2021 on February 9th!

Safer Internet Day (SID) is fast approaching. On Tuesday, 9 February 2021, there will be millions around the globe joining forces to come “Together for a better internet”. How do you plan to participate in the big day?

If you’re not familiar with Safer Internet Day, it’s an annual event organised by the Insafe/INHOPE network of European Safer Internet Centres (SICs) with the support of the European Commission*, that has taken place every February since 2004.

It has been a global, community-led observance which provides a space for all stakeholders to reflect on how together we can promote a responsible, respectful, critical and creative use of digital technologies with the ultimate goal of fostering a better internet for all.

Despite the restrictions placed on celebrations this year, SID 2021 will still be a vibrant and engaging occasion, allowing us all to reflect on our increased use of digital technologies as a result of the pandemic through a host of events and activities!

Internet Safety in Ireland

In line with the EU Safer Internet initiative, Ireland provides awareness raising, helplines and a hotline. These services are delivered by partner organisations, with the Department of Justice providing coordination.

The project partners are:

  • Webwise.ie This is part of the PDST (Professional Development Service for Teachers) Technology in Education in the Department of Education and Skills. It deals with awareness raising, develops materials and programmes for schools and runs the annual event for Safer Internet Day in Ireland.
  • Hotline.ie  The Internet Service Providers’ Association of Ireland (ISPAI) operates the hotline, the service which allows the public to report suspected illegal content or activities found on the internet.
  • ISPCC Childline The Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC) operates the helpline (Childine), which provides services on a 24/7 basis where children affected by issues encountered on the internet may turn for advice and guidance.
  • NPC Primary The National Parents Council Primary operates the parent/adult helpline, a dedicated helpline to deal with issues relating to internet safety, including cyberbullying. The NPC also provides parents with training courses, both online and face to face.

#BeKind – ONLINE WEBINAR SERIES

As part of Safer Internet Day, the Irish Safer Internet Centre will host a series of webinars to help keep you and your families safe online:

Tuesday, 9 February: 7.30pm-8.15pm 

·     Title: Empowering Healthy Online Behaviour in Teenagers

·     Guest Speaker: Dr Nicola Fox Hamilton, cyberpsychology researcher, member of the Cyberpsychology Research Group at the University of Wolverhampton and lectures in Cyberpsychology and Psychology in IADT, Dun Laoghaire.

·     Audience: This webinar is for parents of teenagers.

·     Register here

 

Wednesday, 10 February 7.30pm-8.15pm

·     Title: Empowering Healthy Online Behaviour in Younger Children

·     Guest Speaker: Mark Smyth, Consultant Clinical Psychologist

·     Audience: This webinar is for parents of younger children.

·     Register here

 

Thursday, 11 February 7.30pm-8.15pm

·     Title: Empowering students to build digital resilience and manage their online wellbeing

·     Guest Speakers: Jane McGarrigle and Tracy Hogan (Webwise)

·     Audience: This webinar is for teachers, educators, school leaders and education stakeholders.

·     Register here

Resources

* Safer Internet Day would not be possible without the support of the European Commission. Currently the funding is provided by the Connecting Europe Facility programme (CEF). Find out more about the EC’s “European Strategy for a Better Internet for Children” on the European Commission’s website.

What is Cyberbullying?

cyberbullying
cyberbullying

The last thing any parent wants to think about is their child being a victim of bullying.

However, the widespread use of social media platforms has brought a new dimension to issues such as harassment and bullying and unfortunately, it’s not always something parents can control. 

Bullying is defined as ‘unwanted negative behaviour, verbal, psychological or physical, conducted by an individual group against another person (or persons) and which is repeated over time’.

 

Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying refers to bullying which is carried out using the internet, mobile phone or other technological devices.

It generally takes a psychological rather than a physical form but is often part of a wider pattern of ‘traditional bullying’.

 

What should you teach your child about bullying?

The last thing any parent wants is to think that their child might be a victim of bullying.
However, the widespread use of social media platforms has bought a new dimension to issues such as harassment and bullying and it’s not always something parents can control.  
Bullying is defined as ‘unwanted negative behaviour, verbal, psychological or physical, conducted by an individual or group against another person (or persons) and which is repeated over time’ 


‘Cyberbullying’ refers to bullying which is carried out using the internet, mobile phone or other technological devices.
It generally takes a psychological rather than physical form but is often part of a wider pattern of ‘traditional’ bullying. 


What should you teach your child about cyberbullying?


As a parent, it’s advisable to have regular chats with children to find out what sites they are using, who they are following, their likes and dislikes.


Bear in mind, your child may also be a cyber bully, therefore it’s important that they understand the various dimensions of cyber bullying and proper netiquette.

  • Avoid hurting someone’s feelings online

  • Respect other people’s online rights

  • Avoid insulting someone

  • If someone insults you, remain calm

  • Avoid ‘crashing’ discussion groups

  • Respect other people’s privacy

  • Be responsible for your online behaviour

 

For more information, articles and videos about online safety, visit our Digital Ready Hub.