How to deal with online "cyber bullies"

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Tips to combat cyber bullying

Online bullying becomes more complicated when children are tormented by kids they know in real life. Children are often reluctant to tell parents about these incidents for fear it will make things worse. It’s up to parents to ask whether kids are getting picked on at school or on the Internet.  If your child has been a victim or a witness to online bullying, here are several steps to take:

  • Have your child print out copies of abusive e-mails, instant messages or websites. Sometimes telling the bully that behavior is being documented will end the problem.
  • Find out how other kids have solved bullying problems at Located in Great Britain, this website has tons of information and insight from kids, teachers and experts. Kids can even get e-mail advice by writing to
  • Get in touch with the school. Because they realize that bullying can lead to violence, many schools have intervention programs.
  • Call the other parents. Your child will probably be against this idea, but sometimes a calm talk between adults can get to the bottom of the problem. Before picking up the phone, think about how you’d want to be approached if your child were the one who was misbehaving.

Finally, be sure your own child doesn’t participate in bullying. Some children who wouldn’t think of being unkind face-to-face become antagonistic and even cruel when they are online. Kids need to understand that the rules for being a decent human being aren’t different on the Internet. If you’ve taught your kids to be considerate, caring and compassionate in real life, be sure they know you have the same expectations in cyberspace.  

By Carolyn Jabs   

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