I just wrote a blog called Facing the Facts About Cyberbullying. Here are some tips to help prevent cyberbullying in the first place:
- Start with a conversation. Share cyberbullying facts and stories about cyberbullying with your child. Reinforce the message that bullying, cruelty, and teasing hurts.
- Make sure that your child understands your expectations for online behavior and online respect.
- Establish rules for responsible Internet etiquette and enforce consequences consistently.
- Make sure that Internet "incidents" are an opportunity to communicate, not a platform for endless lectures.
- Use parental controls and monitor your child's Internet activities.
- Make sure your child knows what to do if they are bullied online - tell them not to respond or retaliate but to tell a trusted adult.
- Remind your child that their "digital footprint" is public. Never say anything online that they wouldn't say face-to-face (and in front of parents!).
- Remind your child to think before they post.
- Nurture empathy in your child and recognize when they are being an upstanding digital citizen!