The Four R’s of Cyberbullying

As you introduce your children to the Internet and to social media, it won’t be long before they encounter cyberbullying. While your child might not be involved directly, he will see it. Whether the bully and victim are friends, acquaintances, or strangers, here’s what you can teach your child to do when she sees cyberbullying.


1) Respond

If your child is being bullied, the best response may be no response. However, if your child is only an onlooker, he could be in a position to stop the cyberbullying. According to Common Sense Media, 80% of bystanders do nothing, but when they do intervene, the bullying stops over 50% of the time.

2) Record

This step is applicable whether your child is the victim or the bystander. To prevent a “He said, she said,” scenario, it is important to have a record of what exactly occurred in case the bullying continues or escalates.


3) Report

Cyberbullying is receiving both legal and scholastic attention these days. If your child sees or experiences severe cyberbullying, it needs to be reported. At the very least, she needs to come to you, her parent or guardian. The bullying should be reported to the social media app, site, or forum. Together, you may also want to report the bullying to a school principal or the police.


4) Retreat

If your child responded to the cyberbullying, tell him not to revisit the conversation. Bystanders intervening in cyberbullying have the advantage of being able to act but not have to face a possible response from the bully. An attack can not hurt if it is not read. Blocking the bully on social media is probably a good idea as well.


While cyberbullying can be even more painful than face to face bullying, there are advantages for the victims and bystanders who want to intervene. Computers and mobile devices are equalizers; there’s no need to be intimidated by physical size or strength. Those who are cyberbullied can block and delete the bullies from their online lives easily and effectively. In short, cyberbullying can be fought! Teach your children to join the fight against cyberbullying, and help everyone have a fun, safe online experience.


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