7 Things Parents Can Do About Cyberbullying

The internet: an endless world of knowledge, creativity, and unfortunately, potential danger.

As a parent, your main goal is to protect your child, but when it comes to online threats such as cyberbullying, you may feel powerless or even unaware of what’s happening.

How can you guard against this invisible menace that’s lurking behind every social media account and online forum?

Drawing on my own experiences and countless discussions with parents, educators, and cyber-security experts, I’ve compiled an insightful list of 7 measures that parents can take to combat cyberbullying. If you’re worried about your child’s safety in the digital world, it’s time to arm yourself with information and take action.

1. Understanding the digital realm

To some of us, the digital world can seem like a foreign landscape, a maze of symbols and codes that our children seem to navigate with ease.

But this lack of understanding can create a blind spot when it comes to protecting our kids online.

The first step towards ensuring your child’s safety is to familiarize yourself with the digital platforms they use. Whether it’s Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat or online gaming platforms, take the time to explore these spaces.

Understanding how these platforms work and their potential risks will not only make you more aware of possible threats but also enable you to have informed conversations with your child about their online behavior.

Knowledge is power. And in this case, it’s a protective shield for your child in the digital age.

2. Encourage open online communication

It may seem counterintuitive, but asking your child to limit or conceal their online interactions might not be the best approach.

While it’s important to set boundaries, overly strict rules can often lead to secrecy rather than safety.

Instead, encourage your child to be open about their online activities. Make them feel comfortable about sharing their experiences with you, whether they’re positive or negative.

This open communication will allow you to identify any potential issues early on and provide support when needed.

The goal is not to control your child’s online world, but to guide and support them through it. It’s about building trust and understanding rather than constructing walls.

3. Teach empathy, not just safety

Online safety talks are crucial, but they often miss a key component: empathy.

We instruct our children about not sharing personal information online or clicking on suspicious links, but how often do we talk about the emotional impact of their words and actions?

Teaching your child to treat others with kindness and respect online is just as vital as teaching them to protect themselves.

By instilling empathy in your child, you are preventing them from becoming victims while also from becoming perpetrators of cyberbullying.

The internet isn’t just a tool, it’s a community. And just like any community, it thrives on mutual respect and understanding.

4. Equip them with the right tools

Interestingly, in today’s digital age, the average age at which a child receives their first smartphone is 10.3 years old. With such early exposure to the online world, it’s essential to equip our children with the right tools to protect themselves.

Many social media platforms and messaging apps have features that allow users to block, mute, or report offensive content or harassment. Teach your child how to use these features effectively.

Additionally, there are numerous parental control apps and software that can assist in monitoring your child’s online activities in a respectful way. Apps like Qustodio and Net Nanny offer features that let you see app usage, set screen time limits, and filter out harmful content while respecting your child’s privacy.

The internet can be like a vast ocean, vast and sometimes unpredictable. But with the right tools, your child can navigate these waters safely and confidently.

5. Address the fear of speaking up

Bullying has a silent accomplice: fear. The fear of being judged, the fear of retaliation, the fear of not being believed.

This fear often keeps children from speaking up about their experiences with cyberbullying. They might feel isolated and scared, unsure of how to handle the situation.

As parents, it’s our role to address this fear head-on. Assure your child that their feelings are valid and that you’re there to support them, no matter what.

Let them know that speaking up about what they’re experiencing isn’t a sign of weakness but an act of courage.

Sometimes the most meaningful thing we can do for our children is to simply listen to them and assure them they’re not alone.

6. Don’t rush to solve the problem

When we see our children facing troubles such as cyberbullying, our natural instinct might be to immediately step in and solve the problem. However, this isn’t always the most effective strategy.

Instead, empower your child to handle the situation themselves, of course, with your guidance and support. This might involve helping them draft a response to a bully or report an incident to the school authorities or related platform.

The key is to approach the situation as collaborators, not rescuers. This not only helps your child regain control but also builds their confidence and resilience.

The process of resolving an issue is just as valuable as the solution itself. Teaching our children to stand up for themselves in a respectful and assertive way is a vital skill that will serve them well throughout life.

7. Collaborate with other parents and educators

Dealing with cyberbullying isn’t a battle that you have to fight alone. In fact, it’s a collective effort that involves parents, educators, and the wider community.

Reach out to other parents and discuss your concerns. Share information about online safety measures or any suspicious activity you’ve noticed.

Collaborate with your child’s school and ensure they have policies in place to address cyberbullying. Educators can play a significant role in fostering a safe online environment for students.

It takes a village to raise a child. And in this digital age, that village extends to the online world. Together, we can create a safer, more respectful internet for our children.

A deeper look into the world of cyberbullying

Cyberbullying is not just a phase, a rite of passage, or a problem that can be swept under the rug. It’s a serious issue that can have devastating effects on a child’s mental, emotional, and even physical health.

Children who experience cyberbullying could suffer from self-esteem issues, anxiety, depression, and in extreme cases, even suicidal thoughts. They may start withdrawing from social activities, exhibit changes in their behavior or academic performance.

This is why it’s so crucial to create an environment where our children feel safe and secure, both offline and online. An environment where they can express themselves freely without the fear of being judged or harassed.

Moreover, the concept of ‘online’ and ‘offline’ is becoming increasingly blurred. Children don’t see the internet as a separate world but as an extension of their physical world. This means that the lessons they learn about kindness, respect, and empathy should apply to their online interactions as well.

It’s also worth noting that cyberbullying isn’t limited to older kids or teenagers. With younger children gaining access to smart devices and the internet, they are also at risk of being targeted or exposed to inappropriate content.

As parents, it’s our responsibility to ensure that our children are equipped with the knowledge and tools they need to navigate this digital landscape safely. But more than anything, it’s about maintaining an open line of communication with our children and making sure they know that they can always turn to us for help.

In this age of connectivity, let’s strive to connect more deeply with our children. Let’s listen to their concerns, empathize with their experiences, and guide them through this digital journey with patience and understanding.

Because in the end, that’s what parenting in the digital age is all about – it’s not just about protecting our children from harm but also about empowering them to become responsible, empathetic digital citizens.



Hello! I’m Emmarose, your guide and fellow traveler on the sometimes bumpy, often beautiful road of parenting, here at "Careful Parents." With a master’s degree in social work tucked under my belt, years as a life counselor, and my own hands-on experience raising a pre-teen who’s as witty as she is wise, and a newborn who’s convinced sleep is for the weak, I’ve navigated the complex landscape of parenting with its highs and lows. My journey’s been packed with learning curves—like decoding my daughter’s silent language (it’s all in the eyes) and mastering the art of doing practically anything with one hand while cradling a baby in the other. Balancing professional life with being a mom has been less about finding a perfect equilibrium and more about embracing the chaos with grace—and a healthy dose of humor. Indeed, I wholeheartedly embrace a philosophy of gentle parenting, yet with a solid backbone. It's all about setting boundaries with a soft touch, leading the way with a heart full of empathy, and holding a firm belief that mistakes are merely stepping stones to learning. Moreover, I'm deeply convinced that it's through sharing our stories that we carve out our common ground, teaching us the invaluable lesson that, in our parenting journeys, we're never truly alone—whether we're navigating through the tough times or celebrating the victories. "Careful Parents" is built as a haven for us to exchange these stories, advice, and moments of “Oh, I’ve been there too.” Whether you’re wrestling with the bedtime routine, figuring out screen time, or exploring ways to foster your child's growth, this is your space. Let’s journey together with a mix of confidence and curiosity, embracing parenting with all its imperfections and joys. Welcome to "Careful Parents"—where real talk meets real solutions in parenting.

Related articles

Most read articles

Scroll to Top