Can you protect your kids from cyber bullying?

A few years ago, bullying may have occurred mainly in and around the schoolyard. But now it reaches into our homes via phones, emails and social networking. That can make it harder to deal with for both parents and teenagers.

To be in the best position to deal with potential issues, make sure you are available to your teen. 

Don’t panic and overreact by instantly removing access to what they see as something extremely important to them: their phone, their access to the internet or their computer.

Try to gauge what is happening and what the impacts are on your teen. Tune in carefully to how they are reacting emotionally.

If they don’t seem too worried, just monitor how things go over the next few days. They may not be aware that these things can have a knock-on effect if embarrassing messages are passed to other people.

If your teenager is distressed and clearly upset, it’s okay to provide support. Try to be with them emotionally so that they know you care and are there to help.

More than likely the bullying is coming from a fellow student or teenager. Inform the school. They should have policies in place about how to deal with episodes of bullying.