Do You Know the Right Things to Do if Your Child Is Bullied?

Cyberbullying is complicated, and every situation is different. So it’s important for parents to know the best practices for dealing with cyberbullying.

When your child is the victim of cyberbullying or online harassment, there is nothing you want to do more than step in and make things right.

But it’s not always that easy.

Cyberbullying is complicated, and every situation is different. The content of the messages will have various degrees of severity, and the parties involved — the kids, parents and social officials — can make the situation easier to resolve, or in some cases, harder.

So it’s important for parents to know the best practices for dealing with the unpredictable, uncomfortable, and sometimes unrelentless situation of cyberbullying.

Taking Matters Into Your Own Hands

The emotional response to learning that your child is being bullied is enough to make parents jump into immediate action, but parents need to be mindful of how their response can affect their child’s life, as well as their own.

Two fathers in Minnesota learned this when they found themselves in the middle of a national news story, that left one father without his job, after getting involved with their children’s cyberbully situation.

Brad Knudson’s daughter received racist messages from Deron Puro’s two sons, prompting Knudson to call Puro to try and resolve the situation. Matters only got worse when Puro was unwilling to help and exacerbated the situation by leaving his own racist voicemail to Knudson.

Knudson was not silenced by Puro’s unwillingness to help. After reporting the situation to school and city officials, he took the matter into his own hands.

Fearing that his daughter would become depressed and emotionally drained by the continued harassment, Knudson recorded and posted a YouTube video where he called out the bullies and asked them to own up to their actions. In the video, that was close to six minutes in length, Knudson also played the voicemail he received from the boy’s father, Puro.

The video went viral, receiving almost eight million views, and caught national attention. The result affected both the boys and their father; Puro was fired by his employer, a financial firm where he worked as a contractor.

The Best Ways to Help

Knudson and Puro’s situation shows how cyberbullying affects parents just as much as their children and how important it is to resolve problems in a healthy and productive way.

What to do if your child is being bullied:

  • Save the evidence.
  • Report threats of harm to the police.
  • Report the situation to the school.
  • Don’t quit until the bullying has stopped.
  • Don’t provoke the bully.
  • Don’t seek revenge.
  • If you know the bully’s parents and believe they will help resolve the situation, reach out to them.

What to say to your child if they are being bullied:

  • Tell them not to blame themselves. No matter what may have happened there is no excuse for bullying
  • Encourage them to talk to others about it. Don’t hold their feelings inside. And not just you, maybe there is a special teacher or counselor at school they feel comfortable around, or friends. But don’t bully the bully with friends, keep the conversation about your feelings.
  • Focus less on the situation and more on the things you love.
  • Understand that the bully has issues that go deeper than the surface situation, they may have trouble at home or at school. Teach empathy, but also strength, no one should accept being bullied.

What to do if your child is being a bully:

  • Explain the seriousness of cyberbullying.
  • Establish clear usage rules.
  • Set limits.
  • Remove access to private online communication.
  • Teach them to manage their stress in other ways.
  • Set a good example. (Bullying is a learned behavior, so be mindful of how you treat people in real life and online.)
  • Seek the deeper problem or stress that is coming out as bullying.

Be Proactive and Help Prevent Cyberbullying

The best way to deal with cyberbullying is to stop the situation early. Use a system for monitoring your child’s social media to stay in touch with what is happening in their online world.

With an app like MamaBear, The Ultimate Parenting App™ available for free on iPhone and Android devices, parents can easily connect and monitor the conversation on their child’s social media streams. Being aware and informed as a parent, and getting involved before there is an issue, will always be the best way to prevent a more drastic and potentially dangerous situation from occurring.


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Despite what parents may think, cyberbullying includes far more than name-calling. Discover just how sinister a cyberbully can really be.

Do You Know Enough About Cyberbullying to Protect Your Children?


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Do You Know Enough About Cyberbullying to Protect Your Children?

Despite what parents may think, cyberbullying includes far more than name-calling. Discover just how sinister a cyberbully can really be.

For far too many parents, cyberbullying is a term they have heard but don’t quite understand.

Parents can relate to and understand bullying on its own. It’s something they likely experienced or saw first-hand when they were kids and teenagers. But cyberbullying, which grows and evolves every day, is something most parents have never witnessed.

Cyberbullying, the act of posting mean, intimidating or threatening messages online, usually anonymously, utilizing technology as the weapon is a much newer and different format. This disconnect leaves many parents in the dark when it comes to the actual severity of this issue.

Despite what parents may think, cyberbullying includes far more than name-calling. Mashable recently shared two stories that show just how sinister a cyberbully can really be.

Cyberbullying May Include Stalking

Cyberbullying doesn’t always stay online. It can creep into real life, invade personal space, and create physical danger.

Mashable reports that for two 12-year-olds in Texas, online comments turned into real life fear when their cyberbully sent message describing what the girls were wearing and doing while inside of their house.

Just because the harassment is online doesn’t mean it will remain online. Cyberbullying can be just as serious as stalking.

Cyberbully May Include Digital Hacking

Posting tormenting messages through social media is only a portion of cyberbullying. People intending to bring harm to others may even use their own social media accounts against them.

Hacking meets cyberbullying when an abuser attempts or succeeds into accessing an account owned by the victim.

The bully-hacker may then change or delete their photos and information or post embarrassing photos and updates.

As the Mashable article reports, the mother of a cyberbullying victim became a victim herself when her Instagram account was hacked by her child’s abuser. The mom logged in to find her profile photo deleted and her bio changed to, “I’m a hater, lol.” During the same time, there were two dozen attempts to log in to her blog from an unfamiliar IP address.

Smart cyberbullies can get into their victims’ personal accounts and use those accounts to cause additional harm.

Cyberbully May Include Security Breaches To Online Networks and Phones

Hacking paired with cyberbullying can go even further. The same family dealing with account hacking found their entire home wireless network compromised when they lost administrative privileges for the network.

The family ran a search and found four different IP addresses assigned to their home network. Two of those addresses were linked to a small town over 50 miles from their home.

Struggling to find out what could resolve the security issues, the family spent over $6,400 on cell phone bug detectors, home security systems, a private security network, cell phones, a laptop, router, and printer.

The hacking created a scary and expensive situation for both child and parent.

Cyberbully May Include Security Breaches To Online Networks and Phones
Image: Mashable

How You Can Fight Cyberbullying

One of the best ways to help your child and family fight cyberbullying and the dangers that come with it is by being proactive.

Parents need to get involved with their child’s Internet activity early on, discuss online etiquette, expectations and rules of behavior, and monitor their engagements online. Monitoring and identifying problems early on is essential to helping our kids safely navigate their evolving digital environment. Also, making sure you, as a parent, have an open door policy for your children to come to you and discuss what they might see as issues or problems as they navigate their online world.

With the help of MamaBear, The Ultimate Parenting App™, you can easily see your child’s interactions on social media, know what they post, know who their friends are and know if they are being approached or bullied. This enables you to identify problems quickly and help your child put a stop to the situation before it grows into a more complex and dangerous situation. The Mama Bear app is free and available for both iPhone or Android devices.

Recommended Reading:

1. Building a Safer Twitter with Improved Tools to Report Cyberbullying

2. Parents Can’t Afford To Ignore Their Kids’ Social Media

3. Social Media, Bullying and What You Can Do to Help

Building a Safer Twitter with Improved Tools to Report Cyberbullying

Twitter Cyberbullying Reporting Tools: Twitter is fighting against cyberbullying by upping their game when it comes to user protection.

Twitter is fighting against cyberbullying by upping their game when it comes to user protection. 

The social media platform recently made changes to make it easier to report cyberbullying, harassment, and spamming.

Changes to Twitter Reporting and Blocking Features

Twitter has decreased the amount of information needed to report a user and made the process more mobile-friendly in order to speed up the process of reporting, reviewing, and managing cyberbully.

Recent changes also make it easier for users who see harassment to report it, enabling other users to step in when they see bullying.

Twitter also added features related to blocking. Users can now see a list of accounts they have blocked from a page accessible in settings, and users you have blocked can no longer view your profile.

When to Report a User

You should advise your child to report a user anytime they see the following.

  • Threats – user is making direct threats of violence, threats are directed at an individual or a group of people targeted by race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, etc.
  • Abuse – user is repeatedly engaging with individual in one-sided harassment
  • Targeted Abuse – individual has created multiple accounts in order to send messages to the same person from multiple accounts, the sole purpose of the account is to send abusive messages
  • Serial Accounts – user has created multiple accounts in order to be disruptive and spammy
  • Spam – user posts duplicate content, messages usually include links that are posted repeatedly and rapidly, user repeatedly posts misleading and false information
  • Private Information – user is sharing personal information (phone numbers, addresses, banking information, etc.) of other individuals
  • Offensive Content – users is directly messaging individuals obscene or pornographic images

Twitter considers all of these actions as a violation of Twitter Rules and may suspend users who engage in the activities. You can find full instructions on reporting violations in Twitter’s Support Guide.

Related: Social Media, Bullying and What You Can Do to Help

Remember that sometimes reporting a user through Twitter is not enough.

If you believe you or someone else is in danger due to information you saw on Twitter, contact local law enforcement.

Cyberbullying Is Still an Issue

Twitter is committed to making their social space safer for users, and they plan to add more features and controls for both reporting and blocking users. They recently stated on their blog, “We’ll continue to work hard on these changes in order to improve the experience of people who encounter abuse on Twitter.”

But that doesn’t mean parents should sit back and let Twitter handle it. Parents should remain involved in their child’s social media world by connecting with and monitoring the engagement on their Twitter account.

With MamaBear, The Ultimate Parenting App™, parents receive notifications when their child gets a new follower or follows someone new, is @mentioned in a message, and uses certain restricted words or risky language. It makes for simple connectivity, easy monitoring, and fast response time to cyberbully and harassment.

See how MamaBear can help protect your child by adding it to your iPhone or Android.

Cyberbullying Is Now a Parent’s Greatest Fear, Survey Says

A new survey finds that parents are now more afraid of cyberbullying than teenage pregnancy, drug use, or alcohol consumption. | MamaBear App

If you are worried that your child could become a victim of cyberbullying, you aren’t alone. According to an article published by The Windsor Star, parents are now more concerned about cyberbullying than any other youth problem.

In a survey, backed by Canadian telecommunications provider Primus, almost half of parents said they were concerned about cyberbullying (48%). Parents were less concerned with other issues. Forty-four percent were worried about teen pregnancy, 44% about drug use, and 38% about alcohol use.

It could be that parents are extra worried about online bullying because they don’t completely understand it. Unlike pregnancy, drinking, and drugs, this is a problem that wasn’t around when they were teenagers. They have not experienced the situation first hand, so they don’t know how to handle it. This highlights how important it is for parents to educate themselves on online safety habits and cyberbullying prevention.

To learn more about the study, read “Cyberbullying has become the greatest fear of parents, survey says.”