Cyber Bullying: Know the Facts - Protect Your Teen

Bullying is a serious problem for many teenagers, and now cyber bullying provides a way for bullying to infiltrate your teen’s life everywhere he or she goes–not only at school, but also at home, at the movies, on weekends, at night, during summer break, anywhere and anytime.

Almost half of all students will be victims of cyber bullying at one point or another. The devastating impact of cyber bullying can cause many ailments in your child, from social withdrawal, poor self-esteem, eating disorders, low grades, substance abuse, delinquency to suicidal thoughts.

As a parent, there are a few things you can do to help protect your teen against cyber bullying and prevent him or her from bullying others:


Schools do a great job of educating teenagers about anti-bullying practices and safety, but, because cyber bullying is also inside your home, it is your responsibility as a family to discuss ways to prevent bullying, raise awareness about what is considered bullying, and be clear about what your teenager should do if he or she is being bullied.


Encourage your teen to visit anti-bullying sites and read some of the stories and anti-bullying efforts.

Watch movies that raise awareness about cyber bullying and its negative impacts. This will not only raise his sensitivity about the subject, it will encourage your teenager to stand against bullying, and give him the courage to speak up if he witnesses or experiences it.

Monitor usage

You can install monitoring software on your teen’s devices that allow you to restrict adult content and apps and provide monitoring of online activities. It is important to establish trust, as monitoring can be seen as very invasive for a teenager. Explain clearly why monitoring is needed.

Never respond

Tell your teen to never respond to bullying messages; giving a reaction will only feed the bullying cycle and give the bully exactly what he or she is hoping for.

Keep the evidence

Cyber bullying leaves a trace. Make sure your teenager knows how important it is to keep all evidence of bullying such as text messages, chats, or emails.

Block them

If your teen is the victim of cyber bullying, make sure to block the sender’s email, phone number, or profile from her devices and social media sites.

Report all bullying

Have your child show you all of the messages he received. Report the incident to the appropriate authorities, such as teachers or school counselors. If the messages contain threats, violence, or nudity, this should also be reported to the police.

Be a ‘follower’

If you allow your teen to be on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, inform her that you will be adding yourself as a ‘friend’ or a ‘follower’ on every site. While you want to respect your adolescent’s privacy, make sure she understands that this is a condition for her using social media sites and that you will monitor only for safety purposes.

Teach caution

Sharing pictures and videos with friends can be fun. However, it’s important to teach your teenager to never share anything, in words or media files, that he would not want the world to see. If the information could cause harm or humiliation to your teenager or someone else, it should not be shared.

Open communication

Have frequent talks about cyber bullying and keep an eye on any behavioral changes in your adolescent that could be the result of bullying.

Limit electronics at home

Make sure your teen gets plenty of non-screen time at home. If your child is the victim of cyber bullying, turning off the devices will provide space for activities and positive distraction.

Be a role model

Make sure to watch your own comments and behavior when you are not fond of someone or if someone angers you. Be a good role model. Don’t bully.