The Matrix of Cyberbullying
Parents Safe guard
your home from Cyberbullying
Parents focus on the
protection of their
homes from physical
damage and toxic
intrusion by sickness and disease.
Using deadbolt locks, alarm systems, guard dogs,
home safety strategies, burglar bars and even
Parents rarely think of the incursion and invasion
of their homes through digital means. No responsible
parent will allow any person to walk into their homes
without being invited and by some investigation who
the person or persons are. How many parents have
told their children NOT to bring strangers into their
homes without permission and an understanding
of that person’s personal and family background?
Personal safety and personal responsibility for
safety is paramount for parents protecting their homes
The disturbing part of any incursion or invasion is
that new ways are being made available through
digital tools. Parents may not be thinking about the
digital tools their children are using on laptops,
desktop computers, IPads, Tablets and even gaming
systems. Technology cannot not be so readily stopped
from entering and changing the atmosphere of a home.
Look at what is being used by the whole family to see
how people can gain entrance just using technology.
Parents may wonder Why kids Cyberbully each other,
the answers are just as diverse as the friends a child will
have in and out of school. Motivation comes by anger,
revenge or frustration. Children, youth and young adults
are spontaneous. So it does not take anything major to
spark Bullying and Cyberbullying. Too many do it for
laughs or to get a reaction.
Mean girls do it to help bolster or remind people of their
own social standing so feel the need to make others feel
bad so they can feel superior. There is no one reason and
so there is no one solution, Bullying and Cyberbullying
cross racial, ethnic, gender and age lines.
A parents role is to make sure the home is a safety zone,
a haven where there is no threat of injury, illness and even
death. Children depend on their parents to be there for
them. Cyberbullying creates another challenge for parents
to keep vigil and fight against.
Parents the buck stops with you, so with that said no complaining,
and figure out the best way to talk to your children about
Cyberbullying through online resources. It will not fix
itself. Talk to other parents, school librarian or library media
specialist, technology teachers, guidance counselors and pediatricians.
The other option is to reach out to your church or ministry,
even other faiths, because Bullying even happens with
religious denominations. The other options is law enforcement and
even your ISP or Internet Service Provider to intervene.
Any kind of potential or perceived Cyberbullying should be
reported to law enforcement and if it is children from school
they should be reported to school administrators. Parents need
to check to make sure their children are not the person
doing the Bullying. It is too easy for parents to think their
child would never do that!! Parents become embarrassed
quickly by what they say or think their children will not do.
Some simple strategies to help combat and eliminate
Talk to your child
See if your child knows the identity of the Cyberbully or
Cyberbullies. Is it related to an offline bullying situation,
if so deal with that quickly with help from the school
and law enforcement.
Don’t Ignore it
If it’s a threat, you must report it, don’t take any
chances for retaliation and increase in Bullying
Restrict people who can send you communications
Restrict incoming communications to your child.
Check buddy lists, friends and associates of your
children online. Block those that are causing
trouble even provoking issues.
Restrict others from being able to add your
child to their buddy list
Cyberbullies track when children are online by
using buddy lists. Remind your child not to accept
all offers for friends even those that are persistent.
Parents check friends and use your instincts.
Check privacy settings and security settings.
Google your Child
This is a good way to see what is out on the Internet.
It is important for parents to keep an eye on your
child’s screen name, nick names, full name, address,
telephone and cell numbers and Web sites.
Block the sender
Never be scared to block someone. People seem to
aggressive, makes you feel uncomfortable. They
show aggressive or threatening actions and even
threaten you if you block them.
“Warn” the Sender
Notify the ISP or Internet Service Provider.
ISP’s will contact the person with the screen name
if it is shown that they are Cyberbullying. They
will warn to cease their actions. The “TOS violation”
(for a “terms of service” violation can have serious
consequences for the account holder.)
Many if not all ISP’s have a Cyberbullying/Bullying
policy they can enforce.
Report to School
Laws are changing and school policies. Many school
districts must conduct an investigation when Bullying
is reported. Even Child Services may be required to
investigate with law enforcement. When reporting to
the school or others print out what is on the screen
Report to Police
Parents safety is your first concern, so when
someone threatens your children report it to the police.
Collect and preserve electronic evidence. Print-outs
may help, screen prints, and other electronic
Taking Legal Action
Legal action may be your last option so make
sure you have as much evidence to make a case
as possible. Think carefully before you decide to
take this course of action. There is much involved
and you do not want to run the risk of accusing an
These are suggested strategies for parents in
protecting their home environment from a Matrix
of incursion in your homes. Cyberbullying can
bring stress, doubt and tension into homes. Parents
take precautions and talk to your children and check
computers, Smartphones, gaming systems, etc. Limit
the information going out about your home and
limit who or whom digitally enters your home, causing
potential stress and confusion.
Video Podcast of William Jackson, M.Ed.