Cyberbullying for Parents


We give our kids their first cellphones but are not comfortable using them ourselves. We know how to text , Google and play the odd game but have no clue as to the power those devices hold. We teach our children to drive a car before they get a driver’s licence, yet for some reason we give them a device that holds more computing power than the Apollo space craft that took the astronauts to the moon and back. We do this with great intentions, but give them little instruction on how to use them other than a terse, “Behave online.” That’s not good enough.

We, as parents, have a duty to ensure that our kids know how to use an electronic device, and to do so in a responsible manner. You are not their friend, buddy or pal. You are their parent. Cyberbullying, phone apps, gaming systems, depression, and anxiety are all explored. Where are you kids hanging out on line and how can you ensure they are safe…ensure your entire family is safe?

Learning Objective:

1) What is cyberbullying and how does it differ from old school bullying? What did you tell my child earlier today during the student session at the school? She said you made her cry?

2) How can I get into my child’s Facebook account? I thought all teens were on Facebook? How come mine isn’t?

3) What apps are kids using these days and why? Are they dangerous? What negative consequences could some of these apps bring into their lives?

4) You talked about digital footprint and digital citizenship. What are they and why are they things we, as a family, should be concerned with?

5) Is cyberbullying/bullying a criminal offence in Canada, and if so, what are the consequences?

6) Depression and anxiety are things that scare us to death after seeing news item after news item concerning teens taking their lives after being taunted online. How do we determine our child is the target of cyberbullying, and what do we do if we suspect that they are suffering from depression?

7) Is there app that notifies me when my child has received or has sent our malicious or nasty texts, photos or comments? What security features are on their cellphones?

8) As a parent, I am concerned about the safety of my family. With everyone online in the house, what do I have to do to ensure we are all safe?

9) Sexting? I know what it is but my child would never do that that. What is it and why do kids get caught up in the craziness?