Have you talked to your kids about bullying? What about cyberbullying? In today’s expanding digital world, it’s difficult to not talk about one without the other. The statistics on cyberbullying have been relatively stable for a while. Approximately 37% of teenagers ages 12-18 report being cyberbullied. So, this is an important topic to talk about with your tweens and teens.
These are not easy conversations to have with our kids but worth opening the door a bit at a time. Sometimes having small conversations over time helps our kids open up when more when a concerning even occurs.
Here’s my road map for making these conversations easier – for all tough topics, including cyberbullying:
1. Try and find a good time for the conversation. As you just found out, that’s not always possible – but ideally, it would be an unrushed, quiet family time.
2. Think ahead of time what you want to say and why.
3. Keep it brief.
4. Don’t expect a full blown conversation. Some kids will jump in and talk to you about the topic but others may be more passive. There isn’t one way to respond. Go with your kids’ reaction and take it as normal. Many kids need time to process intense information and will come to you later on as they digest it a bit.
Here’s the Cyberbullying Chapter of CyberSafe to give you more up to date information on Cyberbullying and why it’s such an important topic to talk to your kids about.