This section provides basic information on the key topics of Relationships and Respect. In addition, articles of interest to teens, parents, and young adults, provide information and advice. We welcome your suggestions regarding topics you would like to see discussed. Here is an article on teens, their development, protection on social media platforms.
From: Net Sanity
Online Shaming -- Tips for Parents
What can parents do?
There’s something about the anonymity of sitting behind a computer screen that makes many people especially teenagers, tweens and even adults feel as though their words are free of consequences. After all, they aren’t attacking real people, just little avatars on the screen. Unfortunately, online shaming can have severe real-world consequences. All of us, but especially those that suffer from low self-esteem, struggle with removing those negative comments from their minds, and sometimes online shaming can lead to serious depression.
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Table of Contents
Document … Online bullying is just as vicious as bullying in the real world, and in some cases, like sharing nude images of minors, it’s illegal! No matter what your child has experienced, make sure that you document the abuse appropriately. Make sure that your child knows that they need to come to you immediately when bullying occurs online or off and each time document what you can of the instance, no matter how small it may seem at the time. This will help you build a case again their bully if ever needed.
Communicate … Keep the lines of communication open with your child. Once bullying has begun, there’s no use in berating your child for keeping inappropriate company, sharing images that they shouldn’t have shared, or other behaviors that may have possibly led up to the online shaming. As their parent, you need to be solidly on their side, not excusing their mistakes. However, it is an opportunity to guide them to make better choices in the future without increasing their sense of shame in the present. Make sure your teen or tween knows that you’re available to talk to them.
Get Help … If your teen or tween is starting to show signs of depression as a result of the online shaming or bullying incident, we encourage you to make sure that they receive the professional help that they need. Work with a reputable, trusted counselor or physician to rebuild their self-esteem and to help provide them with the internal tools to overcome any emotional issues or destructive behavior.
Remove Platforms … Blocking Apps on Mobile Devices | See Netsanity
Where possible, you and your child should make a point to block the bully from all of their social media accounts. Unfortunately, this alone isn’t always enough to keep your child safe. It’s okay to remove specific social media platforms or apps temporarily, especially if they’re causing more distress than good at this vulnerable stage of their lives.
Implement … As a parent, you need to have rules that govern your children’s online behavior. This includes using trustworthy mobile parental control software on their devices, as well as monitoring their accounts regularly so that you’ll know if problems are starting to occur. We always encourage doing this the old fashioned way by spot checking devices directly because teens can have several different accounts set up on each social media network. Even some that they may have “forgotten” to discuss to you. Make sure that you regularly discuss your “family rules” for social media, when they need to come to you or even to a trusted school counselor if they feel that they are being shamed online or on social media, or bullied instead of retaliating against the bully.
Final thoughts … In some cases, it might not be that your child is the victim of internet shaming or bullying. You may find out that your child is the instigator. That is why it is always important that you talk regularly in your family about online shaming, including roasting, bullying, and other online behaviors. Our children today are growing up as digital citizens. They need to be aware of the impact that their online behaviors can have on their peers and on their own futures.
To give your family a better understanding and to learn more about what online shaming looks like, check out this excellent book by Sue Scheff. Shame Nation studies the experience of online shaming, and offers practical guidance, including professional advice, on how to prevent and protect against online sharing and bullies.