It has recently been suggested that online social networking sites and chat rooms should begin to carry a “panic button” for distressed children or users to click on. Perhaps an indication that online bullying has got a little out of hand. Although the panic button will undoubtedly help to track down paedophiles it doesn’t really display a want to stop online bullying, reports The Times.
A recent Anti-Bullying Alliance survey has found that around a firth of 10 and 11 years olds have been victims of cyber bullying but it is ridiculous to suggest that it is the social networking sites that should be the ones to stop it. The Times said “To suggest that social networking sites are the ones to stop it is a bit like giving asphalt makers responsibility for dealing with bullying on playgrounds made from their product.”
Instead of waiting for social networking sites to do something about the situation parents should take it upon themselves to monitor their children’s online actions, keeping subtle tabs on who they are interacting with and checking if they are safe, much like they would if they took their children to play in the park.
The survey also revealed that 200 children didn’t know how to begin to tackle their bullying and even more shockingly more than half said their parents needed to learn how to deal with it.
It is difficult for any parent to protect and defend their child if they know very little about what they are up against. Parents need to educate themselves on social networking websites and try to understand the world of their children.
One last piece of age old advice is to try and ignore the bullies. De-friend them on Facebook, block them on MSN or Twitter. Delete any contact you have had with them and keep your chin up!