Stories

Hear from real families’ experiences of cyberbullying and from experts to get guidance on how to best support your child.

What’s on the page

Nicola’s story: my child was a cyberbully

Nicola talks candidly about finding out her daughter was bullying others online and how they dealt with this as a family.

What to do if your child is a cyberbully

No parent wants to think of their child cyberbullying someone else, but young people who may have never bullied anyone face-to-face can get drawn into cyberbullying easily, sometimes without realising that’s what they’re doing.

Resource document

Guidance on how you can help stop your child being a cyberbully

Read article

What you should do

Find out why

Try and establish the facts about the incident and keep an open mind. Often as parents, we are blind to the behaviour of our own children, so try not to be defensive.

Think about areas of your child’s life that may be causing them distress or anger and leading them to express these feelings online.

Talk it through

Talk about the blurred line between uploading and sharing content because it’s funny or might get lots of ‘likes’ versus the potential to cause offence or hurt.

Tell them that bullying others online is unacceptable behaviour that could get them into trouble with the school or police, and that they could end up losing friends.

Teach by example

Model and encourage positive behaviour in your child and praise them as they take this on board.

Learn from it

Above all, help your child learn from what has happened. Think about what you could do differently as a parent or as a family and share your learning with other parents and carers.

What you shouldn’t do

Don’t get upset

Stay calm when discussing it with your child and try to talk with other adults to work through any emotions you have about the situation.

Don’t ignore it

Take the situation seriously and don’t blame someone else. As a role model, it is best to show your child that taking responsibility for your own actions is the right thing to do.

Don’t condone it

If your child was cyberbullying in retaliation, you should tell them that two wrongs cannot make a right and it will just encourage the bully’s behaviour.

Don’t take away their devices

This could make the situation worse and encourage them to find other ways to get online. Think about restricting access and take away some privileges if they don’t stop the behaviour.

The effects of cyberbullying on children of different ages

Real families talk about their experiences in these videos from Virgin Media

Age 5-10

Playground: playing nice

Age 11-13

On hand: playing nice

Age 14+

In touch: playing nice

Hear from the experts

Views from professionals working with children affected by cyberbullying

Teacher

Headteacher Vic Goddard on dealing with cyberbullying in a large school environment

Counsellor

Tolga Yildiz from ChildLine explains how they can help children with confidential advice
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