If your child is being cyber bullied, remember this, he/she is in control. Here are 10 steps to deal with the matter:
(1) GET PROOF & EVIDENCE: Use parental control software thathas the ability to capture online conversations and take pictures of the computer screen, or use screen capture software such as SnagIt or Jing
(2) REPORT THE BULLY: Facebook has the ability for you and your child to report the person and their comments. Visit: https://www.facebook.com/help/420576171311103/ Other social media sites have similar capabilities - search their help section or do a Google search to learn how to report
(3) TELL THE OTHER PARENT: Inform the other parents that their child has committed the crime of cyber bullying. Send them the evidence, ask them to get their child to delete the posts. Inform them if the content is not taken down, or if anything else appears you will file a report with the police for cyber bullying.
(4) APPROACH THE BULLY: Depending on the age of the child, if in junior high or older, send them a message saying they are committing the act of cyber bullying and to immediately remove all posts and refrain from doing it in the future otherwise you will report them to the police for cyber bullying.
(5) APPROACH OTHER PEOPLE: If the posts were on someone else's wall or on a picture that was posted, send a message to that person asking for the negative posts to be removed. Advise them the act of cyber bullying was committed and they have a responsibility to protect others online and to shut down cyber bullying if it's happening on their account even if it's someone else that is instigating it.
(6) BLOCK THE BULLY: This is the simple solution - block the bully from your child's friend list. This way you shut-down the bully and take back your child's power
(7) TALK TO THE SCHOOL & EXTRA CURRICULAR PROGRAMS: Make sure the cyber bullying is not spilling over into other areas of your child's life. If they are being cyber bullied, it is likely they are being bullied somewhere else. Take the evidence to the school and to the program coordinator of any extra-curricular programs your child and the bully attends - ask them to protect your child while in their care, and to report any incidents immediately.
(8) INSTILL CONFIDENCE IN YOUR CHILD: One of the most important things you can do is tell your child to not take it personally. As much as it hurts, educate them that bullies usually have personal problems that leads them to hurt others and if your child were to watch the bully, he/she is bullying others to. Give lots of love and positive affirmations over your child's life and have them understand there is nothing wrong with them. Healthy minded people respect others, insecure troubled people bully others.
(9) POSITIVE EXPERIENCES & RELATIONSHIPS: Spend time with your child doing fun, positive activities. Give them experiences that bring them joy and confidence. Get them involved with activities they are good in and positively encourage them to work hard and do their best. Surround your family with positive people, where there is mutual respect and appreciation in the relationships. The more you build up your child's life with positive influences, the better they will be able to deal with unpleasant experiences in their life.
(10) REPORT & SEEK HELP: If the cyber bullying continues, report the bully to the police and school authorities. Meanwhile, your child's mental health is of utmost importance. If the cyber bullying is emotionally harming your child to the point it is crippling him/her, seek professional help from a family councilor.
One last point: We as adults need to set the tone and behavior of appropriate online conduct. We are the role models so we must demonstrate being a good cyber friend and using the internet and social media for good. This means refrain from online complaining against others, including brands, companies and individuals. There is nothing wrong with sharing your opinion, just do it in a respectful manner.