Is your child a cyber-kid?
If you have a child with a computer, it’s unlikely they’ve played a video game online.
And if you’re one of those parents who thinks your child’s internet use is “out of control” – or at least “not good enough”, the problem might be much worse.
The BBC’s digital health programme Kids’ Digital offers advice to parents and professionals about how to make sure their kids’ online activity is safe.
Here’s what to do to help: Don’t play games with other kids or strangers online – it could be a sign that your child is being bullied or cyber-bullied, says Dr Joanne Williams, a paediatrician at King’s College London and author of a children’s health report called “Cyber-bullying: Can we fix it?”
Kids’ digital health series ‘The internet is your playground’ The BBC Digital Health team have produced a series called “The internet Is Your Playground” to highlight the dangers of internet use by children.
It’s a series of short videos, designed to teach kids about their internet use, and what they can do to make it better.
You can find the series on YouTube.
How to talk to your kids about cyberbullying What can you do to prevent cyberbullies?
Tell your children about cyber-bullyy, and they should always feel comfortable sharing stories about bullying online, advises Williams.
If your child has shared stories about cyber bullying online they can also tell their friends about cyberbullyies, she says.
“They can also share that it’s a problem with the internet.
That it’s not safe to use.”
Talk to them about your own experience of bullying.
You should also tell your child to be careful about the content of their social media posts, especially if they are posting about bullying.
“It’s very important for them to know that the internet is their playground, that they have a right to do what they want, and that their stories are worth sharing,” says Williams.
“But there are some things you can do too.
And it’s important that they understand what it means when they have to share that with other people.” “
If they have not been bullied online, they shouldn’t be able to do this kind of thing.
And it’s important that they understand what it means when they have to share that with other people.”
“Be careful not to judge what they say, or how they talk, because they may have a bad experience with a bully.”
When talking to children about bullying, make sure they understand that bullying is wrong, says Williams, adding that “cyberbullying” is a really dangerous term to use when talking about bullying: “It can be very upsetting, and you need to remember that you are talking to someone who has a mental illness and who is not OK with this.”
“The best way to keep your child safe online is to not allow them to do anything that would encourage them to bully.”
How to help your child when they’re bullied online How do you talk to kids about bullying?
You can talk to children to understand how bullying works.
“If you’ve got a child, they are a young child,” says Dr Williams.
That means they’re in the early stages of learning about how bullying affects them.
“You can make sure that they’re not going to be bullied online because you don’t want that.”
“When children are young, they have very little control over their behaviour.
It doesn’t matter how well you try to help them, it does matter how hard you push them away.”
“You don’t have control over what they do online.
They can be bullied, they can be called names.
They will be told to stop, they’ll be called disgusting names.
But that’s not really how it works.”
It’s the bullying itself that’s so harmful.
“So what can you say to your child about bullying that will help them?
How can you tell? “
The advice I give to parents is to say to their children, ‘What’s the problem?
How can you tell?
What’s going on?’
And that is the best way I know to help,” says David Lewis, author of the children’s computer books “I’m a Cyber-Bullying Dad” and “I Know My Children”.
But there are many things that can help them to understand that they can’t control and to understand why.” “
This can be helpful to them in terms of understanding that bullying happens, and it’s never OK to bully.
But there are many things that can help them to understand that they can’t control and to understand why.”
You need to tell them that bullying has no place in your family, that bullying can hurt your child and that they are not to be called a bully, but they are to be allowed to express themselves