Cyber-bullying: the necessary education of parents


Particularly exposed to cyber-bullying, our children are quite helpless in the face of cyber-bullying, and more generally in the face of the violence that can be exerted on social networks. How to anticipate and prevent? On this point, the role of parents can prove to be essential. Explanations.

An integral element of our time, cyber-harassment can kill, as the unfortunate case of young Alisha showed last March. In question, the exponential growth of cyberspace, virtual territory within which can unfortunately be exerted a very real violence. How to fight against this phenomenon and, above all, how to spare these types of violence to children and adolescents? On this point, parents have a role to play. At the same time, certain techniques can be mobilized.

The active role of parents

Parents, first of all never forget one thing: violence is part of the ecosystem in which all youth develop and requires supervision. ” When fathers get used to letting their children take care of themselves (…), then it is there, in all beauty and in all youth, the beginning of tyranny », Already indicated Plato in The Republic. Are your children getting started on social networks? Talk to them in order to get them to touch certain realities. Explain, for example, that speaking on any network is likely to leave a lasting imprint that will reverberate on them in the future. Be concrete by asking them to plan for the moment when they will choose a secondary school, an internship in a company, or even a first job. It is not uncommon for organizations to conduct research on the Net in order to better understand the personality of the candidate presented to them. Here again, inform your children of the existence of these practices which no longer hold any secrets for our HRDs.

A call to common sense

Second recommendation: use common sense. How often does a child hear that you shouldn’t talk to a stranger in the street? This ancestral adage is of course valid for cyberspace. Adolescents often feel safe because they are behind a screen. That they are informed that this does not automatically protect them from cyber-malicious acts or, worse, from cyber-harassment, which the State defines as the fact of making repeated comments or behaviors with the aim or effect a deterioration of the victim’s living conditions. Obscenities, verbal abuse, threats: anyone who addresses a child or a teenager in this way crosses a red line that must be spotted. Do not hesitate to indicate to your offspring that online harassment is punished regardless of the nature of the exchanges, public or private. Here again, it is not because everything takes place by means of a screen that the framework of the law does not apply …

A technical key: the security parameters

From a technical point of view, it is important to inform your children of the need for them to regularly check their safety settings. Although born in a connected world, our adolescents seem reluctant to such practices – as do some of their parents, by the way … On this point, keep in mind that social media continually updates their settings. privacy and security to meet the growing attention of the general public and governments. The recent update to WhatsApp’s privacy rules is there to remind us that data is a redeemable asset that is constantly hunted by companies for viral marketing purposes …

It’s not enough ? Don’t hesitate to go so far as to supervise your children’s content. This is particularly possible on TikTok, which launched a function called “Family Planning” a few months ago. This new feature allows the father or mother to act from their own device – which was not the case until now. To access it, all you have to do is type the word “Me” then click on the three dots that lead to the “Settings and privacy” menu. You are then offered the option of family twinning.

As you can see, there are many ways to protect children from cyberbullying. Besides control, one of the most effective is of course that which plays the card of empowering young people themselves and mobilizing the playful dimension. The regular change of the password can for example be the object of an exercise of creativity. How to escape the date of birth, the current year, the first name or following numbers like “12345”? Encourage play and inventiveness here in your children so that they have fun while protecting themselves. You will have come a long way in this way.