Parents are being encouraged to discuss online bulling with their kids as almost two million school students prepare to mark the national day against bullying.
Online safety groups are encouraging parents and children open the lines of communication to mark the “National Day of Action Against Online Bullying and Violence”.
Research shows 34% of students have experienced cyber bullying and 87% of today’s youth have witnessed cyber bullying, with the problem accelerating across the country.
Social media safety specialist and psychologist from Family Zone, Jordan Foster, said establishing a social media contract or agreement can help kick-start hard conversations.
“I’m not saying a digital contract is a magic bullet - cyberbullying is a very complex problem, it demands a complex set of responses. But I know for certain it’s a practical step that parents can take right now - and it will help enormously,” she added.
Meanwhile executive manager at the E-safety office Maria Vassiladis says kids need to know they can talk to adults about problems and they won’t get in trouble.
“It’s important that kids know they can go to parents or to the esafty.gov.au to report cyber bullying – and that’s really important because that helps minimise the harm that they might be experiencing.“
“Parents need to have a conversation with their children. They need to talk to them about age-appropriate apps and who they are talking to online.”
She said if parents become aware of their kids being bullied online, they can block them, collect evidence and most importantly – they can report it to authorities.