Prevent Your Child from Being a Cyber Bully
Your child must be clear on the guidelines and rules you set up for appropriate Internet use. He must be given a list of acceptable and unacceptable behaviors and he must know that a violation of the rules will end in restricted Internet use.,P>You should discuss cyber bullying and inform your child of the possible civil and criminal consequences if he engages in cyber bullying. Your child should understand that the high standards of behavior you hold for him in real life are to be continued in his online life.
Keep up to date with common Internet acronyms and you will be able to decipher your child's communications. For an exhaustive catalogue of Internet slang, go to NetLingo.com. Here's a few all parents should know: POS (parent over shoulder), PIR (parent in room), KPC (keep parents clueless), PA (parent alert) YBS (you'll be sorry), and LMIRL (let's meet in real life).
Explain to your child that the seeming anonymity of the Internet may make it seem okay to engage in irresponsible online behavior, but that the recipients of negative or hurtful messages or harassment can track him down and discover his identity. Also inform him that you will be held responsible for his behavior, as he is still a minor child.
Be sure he understands that even if he is attacked online, he should never retaliate. If he does, and continues a back-and-forth attack, he is also guilty of cyber bullying. Google your child's name every now and again to check for objectionable content and to find things your child may not even be aware of.
Consider installing monitoring software so you can be sure your child is not engaging in unethical or illegal activities. Some parents say this is a violation of their child's trust; one way you can confront the ethical implications of monitoring software is to inform your child that all of their Internet activity will be monitored. Simply informing your child that the software exists can immediately deter potentially inappropriate behavior.