Wednesday 22 November 2017

Celine Naughton: We parents must be tech savvy so bullied children know that they can turn to us

Celine Naughton

SOCIAL media has a lot to answer for, but are Facebook, Twitter and sites such as ask.fm primarily to blame for the increasing scourge of cyberbullying? What of the responsibility of schools to protect students online as well as in the classroom? Or should we be focusing our attention on politicians for failing to crack down on internet trolls?

Of course, we need a joined-up solution to a problem that is increasingly posing a clear and present danger to our children; but as parents, the very first port of call has to be at our own front door.

'Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me' is no longer relevant wisdom in a world where text is the very tool of online vitriol. Only 10 years ago, we could protect our children from offensive behaviour in the playground once they came home from school, but now that social media has breathed new life into bullying, it is a 24-hour problem. The cyberbully can emotionally beat up your child at home, in Granny's house or during a sleepover with friends, and who's there to protect them then?

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