What To Do If You Think Your Kid Is Cyberbullying

What To Do If You Think Your Kid Is Cyberbullying

I never thought my son would start cyberbullying. We have tried to teach him how to use social media responsibly. And he knows the dangers of bullying. My son is a good kid and gets good grades. Also, he has lots of friends and is very social. Which is why I was floored when found out about his bullying. She explained that recently my son had been sending her some terrible messages on social media in response to an article she had written. The messages involved him actually threatening her and her family. 

I was horrified when she sent me screenshots of messages and social media posts. He was calling her some foul names, threatening to actually hurt her and wishing that other people would hurt her. How could my responsible, straight-A student son do this? I should have been using a cell phone spy on him. 

cyberbullying
Many Children Experience Cyberbullying

Totally Humiliated

I was totally humiliated but I’m very glad she brought his behavior to my attention. I assured her that I would take care of it. But how? I had no idea what was the best way to confront my son about his bullying. I decided I needed to pay more attention to how he was acting online. Both his father and I are on his friend’s list on Facebook and follow him on other social media outlets. And to have a family fourth of July party

So I made an account under a fake name on Twitter and Facebook pretending to be a boy about his age. I friended him and followed him on everything. That’s when I found that he was restricting the posts that his father and I could see. His Facebook wall and his Twitter feed were full of nasty, bullying and vulgar posts that his father and I definitely wouldn’t have allowed if we had seen them. I was really upset. 

cyberbullying
Teenagers Are Always On Their Phones

Confronted Him

So I took screenshots of his posts and printed them out. Then his father and I sat down to confront him. At first, he tried to lie about it but I had screenshots and the messages from the journalist. My son couldn’t lie his way out of responsibility. He was upset, but it seemed to me like he was only upset that he got caught. Then apologized and said that he didn’t mean any of the terrible things he said and that it was just venting. 

His father and I tried to explain to him, again, that words have consequences. And cyberbullying has real consequences. Those mean things he was writing was sent to a real person with thoughts and feelings. If you suspect that your kid might be bullying someone online you need to take action right away. If you enjoyed this, check out my last post about protecting your home while you are traveling.