Online bullying: A persistent problem
Bullying isn't contained to the walls of your teen's school. As many students use social media to keep in touch with their classmates, you need to be mindful that they can feel pressure or harassment online, as well.
Online bullying can happen through social media, text messages, apps or even video games. It can include everything from making direct threats to doxxing someone (releasing personal information without permission) or even unwanted or malicious conduct.
Tips for handling online bullying
As a parent or guardian, you can help your teen protect themselves against online bullying, and be supportive if it happens to them, with these tips.
When your teen is the bully
Just as teens can be the target of online bullying, they can also be the ones bullying others. When this happens, it's important to have those tough conversations about always treating others with kindness and respect.
Here are a few tips to help you talk with your teen about their bullying behaviour:
Bullying intervention skills
Encourage healthy and kind behaviour online
The best way for young people to foster healthy online communities is to act positively and discourage negativity.
If your teen sees someone being harassed online, help them find a way they are comfortable with to offer support. They may share private or public messages or a general statement urging people to be kind.
Your teen should also bring attention to any information being shared in their online community that may not be reputable or accurate. If they feel comfortable, they can – respectfully – correct the record.
By being kind and empathetic in their everyday online actions, young people can be a model for others in their online and offline communities.
To find out more, you can always ask your teen questions such as:
Instagram has tools and resources to help you and your teen create an action plan to handle bullying. For example, you can:
Learn more about other Meta tools to support you and your teen as you handle online bullying: