How Parents Should Deal with Online Bullying (Expert Opinions)


The parenthood journey isn’t an easy one as no one knows what it’s going to be like. Every parent is going to encounter different experiences and will have to adopt hands on approach to be able to solve problems which come their way. Parents of teenagers, in particular, are constantly faced with problems which require their attention out of which cyber bullying is a problem. For parents to prevent such kind of bullying to take place against their children, some tech experts have given their opinion regarding how unpredictable social network websites may be and how parents can ensure their kids are safe online.

Ask.fm is a social networking website where recently many incidents of harsh bullying were found and also led to some teenagers to commit suicide. The chief executive of the website, Ilja Terebin when asked constantly about the matter stated that his team had designed the website in a way which would provide teenagers a safe environment and would protect them from being bullied while at the same time giving them the ability to speak openly about their beliefs. He also said that security protocols have also been developed by his team to keep such acts in check.

He went on to state that to make parents more aware of cyber bullying and its facts, social networking sites have been meanness and any cruelty public for everyone to see. By seeing such bullies openly online, their behavior can be understood and so can the issues which are faced by young people which can allow meaningful discourse to begin on such related topics.

The chief executive of Shots, a mobile app which doesn’t allow comments, John Shahidi doesn’t believe that comments should be allowed due to which the main purpose of the app is to prevent any unnecessary drama to occur between teenagers which can take up a lot of energy. The main idea behind the development of the app was for teens to avoid facing any kind of public humiliation in front of strangers.

Counselors and therapists were asked of their opinion as well. A professor of counseling education at Penn State University, Richard J. Hazler observed that children don’t comprehend that what they do online has the potential of hurting the feelings of others. Teens are still not developed fully mentally due to which it is hard for them to understand the consequences of their actions. Due to this, it is the responsibility of parents to teach their children how to be sensible and for them to be able to judge the consequences of their actions.

Another therapist at The Family Institute at Northwestern University by the name of Dr. Hollie Sobel gives advice to parents that they should talk to their children about bullying and be supportive and understanding towards them.

These experts haven’t stated that parents shouldn’t monitor their children and have thus not said anything against this matter because many understand how important it is to keep a check on children. Through parental support, children can develop their coping skills which can greatly prevent them from bullying or being bullied online in the future.

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