What Is Bullying:

Repeated negative behaviour that is intended to make others feel upset, uncomfortable and unsafe.

Anti bullying

The Diana Award’s Anti-Bullying Campaign involves a number of different projects aimed at reducing bullying in schools. One of the main projects is the Anti-Bullying Ambassadors programme which has trained over 24,000 young people across the UK to lead on anti-bullying campaigns in their schools.

Set up in 2011, the Anti-Bullying Ambassador programme is part of the charity the Diana Award. In 2013 the programme received funding from the Department for Education. The programme offers resources and training to schools and youth organisations in England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Northern Ireland. After receiving the training students become Anti-Bullying Ambassadors in schools. In their role they help educate their peers on bullying, lead on anti-bullying campaigns, promote a culture which celebrates and tolerates difference and help keep their peers safe both online and offline.

What Is Cyberbullying:

The use of electronic communication to bully a person, typically by sending messages of an intimidating or threatening nature.

Online Safety Guidance for Parents:

Online spaces, games and media form a large part of life for young people growing up today. It offers a platform to connect with others, connect with others and to learn.

 

Risks

Of course there are risks associated with being online, as there are with all aspects of life. These include:

  • Exposure to inappropriate content

  • Sharing too much personal information

  • Connecting with harmful people and

  • Spending unhealthy amounts of time online.

 

Have a conversation

One of the best ways to help young people stay safe online is to talk to them about what they do.  If you understand the situations they encounter you’ll be better placed to offer them advice on how to deal with them.

 

Instant Messaging

Instant Messaging is a great way to socialise and keep up to date with what’s going on right now. But just as you wouldn’t let them go off and talk to complete strangers on the street, if your child is using messenger services you should:

  • Look at the privacy settings

  • Ensure they understand that they may be talking to people they don’t know and the risks this brings

  • Talk to them about what is and isn’t appropriate to send.

 

Apps

Apps can be a positive place for your child to socialise with peers. Many enable instant messaging, social networking and image sharing. Some, like YouTube, can also be a great creative outlet. But consider:

  • Privacy settings and age relevance

  • Talking to them about the content they share

  • Discussing the consequences of sharing messages and images.

 

Gaming

Gaming is fun but be aware that it can be all consuming. Some things to consider:

  • Use the gaming consoles’ safety settings

  • Agree with your child how much time they can spend playing online

  • Pay attention to the PEGI (age) ratings and what they mean

  • Remember that some online games have inbuilt chat functions

  • Be aware that your child might use servers or 3rd party applications to access interactive online communities.

 

Live Streaming

Broadcasting online brings an instant thrill that can be addictive. Encourage them to think about:

  • Body image – talk to them about how they want to be perceived online and who their audience might be

  • Privacy – how do they protect it? You can’t edit something that is going out ‘live’

  • Age appropriate – is the site they’re using appropriate for them? Most social media sites are aimed at 13 year olds and upwards. If not, is there a way to make it safer for them (e.g. YouTube Kids).

 

Bullying

Remember, it’s not the technology that’s the problem, it’s the bullies’ behaviour. Support them by:

  • Talking about bullying issues

  • Making sure young people know that they can turn to you for support

  • Reporting any incidents – it will help your child and others too.

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