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what is it? :: how it works :: why cyberbully? :: prevention :: take action :: what's the law?

> In this section:
Common sense to Cybersense :: Is my child at risk? :: Parents biggest concerns :: What's the parent's role? :: Google yourself :: What methods work with the different kinds of cyberbullies? :: Telling the difference :: Instant Messaging 101 :: A quick guide to responding to a cyberbullying incident :: Community programs :: Wired Kids Summits :: Wired Kids Summits: Cyberbullying - Youth-Empowered Solutions :: Internet Superheroes :: Teenangels

What's the parent's role?

Like everything else in life, it all comes back to us, the parents. We wish that we could get more help from others - from schools, from the community, from the law enforcement community. But the buck stops on our desk. So, let's stop griping and figure out what we can do.

Start by figuring out what you know and what you don't know, and be gentle with yourself. Few know anything about this. That's why Parry makes the big bucks. :-)  Then, don't be embarrassed to ask for help. Here, at, from your child's school and even from your child. They are the most affordable computer experts that still do house calls. And they love turning the tables on us by being the experts.

The recruit allies. Other parents, the school librarian or library media specialist, their technology teacher, guidance counselors and even their pediatrician. Reach out to your church, synagogue, temple or mosque. Ask your local parent teacher association, scouts, Boys or Girls' Clubs, YMCA or YMHA and community child protection advocates. Unless we all join together, we can never address the problem of this magnitude- raising cybersavvy kids who are good cybercitizens.

When cyberbullying is concerned, you need to know when and how to react. You can learn more about that by reading our quick guide for parents about what to do if your child is cyberbullied, as well as our checklist for serious incidents to guide you when to bring in law enforcement or others. Just remember when in doubt, report it. Err on the side of being more cautious, rather than less. And by teaching your children to take a stand against cyberbullies and tormenters of all kinds, we can help society improve too.

While we are at it, your child stands just as good a chance of being a cyberbully as being cyberbullied. Many kids go back and forth, sometimes in the process of one cyberbullying campaign. Read over the descriptions of the kinds of cyberbullies, and why they do what they do. Do you recognize your child in the group?

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