Cyberbullying / October 28, 2021

Bullying prevention: Top 5 resources

Nimmi Kanji

Nimmi Kanji

Director - Social Purpose Programs, For Good and TELUS Wise

Bullying prevention: top 5 resources - Image

October is National Bullying Prevention Month. PREVNet, a national research and knowledge mobilization hub that partners with researchers and organizations focused on fostering healthy relationships among children and youth, recently released a report (in partnership with TELUS) about young Canadians’ experiences with electronic bullying and sexting.

According to PREVNet, in 2020, 40% of youth said they had been electronically bullied at least once (compared to 42% in 2015) in the previous four weeks. On the surface, these stable stats seem promising, especially with youth spending more time online during the pandemic. But any cyberbullying is too much, and work still needs to be done to prevent it.

TELUS Wise has developed many bullying-prevention resources (created in partnership with organizations including PREVNet and MediaSmarts) geared toward educators, parents and youth, and to mark National Bullying Prevention Month, we’re profiling our top 5.

#1: Parent’s guide: Helping our kids deal with cyberbullying

This guide provides a definition and explanation of cyberbullying and offers advice and tips to prevent or reduce the impact of cyberbullying including:

  • Ongoing dialogue
  • Setting rules, standards and boundaries
  • Education and information
  • Gender-specific considerations
  • Identifying where there is greater risk
  • Sexting and consent

For parents with kids that are experiencing cyberbullying, the guide highlights signs of cyberbullying, actions you can take and how to help kids stand up to cyberbullying if they witness it.

#2: #EndBullying tip sheet

This tip sheet is geared more towards kids and youth that may be experiencing cyberbullying themselves or witnessing it happening to someone else. It offers tips specific to experiencing cyberbullying, witnessing cyberbullying and how to be kind online.

#3: Amber Mac Facebook live event

In honour of Pink Shirt Day in 2021, an international day dedicated to end bullying, tech expert Amber Mac interviewed Matthew Johnson, Director of Education for MediaSmarts. TELUS Wise partner, MediaSmarts, is a not-for-profit centre for digital and media literacy. They discussed a wide variety of topics focused on staying safe online and creating friendly online experiences including:

  • Examples of cyberbullying and common behaviours associated with it
  • Prevalence of cyberbullying
  • Do’s and don’ts for parents that want to learn more about the platforms kids are using and how to talk to them about their online lives
  • How to communicate values to kids and set boundaries around acceptable behaviours online
  • How to respond if your child is experiencing cyberbullying
  • How MediaSmarts and TELUS’ IMPACT! tool can help youth learn appropriate ways to intervene if they witness someone being cyberbullied

#4: TELUS Wise impact workshop (grades 6 – 9)

Also created in partnership with MediaSmarts, this workshop operates from the premise that we all have the power to make an impact and intervene when we witness cyberbullying. The workshop focuses on:

  • What to do if you experience cyberbullying
  • How to know if you’ve witnessed cyberbullying
  • How to react with impact if you witness cyberbullying (the best ways to intervene)
  • Three scenarios that profile different cyberbullying situations and how to intervene
  • Questions to ask before intervening and what to say based on the situation
  • Real experiences from youth who were cyberbullied and had support from friends

You can access the TELUS Wise impact workshop online or book a virtual workshop here.

#5: Parent’s guide: Talking to kids about forwarding sexts

The PREVNet report also examined the incidences of sexting. According to the findings, 56% of youth reported consensually sending sexts to a partner at least once since COVID-19 started (62% of 16 – 18 year olds compared to 36% of 12 – 13 year olds). Fifteen per cent of youth reported that they had forwarded a sexual image and/or video of another person without the consent of the original sender since COVID-19 started. The act of forwarding someone else’s sext without their permission is illegal and a severe form of cyberbullying.

This Parent’s Guide focuses on that issue. Specifically:

  • How to start the conversation around sexts and the harm forwarding can cause
  • Reiterating the most important message – never share someone else’s sext under any circumstance
  • Explain the concept of moral disengagement (excuses we make to justify doing something we know isn’t right)
  • Video resources highlighting four common moral disengagement excuses

You can find more information about how to discourage this common “culture of sharing” at telus.com/HowWouldUFeel.

Cyberbullying is a real concern for parents and their kids who live so much of their lives online. With the right resources, a commitment to ongoing education and the courage to have tough conversations, you can help your kids have positive experiences online and learn what it means to be responsible, caring and safe digital citizens.

Tags:
Kids & tech
Safe digital habits
Witness intervention
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