Here, Carolyn Bunting of Internet Matters gives parents her advice for dealing with cyber bullying. Have bite-size conversations that are relevant to them. Bring digital experience into normal, everyday conversations. Be open and encouraging to make them feel supported. She said: “At first, the messages were silly then he started receiving abusive voice messages from the same boys.” Natalie decided to treat the incidents as she would with normal bullying, by speaking to the teachers at school, who managed to stop the abuse. I believe had we not talked about it, he might not have known how to react and tried to deal with it alone.” Even sites designed to allow kids to discuss topics they are worried about are turning into hotbeds for cyber bullying. I wouldn’t want to go to school but my mum would make me.A 15-year-old from Scotland was abused by classmates on the question-and-answer site Ask. A girl I thought used to be my friend started making up rumours, attacking me over Facebook, accusing me of doing stuff I had never done.Psychologist and Internet Matters ambassador Dr Linda Papadopoulos said: “Internet safety is one of the biggest, most pressing issues facing parents in the digital age.
“If kids go down the park, you would ask, ‘Who did you see? “At one time bullying might end for the day when a child left school at home time.As you can imagine, for a six-year-old, that is really upsetting.“There is the assumption cyber bullying won’t affect a child until secondary school.Tens of thousands are logging on to chat rooms attached to online computer games such as Call Of Duty — despite its 18 rating — and footie favourite FIFA 2017 to chat privately. Ensure your child feels listened to rather than cornered.One 12-year-old boy told The Sun on Sunday: “I have a password to log on to FIFA and can chat with my other friends who play. KEEPING up with children’s lives is hard enough without having to monitor the new ways they communicate. Talk with children from an early age to make it easier to maintain good communication. Choose to talk when you are due to spend some time together, like over a meal or during their bedtime routine. Model the behaviour you want them to show by sharing about your day. Ask open-ended questions and when they start talking, hold off with more questions and really listen to them. “My mum looks at what I post on Snapchat but she doesn’t know the chat exists on the FIFA game.” Mum Natalie Randall, from Nottingham told how her ten-year-old Conner, was targeted by school bullies who talked to him via Xbox Live building game Minecraft and targeted his You Tube channel.