Bullying and Cyberbullying

Bullying has become an increasingly common issue among young people.  Once you become aware that your son/daughter is being bullied then it should be addressed for the safety and welfare of the young person.  Likewise if your son/daughter is the bully it needs to be addressed and stopped.  There are lots of websites available that provide helpful tips and resources for you as a parent.

Foróige Against Bullying (F.A.B.) programme explores issues of bullying and support young people to develop the skills needed to deal to with bullying. After completing the programme young people will be able to recognise and deal with bullying behaviour in a positive way.

For more information contact Susan McLoughlin 086 6064291

Useful Link: http://www.tusla.ie/uploads/content/Teenagers_coping_with_bullying_d5.pdf

Cyberbullying & Internet Safety

A 2015 survey revealed that one in four Irish teenagers have experienced cyberbullying.  This form of bullying can have a particularly devastating effect on young people, and due to the nature of it young people often feel like there is no escape from it.  It can take place in many different ways and across many different platforms such as by text, e-mail, Facebook, Snapchat and other social media sites and apps.

It can be difficult to know if your child is being cyber-bullied, or is bullying someone else online as there are often no witnesses to the bullying.  There is however some signs that parents/guardians can look out for so a possible issue can be addressed.  If your child seems nervous or distressed when they receive a text, instant message etc, or depressed after spending time online or on their phone, and if they become reluctant to socialise or leave the house.

With so many new apps and websites appearing all the time it can be hard to keep up, but there are some tips to minimise the risk.  Place the family computer in an open area in your home, openly discuss privacy settings with your young people, make sure their online profiles don’t include any personal information, and monitor their internet use.  The most important thing is to have an open dialogue about internet safety and cyberbullying, and to make sure they know they can ask for help if they need it.

Donegal Youth Service offer one-to-one support for young people and parents who have concerns about cyberbullying and internet safety, as well as seminars and age appropriate workshops for young people, schools, youth groups, teachers and parents.  For more information contact Gareth Gibson, Youth Information Manager on 074 91 29630

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