Cyberbullying occurs when the Internet or mobile devices are being used to hurt feelings and create fear, sadness or anger in others. This has become common among boys and girls all over the world. Sending mean text messages or sharing embarrassing images online are two examples of cyberbullying.
If your child is experiencing cyberbullying, they may be reluctant to come clean with you, the reason; they worry that things will get worse. But if you realize it, you must act because it is a serious problem that will continue to occur without the intervention of adults.
It is important to know that cyberbullying leaves a digital trail, which can be used as evidence to identify the problem, realize what is really happening and stop the abuse. What should we do as parents to prevent and stop cyberbullying? Below, we’ll help you identify the signs and give you ideas on how to intervene. However, it is important to keep in mind that this problem requires teamwork that includes the directors and the general staff of the educational institution in which your child studies and in many cases even the police.
What are the signs and indicators that your child is being cyberbullied?
1. Become emotionally distressed when using the telephone or the Internet.
2. Being extremely cautious or discreet about their life online.
3. Alterations in eating, sleeping, behavior or mood.
4. Feeling anxious when receiving a message, text, or email.
5. Not wanting to go to school and making excuses such as feeling sick or not having to go.
The signs can be endless when it comes to noticing that your child is being cyberbullied. However, you can start with these that we just mentioned.
Tips to keep your child safe from cyberbullying:
- Make sure you have a great relationship with your child regardless of whether they are experiencing this situation.
- Avoid generating feelings of guilt in your child for what has happened and show your support and desire to solve the problem together.
- Help your child understand the importance of cutting off contact with anyone who is sending you communications that are offensive or uncomfortable. It is crucial to alert the proper authorities to the fact that your child is being bullied online.
- Keep screenshots of threatening language, images and messages. These can be presented as evidence to the stalker’s parents, the stalker’s school, the stalker’s job, or even the police.
- Participate in the Internet life of your children. On social media platforms, ask to “friend” or “follow” your child (but don’t abuse this right). In these spaces, get to know the people with whom your children interact and the activities they carry out.
- Check the websites your children visit and the posts they make and monitor how much time they spend online.
- Empower your child with specific steps they can take and make sure they trust you and know they have your support.
- Help them understand that they should not share teasing or annoying messages that other children do to their peers.
Responding quickly and decisively when cyberbullying is detected is crucial to protecting our children. Child Mind Institute mentions that “by making children aware that a safe world is everyone’s responsibility, we empower them to take positive actions, such as reporting a bully, flagging a cruel comment online or not forwarding a humiliating photo, which they can ultimately stop an episode of cruelty from escalating.” Be alert and look together for ways to perform, act, and prevent cyberbullying. If you need support with your children, contact us by calling 6179555093 or by email.