How to Protect Kids from Cyberbullying
Hiding behind a screen can bring out the worst in some people.
According to a study conducted by the Cyberbullying Research Center, about 34 percent of middle and high school students say they’ve been cyberbullied, which is defined as “when someone repeatedly and intentionally harasses, mistreats, or makes fun of another person online or while using cell phones or other electronic devices.”
Social media is continuously evolving to where everything is transitioning towards live platforms, whether it is Instagram or Facebook. It is important to emphasize on the newest screen recording technology that can help capture any brief, but public forms of bullying. While they can remove that live experience afterwards, you can capture any forms of harassment in the moment. Unfortunately, while cyber bullying is becoming much more accessible in the digital age, there are more efficient ways to capture and report it.
It’s important to ensure that your child is not a victim of cyberbullying. The practice can affect your child’s behavior and performance at both school and home.
Here are some signs to look for if you believe that your child is possibly being cyberbullied:
- He or she suddenly avoids formerly enjoyable social situations. If your child begins separating themselves from friends, or avoiding hanging out in public, this could be a red flag, especially if they’re normally outgoing.
- He or she seems withdrawn, upset or outraged after texting or being online. Find out where this anger is coming from.
- He or she avoids going to school. If your child tries to avoid going to school regularly, this can be a sign they’re being cyberbullied.
- He or she has unexplained stomachaches or headaches. Stomachaches and headaches can be a result of anxiety and stress due to constantly being tormented by others.
- He or she has trouble sleeping at night. Keep an eye on your child’s sleep patterns. Watch for increased nightmares or lack of sleep.
As the parent, you have the ability to help protect your child from being cyberbullied. While it’s great to give your child space and allow them their own privacy, it is okay to intervene when your child’s safety and health is at risk.
- Check in with your child frequently. Ask your child how they’re doing and if they’re okay. Create a safe space for your child to feel comfortable talking to you about issues that are bothering them.
- Check your child’s social media. Follow their social media accounts and check their phones periodically. Read through the comments under the posts and the direct messages. Maybe even check your child’s list of blocked users.
- Ask teachers about your child’s behavior at school. Seek to find out how they’re interacting with the other students and whether they’re eating lunch alone or spending recess time by themselves.
- Emphasize the importance of self-love and self-care. Always help boost your child’s self-esteem. Helping your child become more confident in himself or herself will have a long-lasting effect.
Remember that you’re the parent and you have the right to be informed of what your child is doing. If you notice any signs that concern you, it’s time to take matters into your own hands. By following the above tips, you can help prevent your child from being cyberbullied.
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