What To Do If Your Child Is Being Cyberbullied

According to the Webster Dictionary, cyberbullying is bullying or harassment through electronic or digital means. It is also known as online bullying. The sad truth is that cyberbullying becomes more common as technology becomes more widespread. It is so important that our children stay safe on social media.

About 37% of young people between the ages of 12 and 17 have been bullied online. 30% have had it happen more than once, according to DoSomething.Org. Cyberbullying can occur on several platforms, such as messaging apps, gaming platforms, and so on. However, it seems to be most prevalent on social media. According to a 2019 report by the Cyberbullying Research Centre, most cases of cyberbullying occur on popular social media sites like Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and even TikTok. Social media was created to allow people to share moments and communicate with their friends, but many twist this function and instead use it to spread hate.

On these social networking sites, cyberbullies (often called “trolls”) can make painful and emotionally damaging comments anonymously. These comments can be posted publicly on a user’s page or even privately, in a direct message (DM). This is what makes cyberbullying on social media so different from regular bullying and so much more dangerous, too. An unlimited number can see the bully’s remarks of people, which further perpetuate the victim’s feelings of helplessness.

what to do when your child is being bullied

Effects of Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying has many adverse effects on our children, sometimes even more than traditional bullying, according to Verywell Family. This is because cyberbullying can occur at any time and place, making it more relentless and overwhelming for the victim. Secondly, cyberbullying usually occurs without witnesses as it could just be the child receiving the messages. This makes the bullied kids feel like they have a big, stressful secret that affects them mentally and brings about feelings of depression and anxiety.

What Can You Do?

The good news is that cyberbullying is not entirely undetectable. Parents and guardians can spot if a child is being cyberbullied through changes in the child’s behaviour. Suppose a child begins to show uneasiness when leaving the house, nervousness, and frustration while browsing the internet, loss of interest in their hobbies, and unwillingness to discuss their online activities. In that case, chances are that child is being cyberbullied.

All hope is not lost if parents realize that a child is being cyberbullied. There are courses of action one can take to help the child. Parents should reassure the child that they are loved and supported, and the bully only wants to make them feel small so that they can feel big. They should encourage the child to take a break from the internet and identify the bully if they know the person’s identity. Parents should talk things through with the child, so they can understand just how impacted the child has been by the bullying and connect the child with a children’s mental health professional if possible.

what to do when your child is being bulliedIn conclusion, cyberbullying is dangerous, and parents and guardians need to be vigilant to recognize the signs in children and intervene. Parents should take steps to prevent cyberbullying. These steps involve monitoring children’s internet activity and creating an atmosphere of open dialogue in the home. Hence, children know they can talk to them about anything.

Read Also: What You Need to Know about Cyberbullying and your Child

How to Bully-Proof your Child

How To Teach Children To Choose Respect Over Bullying

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