Imagine you’re going through your daily schedule and something unpleasant happens, like an accident, or your kid gets in trouble at school or online.
Your plans collapse and you need to focus on fixing the newly formed problem. This can happen every day, hour, or second.
The Cruelty we Live in
Whether we think about the online or offline world, parents and most kids can be victims of other people’s actions and behavior.
We are all witnesses of everyday bullying and harassment that children often go through. Bullies discriminate against race, age, gender, and nationality, and hurt others’ feelings.
And the consequences of this abnormal behavior are enormous, especially regarding mental issues, damaged personality, fear, losing faith, and total isolation.
Cyberbullying as a Form of Bullying
People can harm each other in different ways. Cyberbullying is the modern way. It includes harmful, aggressive, mean, rude comments, and posting content that upsets and harms young kids and teenagers using tech devices.
The only difference between bullying and cyberbullying is one is face-to-face, and the other is through a screen. Consequences are the same because the motivation of mean people is the same- harming a human person.
How Cyberbullying Begins
The intention of someone who uses tech devices for cyberbullying does not always begin with an aggressive and humiliating attitude.
Bullying might start with seemingly harmless comments, like jokes or teases, and slowly grows into harassment and bullying.
The Both Sides of Cyberbullying
Our children can either cyberbully people or are victims. In the middle are tech devices as the connection between these two roles.
Every one of us can have either role. Our actions define us as people, and we always face the consequences of what we do.
Informing Children About the Existence of Cyberbullying
We can’t allow our kids to spend time on tech devices, not thinking and caring about their safety.
Living with this mindset, we risk ourselves and our kid’s safety. It’s important to be aware and inform our children about cyberbullying in today’s world.
Studies show that approximately 46% of students in the US get cyberbullied, and about 14% are cyberbullies themselves.
Giving tech devices to our children and not informing them about the online culture and chances of becoming virtual victims is a big failure for us parents.
Can we Prevent Cyberbullying?
Yes, we absolutely can. Parents can do that by giving children the right information and transferring positive ethics.
But we can also bring cyberbullying close to its extinction. Let’s find out how!
Developing Digital Ethics
We, parents, must inform our kids how they should use technology, especially when they use social media.
We teach them to develop cultural and ethical behavior by saying: “Don’t do what you don’t want other people to do with you.”
And if parents continuously teach children not to hurt others, the number of online bullies will surely drop after some years pass by.
Creating Private Profiles on Social Media
When our kids create their social media accounts, we parents should strictly advise them to make them private.
If children have a public account, their chances of encountering digital bullies are much greater since they can more easily reach your child.
The Internet is an enormous world filled with both good-spirited and bad people. They approach children in different ways: through posts, direct messages, etc.
Their goal is to hack, scam, or bully your children just for the sake of it. So, always advise youngsters not to chat with strangers they don’t know online.
Being Good Brings you Good
The communities on social media are rather large and unique in their own way. Every user and member of an online community has their own opinion.
So, advise your children to stay respectful, polite, and friendly online, just like they should in the real world.
Starting altercations online can always result in bullying and threats both offline and online.
Block, Restrict, and Report
Every social media platform offers features that can help children avoid and prevent cyberbullying.
The most famous ones are the well-known block, restrict, and report buttons, which, well, give you the opportunity to block, restrict and report inappropriate users.
Behavioral Changes that Point to Cyberbullying
Children are sensitive and often give out that they’re unhappy about something. So you can easily determine when your child is being cyberbullied.
Children that are victims of cyberbullying tend to:
- Be depressed, have anxiety and other mental health problems;
- Have nightmares and are often scared;
- Be less talkative and more introverted;
- Stop using their computer or phone;
- Socialize less and lock themselves in their rooms;
- Lose focus and concentration resulting in lower grades;
- Experience panic attacks;
There is no age limit for cyberbullying. If your child demonstrates these strange “symptoms” you must check up on your child.
How to Overcome the Effects of Cyberbullying
When children are victims of cyberbullying, the ones that can help them most are parents. Let’s quickly go over the ways of helping victims of online bullying.
Communication and Empathy
Show compassion, even if your child doesn’t feel like talking. Be patient, show empathy, and shortly, be a parent.
Make sure your children know you understand them and are always there, no matter the circumstances.
Let them know they should trust you and tell you the details so you can report the mishap to the authorities.
If the case of cyberbullying is serious, and your child gets scarred and traumatized, it’s wise to seek help from professionals.
Studies say that counselors and therapists can help children regain their confidence and be happy again.
The digital world our children live in exposes them to a lot of dangers and harassment. Cyberbullying is well-known among youngsters and is a topic seldom talked about.
A lot of world-famous groups like UNICEF help the victims of online bullying and educate parents about the details. So, introduce your children to the dangers of cyberbullying, prepare them for the digital world, and let them know that you’re always on their side.