A Parent’s Guide to Cyber Bullying
Bullying of children has unfortunately existed throughout the ages and is truly a despicable practice. The problem is that with the electronics age upon us it has evolved into a more insidious, malicious and even deadly onslaught of hatred that bullies are able to expand upon. If you have children as young as 6 or 7 or as old as 17 to 18 you need to be aware of the threat of cyberbullies and to learn how to protect your kids from them. Learn about the Signs of Bullying Now!
What is cyber bullying?
Cyber bullying is defined as the use of the Internet and related technologies to harm other people, in a deliberated, repeated and hostile manner. In these modern times your child’s smart phone, computer, tablet or laptop can be used as a mean’s of destroying your child’s life just as easily as being a tool for learning and education.
Signs of bullying
Keep a close eye on your children and be alert for signs that something’s wrong:
- Do they seem to have trouble sleeping or are they falling behind in school?
- Are they shutting down their computer screens when you walk in?
- Are they acting depressed or argumentative when questioned?
- Are they becoming evasive about who they are talking to or texting with?
- Are they showing little interest in things that used to occupy their time and make them excited?
Things you can do as a Parent when you discover Signs of Bullying:
With the end result of cyberbullying victims being humiliation, low self esteem and suicidal thoughts it is essential that you do all you can to be aware of what is occurring in your child’s life.
- Keep open lines of communication with your children. Since the main goal of bullies is to isolate your children; you need them to know that you are ALWAYS there for them to talk to is they are feeling uncomfortable in any social situations.
- Keep their computer in a common area so that it is harder for them to hide what they are viewing. Engage them as to who they are chatting with and what’s going on in their lives.
- Keep up with who their friends are and what they are doing.
- Ask them if they or their friends have ever experienced cyberbullying and how they would handle it if they did
- If your computer skills are not up to par yourself take a computer class. Don’t make it easy for your child to hide this from you due to a lack of knowledge.
Further things to know as a Parent when it comes to Signs of Bullying:
- Your child will be terrified that you will respond to the bullying by confiscating their laptop, computer, tablet or smart phone. In the end they will probably try to hide what is happening to them in an effort to keep their devices.
- If you find evidence of cyberbullying DO NOT DELETE those messages. Keep a record of chats, blogs or websites that are involved and give them to the police. They can be traced back to the sender in order to prosecute them.
- Talk to your children about not responding to the cyber bully. This is what they feed upon. It gives them a sense of power and control which they need to thrive upon. Responding to emails, text messages, posts or instant messages just adds fuel to the fire and gives predators more ammunition for their manipulation of your child.
- There are a number of books and games on the market to help your child deal with bullying.
- Talk to your child’s school and ask what they are doing to deal with this issue. Encourage them to start programs addressing the issue with the student body if they haven’t already done so.
- Start a Parent’s Group with the parents of your child’s friends. Bring awareness of this growing problem and try to find constructive ways of dealing with it.
- Sit down with your children and reinforce the fact that any bullying being done against them is NOT their fault. Bullies are people with generally low self esteem who use their anonymity to tear down others in order to feel better about themselves.
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