Table of Contents (Find Your Tip!)
- How Can You Help Your Child Cope With Cyberbullying?
- What Are The Effects of Cyberbullying on Kids?
- Sleep Disturbances
- Eating Issues
- Academic Issues
- Feelings of Humiliation, Isolation, and Powerlessness
- Low Self-Esteem
- Depression and Anxiety
- Tips To Help Your Child Stay Safe Online
- How To Stop Cyberbullying
- Broaden Your Knowledge
- Be More Involved
- Implement Rules
- Report Cyberbullying
Cyberbullying pertains to the intentional acts of intimidation, harm, or coercion through the use of electronic gadgets, online platforms, or social networking sites. This could be in the form of threatening text messages, insulting posts, discriminatory statements, and so much more. Like how it is in schools, cyberbullying usually involves children or teenage kids. Studies show that 37% of kids aged 12-17 have been bullied online.
More cyberbullying laws are being implemented to protect children and adults alike; nevertheless, parents shouldn’t be complacent. Parents, especially the less tech-savvy ones, won’t even know their kids are being bullied until it’s too late.
Aside from learning about the definition of cyberbullying, go the extra mile and try to understand their social media life and online habits. Even if they’ve already fallen victims, be sure to proactively look for ways on how you can help your child cope with cyberbullying. We’ll be sharing a few tips like utilizing people search engines in steering them away from such a situation.
How Can You Help Your Child Cope With Cyberbullying?
Bullying continues to persist no matter how advanced we’ve become as a society. It has evolved with technological advances giving birth to cyberbullying. Cyberbullying has become so rampant that it has given birth to the Cyberbullying Research Center and other movements/organizations that aim to study the effects of cyberbullying on kids and adults alike. They aim to help victims cope and help parents in helping their kids cope.
Children are frequently exposed to cyberbullying on social media and other online communities. One hateful comment on a social media post or one malicious message could traumatize a child. Make it a point to be present in your child’s life, aware of what’s happening in their personal as well as digital life. Learn to recognize changes in your kid’s behavior and listen to the underlying message in their cryptic or dismissive answers.
If your children, unfortunately, get exposed to bullying online, help them cope with it.
- Talk with and be there for them. Ask questions but be careful not to push too hard.
- Investigate by asking teachers, friends, or fellow parents about the bullying.
- Encourage positive friendships, both personal and online. Make your kids realize they could have genuine friends.
- Educate them about cyberbullying. Give them the knowledge and tools to stand up for themselves.
- If you find the situation has gone too far, don’t hesitate to ask for help.
What Are The Effects of Cyberbullying on Kids?
Knowing exactly what is cyberbullying is a good first step but you would have to truly understand the effects of cyberbullying on your kid to deal with it properly.
Anyone could fall victim to an online bully. Anti-cyberbullying movements send strong messages about their disturbing effects. The continuous rise in the number of victims of bullying online is worrisome considering it could have a physical, emotional, and mental impact on children.
Victims could experience changes in sleep patterns. They can suffer from insomnia, oversleeping, or nightmares.
Kids may skip meals or binge eat which could lead to full-blown eating disorders.Studies also show the stress of cyberbullying may cause gastrointestinal problems.
Kids may not want to go to school especially if the person bullying them online attends the same school. The stress may also cause them to lose interest in school.
Feelings of Humiliation, Isolation, and Powerlessness
Cyberbullies could cause great emotional stress on their victims. Victims may feel exposed, embarrassed, ostracized, and overwhelmed.
Cyberbullies usually target one’s vulnerabilities leaving the victims feeling unaccepted which could lead to extremely low self-esteem.
Depression and Anxiety
Continuous bullying online could lead to depression and anxiety. Victims could even resort to self-harm and suicide.
Tips To Help Your Child Stay Safe Online
Social media has become a part of every kid’s daily routine. About 90% of children aged 13-17 have used such online platforms. If your child is among these kids, be sure to closely monitor their online activities and chat messages. Be sure you’re well aware of whom they’re interacting with online, or who they’re exchanging messages with.
Never belittle what cyberbullying can do to a kid. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young kids/children, and studies show that at least half of these are related to online bullying or cyberbullying. Here are some tips to help your child stay safe online.
- Limit their screen time.
- Implement house rules about the use of electronic gadgets, social media, or any online platforms.
- Utilize built-in parental controls on your kid’s device.
- Install social media monitoring apps or any third-party security software.
- Follow them on all their social media accounts.
- Initiate conversations regarding their online friends and online activities.
- Equip them with proper knowledge like online etiquette; teach them about respect.
- Always remind your child about online dangers/threats; remind your kid to be always extra careful.
- Familiarize yourself with any law against cyberbullying.
How To Stop Cyberbullying
Follow their social media activities, monitor their online engagements, track their messages – whatever you think is necessary to prevent your kids from being cyberbully victims. Here are some recommendations on how you can efficiently and effectively stop cyberbullying.
Broaden Your Knowledge
It’s not enough to learn what is cyberbullying. Be sure to explore and gather as much information as you can about the platforms they use, about the people they’re interacting with, about everything that’s trending, and the like. It also helps to familiarize yourself with cyberbullying laws.
Be More Involved
Be more involved in your child’s life – from their interests to their habits to their routines to their circles of friends. Initiate open and positive communication – make them feel like they can reach out to you about anything, especially if they’re being cyberbullied.
Regardless if they’re tech-savvier than, you, be sure to maintain the upper hand in terms of the gadgets used at home. Create house rules – use positive reinforcement or implement consequences that they’ll take seriously. It also helps to initiate offline/outdoor activities. By doing all these, you’re steering them away from spending most of their time online, limiting the possibility of exposing them to cyberbullies.
Report and block cyberbullies through the platform’s built-in alert system or safety protocols. Then, we recommend you file a formal complaint to your local police, to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), or other agencies/organizations.