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Tips For Helping Your Child Deal With Cyberbullying

A study done by the cyberbullying research center implies that 50% of teenagers experience cyberbullying in their high school years. And between them, only 10% of the teens tell their parents or guardians that they have been the victim of cyberbullying.

In this digital era, as technology advances, children use more Internet and electronic gadgets, and the risk of cyberbullying increases. To protect your child from bullying is essential to teach your child about cyberbullying and how to prevent it.

What is Cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying is the bullying that takes place over a digital device like cell phones, tablets, laptops, etc. Cyberbullying has been  a major issue that children are facing  for a long time, 

Bullying, the use of electronic communication to harass, threaten, embarrass, humiliate or target another person digitally. Examples include:

  • Spreading rumors or posting embarrassing photos of someone on social networking platforms.
  • Sending upset, cruel messages or threats via message, etc.  
  • Pretending to be someone else to spread hurtful messages online.
  • Hacking someone’s social networking profiles.

What are the Effects of CyberBullying?

Many kids who are bullied often don’t share what they are going through with their parents, friends, teacher, or trusted figure because they feel embarrassed or are afraid that their devices will be taken away or are not allowed to use social media at home. Some Effects of cyberbullying are:

  • Depression and anxiety.
  • Low self-esteem.
  • Feeling of worthlessness.
  • Lack of sleep.
  • Trust issues.

cyberbullying

Tips for Child on How to Prevent Cyberbullying

Educate Yourself:

To prevent cyberbullying, you must understand what it is. Research what is cyberbullying, how and where it happens, and talk with your family or friends about what you are seeing and experiencing.

Protect your Password:

Safeguard your social networking platforms, all important information, and documents from an interfering peer. Teach your child not to share their password and mobile phone unlock code with anyone, even with their best friend. Sometimes, friendship doesn’t last, and later can use that password used against you. 

You can take suggestions from passwords.connectsafely.org.

Think Before you Post:

Don’t post anything that can affect your reputation later. People will judge you based on how you appear to them online and believe what they see online, and also, bullies can use it against you.

Logout of Social Media on Public Devices:

If you use a public computer or someone else’s phone or laptops, cross-check that you have logged out of all your accounts or not. If you stay logged in on a public device or someone else’s device, there is a high chance of risk that the bullied may lock you out of your account and pretend to be you online.

Don’t Send Inappropriate Photos:

Teach your child that they should never send any inappropriate photos or videos to anyone because sometimes even the things that seem safe can be harmful to them. Please remind your child that once the text, photos, or videos are sent, it is out of their control.

 Even if you delete the text or photos immediately, it is of no use because people usually screenshot every small thing sent to them nowadays. And also,  can use it against you; digital footprints last forever.

Don’t Open Messages From an Unknown Person:

Educate your child not to accept any stranger friend request or open an unknown person’s text. Aware of your child about the consequences of talking to a random person. Accepting unknown person requests can affect privacy and opens up to being bullied online.

 

How Can Parents Protect Their Child From Cyberbullying?

Some advice for parents to protect their child from cyberbullying are mentioned below: 

Provide Comfort and Support:

Instead of yelling or scolding your children, calmly listen to their problems. Listening to the children calmly and actively encourages your child to keep talking to you. They feel free to share anything with you and can get beneath the surface chatter and provide open and honest communication.

Limit Access to Technology:

Even though it is harmful, many bullied children can’t resist the urge to check their phones to see any new message. Keep electronic gadgets like laptops, computers, tablets, etc., in common areas so that you can keep an eye on them and set the limit on the use of electronic gadgets. 

Be part of your Child Online Environment:

Ask to follow your child on social media platforms. Check the post site they visit and also be alert of how your child spends their time online. Know about their online friend- who are they? How do they treat your child?

Help Kids to Manage Cyberbullying:

  • Explain the potential risks and consequences of online bullying.
  • Try to ignore the bully rather than responding and fighting back.
  • Block the bully, save and print out the bully texts.
  • Assure your kids that you support and love them.

 

FAQ Section:

How to Report Cyberbullying?

When CyberBullying occurs, steps to take immediately are :

  • Don’t answer or forward a bullying message.
  • Talk to some about it.
  • Keep the evidence of bullying such as record the dates, times, descriptions when bullying occurs. Also, save and print screenshots of texts and emails and use this evidence to report bullying.
  • Block the person who is bullying.

 

If you don’t report incidents, the cyberbully will frequently become more violent. If you think there is some problem or your child is being bullied, then immediately look for help from CyberTip or Local Police.

Does Cyberbullying lead to depression?

Victims of bullying can encounter symptoms of depression, including sadness, low self-esteem, loneliness, low self-confidence, suicidal thought, feeling of worthlessness, insecurity, and many more.

Conclusion:

To protect your child from being bullied, make sure that you talk to them about bullying’s danger and consequences. Although you may not always be there to stop cyberbullying before it happens, there are some things you and your children can do to reduce the possibilities and keep them safe when they’re online.

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