A study conducted by UK based charity Beatbullying showed that almost 73% of the people knew who was sending them bullying messages.
If you are a parent of a teenager, remember that cyberbullying is more common among teenagers and keep reading this post in order to get a few insights on protecting your kids from the cyber neurotics.
Steps to prevent cyber bullying.
- Talk to your kids, at least once in a month, about being kind to other online friends and users, and also ask them if they have faced any incident of cyberbullying.
- Explain them that why it is not a good idea to post negative comments about their friends, and discourage them to reply to any negative comments targeted at them.
- Encourage your children to learn more about online safety and help them develop personal skills such as how to react to difficult or embarrassing comments.
Signs that your kids are being cyber-bullied
- Do they appear isolated and sad? Are they looking anxious or distressed for no apparent reason?
- Have you checked the recent grades of your kids? Are they performing inconsistently in comparison to their previous academic records?
- Do you notice any change the way they used to go online. Are they going online on irregular times? Have they stopped using mobile phones or computers?
- Whenever you see a sign of depression, talk to them.
The legal position
A few US states have introduced legislation for cyber-bulling. But many countries are still not concerned about it and do not have any legislation to protect their kids against the dark side of cyber life.
What to do if you kids are being cyber-bullied?
- As a parent, it is your duty to equip your children with the tools they need to prosper in their life, let it be online or offline.Teach them how to be strong both morally and psychologically.Also, demonstrate them how to cope up with difficult and unwanted situations.
- Tell your children that you they should inform you when they receive any abusive messages. Assure them that you are there to protect them and a message has no power to do anything to them.
- Demonstrate them how to block messages in phones and social networks.
- Discourage them to respond to abusive messages, emails or calls. Tell them that bullies are psychologically weak and ill and they enjoy when someone responds to their abusive messages. You will help bullies to get normal if you do not respond to them.
- Tell them not to delete the messages because you can use it as evidence in order to take legal action against the bullies, if you want to do that.
- Tell them not to share these messages with other kids or anyone else. If the other kids come to know that your kids are being bullied, they may make joke of it or spread it to their friends for fun, which may affect your kids mentally. Besides, this will encourage the cyber-bullies to bully more kids.
Fact about cyber bullies.
The main reason why children become cyber bully is that they think it is funny and easy way to humiliate a kid whom they do not like. Besides, many have no idea that cyber-bullying is an offence.
What should I do if I discover my kid is a cyber-bully?
Though it is difficult to track what your kids are doing online and how they are interacting with others, you will always have the option of educating your children about the adverse consequence of cyberbullying. Remember that even if your children never appear to do bully someone in the real-life or their personality may not show any sign that they can become bully, it is extremely easy to do cyberbullying and even a good kid can do it inadvertently drawing inspiration from other kids. So, your job is:
- Educate them how to behave with someone in online and in offline. Tell them that behind every social profile there is a beautiful mind that wants love, care and attention. If you make bad remarks or send negative message to someone, they can also do it. If they do so, how you would feel. Write a few rules and post it in your wall.
- Treat everybody equally, no matter who they are.
- Also, let them know that what actions you may take if you found them bullying someone. The actions you may take are:
- Allow limited or no access to social media for a month.
- Seize their computer and phones until you find positive sign in their attitude.
- Besides, you can talk to the class teacher of your kids to learn about how they behave in the school. Also, make sure if the school has any strategy to protect children against cyber-bullies.
There are still scopes of research to do to find out the root causes that encourage a kid to bully other kids and why the majority of them do it only when they go online. Your kid may appear shy type in front of you, but they may be involved in online bullying incidents. Do not hate the kid that is involved in such incident because he or she may be going through difficult circumstance in life and they use social media as a venting ground for their emotional agony. If you are reading this post, you may help other parents by sharing this post and discuss with them. You are welcome to post you experience so as I can improve this post with your feedback.