With bullying running so rampant through schools, many parents don’t think about the threats that are coming in through their child’s phone. 1 in 3 children will experience some form of cyber threat during their life.
Cyberbullying has the potential to be much more harmful than physical bullying because it doesn’t stop. Most children have access to a phone or a computer, so they’re always vulnerable to attack.
It can be hard to know how to handle cyberbullying, because it can follow your child around in their pocket. It can still be done though, as long as you are paying attention.
What is Cyberbullying?
Before we get into how to stop cyberbullying, it’s important to know more about it. Cyberbullying is a form of bullying that can happen anywhere and everywhere. Bullies use technology to harass their victims through texts, social media, and even emails.
Cyberbullying can be more devastating than regular bullying because the victim can be harassed at any point during the day. No place is safe, even home. Furthermore, because cyberbullying rarely comes with face to face contact, it is much easier for a bully to say things that are far more harsh than they would if they were saying it to their victim’s faces.
Like most other forms of bullying, if cyber harassment is left unchecked it can cause lasting mental trauma in the form of depression and anxiety.
What Should I Tell My Child to Do if They’re Being Cyberbullied?
Often times your child won’t tell you if they’re being cyberbullied. If they do tell you, or you figure it out, there are a number of things you can tell them to do.
Turn off the Device
The one benefit of the harassment being exclusively limited to technology rather than physical torment is that the source can be turned off. Encourage your child to step away from the computer or put the phone down and ignore the bully.
The one thing your child needs to be aware of is that the bully wants to get a reaction out of them. That’s why they’re doing what they’re doing. So, it’s best for your child to ignore them.
This can be hard because in the heat of anger your child will want to respond, but that will only add fuel to the fire.
Block the Bully
If your child is being harassed via social media, then show them how to block the bully. If they’re sending them threatening messages via IM, then your child can delete them without ever reading them.
Print the Messages and Save Them
If none of these tips stop the bully, tell your child to save the messages so they can be printed. You can then show these messages to a principle or a parent if you figure out who the bully is.
If the harassment is too severe, you can use these messages as evidence to show the authorities as well.
How to Handle Cyberbullying and Keep Your Child Safe
Cyberbullying is sometimes considered the worst form of bullying because it can follow the victim everywhere they go. If your child is being harassed, knowing how to handle cyberbullying can assist you in giving them the advice they need to make it stop. Protect your child from online aggressors.
Even if you stop the cyberbullying, the mental trauma that your child went through can stick with them. Contact us to ask about our counseling services.