Bullying is unfortunately one of the issues that arise as a result of technology. Cyberbullying is when a person is bullied through the use of electronic communication, such as sending intimidating or threatening messages.
Some children were once only bullied at school, but with the rise of connected devices and the ever-expanding Internet of Things, cyberbullying has become a problem.
In a bid to stay current on social media sites, young children and teens are now sharing more personal information on their pages, exposing them to cyberbullying.
In young children and teenagers, cyberbullying has been connected to a variety of mental health issues, including depression, drug use, and even suicide.
Unfortunately, because their children are afraid of getting into additional trouble, parents are generally the last to learn about difficulties.
While completely removing young children from social media may appear to be the simplest and most effective way for parents to protect them from cyberbullying, it does not help them grow into resilient individuals capable of dealing with the barrage of abuse that the world throws at them both online and offline.
As a result, it's critical for parents to be involved in their children's digital lives and to understand how digital devices and social media platforms work.
Experts suggest the following ten strategies to safeguard your children from the dangers of cyberbullying.
1. Early on, establish appropriate boundaries
2. Encourage open, healthy conversation.
Encourage your child to come to you first if they have any questions or concerns about their school relationships or online activities, according to Thompson. This will help safeguard them from cyberbullying. If kids broach the topic of acquiring their phone, computer, or social media account, he suggests talking about the rights and responsibilities that come with it.
3. Create opportunities for learning.
Thomson asserts that When it's appropriate, get the whole family together to talk about personal or national tales regarding cyberbullying, privacy, and other internet dangers. Use these occasions as icebreakers for discussions about what is and isn't acceptable online, as well as what you and your child can do in the event of an emergency.
Inquire about your child's reactions to specific occurrences and solicit ideas on how you might best assist them online.
4. Pay attention to how much time your child spends online
If you need to check your child's internet account but don't have a prior agreement in place, it's usually better to talk to them about your concerns and plans ahead of time (or immediately afterwards, if the situation is truly urgent).
Explain why you believe or believe it is vital to take action, and include them in the decision-making process.
5. Keep an eye on any sudden changes in behavior.
an eye out for any sudden behavioural changes in your child, as they
could indicate something more serious. Thompson continued, Isolation,
disengagement, and dislike to previously enjoyed hobbies or social
circumstances can all be signs of cyberbullying.
It's rarely advisable to break your child's confidence by skimming through their text messages or private communications without their awareness unless it's an extraordinary scenario. This might easily backfire, leading to even more secrecy.
6. Don't let your emotions get the best of you
When it comes to cyberbullying, it's better to express gratitude to your child for sharing their worry with you and work together to find a long-term solution.
Pattie Fitzgerald, a childcare and internet safety education expert, stated that a parent should Be supportive and understanding if your child is being bullied. Determine how long the bullying has been going on, who the bullies are, and how you will collaborate to find a solution. Make it clear to your child that he or she is not to responsible for being bullied.
6. Telling your child to "shrug it off" is not a good idea.
7. Keep a note of bullies and report them to their school
Sherri Gordon, a bullying prevention expert, recommended parents to keep messages, comments, and postings as proof. This includes emails, blog entries, social media posts, tweets, text messages, and so on, according to Gordon. Although your child's first impulse may be to delete everything, tell them that you can't prove cyberbullying without evidence.
You should be allowed to delete comments once you've gathered the evidence and spoken with the school and the police.
If the cyberbullying occurred on school grounds, she said, reporting the incident was critical because it would make it easier to identify and punish the bullies, potentially putting an end to the practice.
8. Seek counseling and assistance
To assist your kid in healing, seek out a competent therapist. If you observe changes in your child's mood, sleeping patterns, or eating habits, you should get them examined by a healthcare expert.
9. Participate in lobbying campaigns.
your child is dealing with cyberbullying, it's best to take a step back
and look at the broader picture. Participating in and organizing
activities and seminars can assist your kid in overcoming cyberbullying,
which may also affect other youngsters. Consider assisting in the
planning of school-wide, student-led cyberbullying events and campaigns,
and talk with school administration about suitable activities and
These efforts can help raise awareness and involve kids in a proactive, positive way in addressing social media hazards â€“ without casting an unwelcome focus on your child's personal experiences.â€