As the internet continues to grow, so has the ability to bully someone online. Bullying in the past was restricted to face-to-face altercations, now these same altercations can be seen on the internet. Any hurtful dispute that happens on the internet is referred to as cyberbullying. According to UNICEF, more than ⅓ of kids in 30 countries have been the victim of online bullying.
As kids grow up, social media and technology will continue to be a part of their lives. Kids are even starting to get access to smart devices at younger ages. You cannot keep your kids off these incredible pieces of technology. However, you still want to protect them. While kids used to play outside games and socialize with friends in the neighborhood, children are now more likely to connect with their friends using their phone or computer. Let's look at what cyberbullying is and what you can do as a parent to stop it.
The term cyberbullying refers to the intentional and repeated harm inflicted on others through the use of electronic devices. As time goes on, we see these attacks occur much more frequently. This is becoming a severe problem and a serious public health threat for young people. We have seen these types of bullying done through text messages, instant messages, videos, photos, on social media, and many other ways.
How can you tell if someone is a victim of cyberbullying? Some signs will help determine if your child is experiencing bullying and cyberbullying. It is sometimes uncomfortable for younger kids to tell a trusted adult that they feel safe talking about their experience with bullying. If a child is being cyberbullied, they may appear nervous about notifications on their devices and have unexplained anger or depression if they are being in fact being bullied.
Parents need to stop online bullying by taking action and educating their children about using bullying prevention techniques. You will not know everything that your child is doing online and on social networking sites. Techniques that parents can do immediately is going through their child's device and account privacy settings, and enabling parental controls.
School administrators and parents do their best to prevent bullying, but it has become harder to detect now with the growth of technology. If you or someone you know is being cyberbullied, it is crucial to reach out to a friend or a family member. If you are the person they confide in, remember to respond adequately, as many times, people will respond rashly.
Bullying behavior is always going to occur in our child’s lives, and it may prove harder to detect than in the past. Parents need to make sure they know how to handle this appropriately and keep their kids safe. You want to keep your kid informed about how they can reach out to someone if they are a victim of bullying. Using these resources, you can stop cyberbullying in its tracks.