Living in the technological era, people are very much aware of the huge importance of digital devices and of the Internet today. From the essential information you need to find out to the content that makes you laugh or cry, the components of the new media age come in handy. People from all ages can use them in various ways, yet keep in mind that they must be used properly because if not, they can cause harm, in forms you will never ever like. And one of those forms is cyberbullying.
A grave problem within many countries is bullying. Sadly, it has a number of types, and cyberbullying is among the most common of them. Basically, cyberbullying is bullying that happens online and through any kind of digital gadget. You often witness it on social media and online gaming spaces. It can be in the figures of offensive private messages and ridiculing public posts, contemptuous false rumors, hacking to ruin someone’s identity and many more!
CYBERBULLYING AND CHILDREN
Children and teenagers are on top of the list of victims in cyberbullying. A lot of young people’s lives get wrecked and get lost because of the effects of this online harassment. All aspects are seriously affected; mental, emotional, social and physical are tainted in many ways, seen and unseen.
Cyberbullying is really dangerous, and it should be cut to pieces. It is truly heartbreaking to see and know of innocent youth being abused online, so what more if it’s your children that get victimized? You will be sad and mad for sure. What if they already are experiencing it now? Of course, you should do something! Cyberbullying is never to be tolerated, and children suffering from it must be helped.
This piece is specifically for parents with kids who are going through cyber harassment. Awareness is the first most crucial thing to have, so you’ll know the next steps to take. There’s a tendency that children won’t tell or admit that they are cyberbullied, so it is important to have constant personal communication with them and to be someone they can trust. Monitoring their online activities is also a must. If you discover that they are indeed victims of cyberbullying, you can’t just ignore it! Here are 7 paramount ways to save your child from the fangs of cyberbullying.
1 – COLLECT PROOF OF CYBERBULLYING.
Sometimes, children do not immediately distinguish that they are being bullied by their friends or playmates online because they’re just “kidding” and “having fun”. They notice it only when they feel really hurt and offended.
For parents, again, being friends with your children on social media accounts is valuable. In that way, you can see what’s up with them about things they don’t directly tell you. Parents, especially mothers, are connected to their children in ways deeper than anyone who isn’t a parent can know. They instantly detect when something is wrong with their kids, offline and online. This is particularly very important when your kids are not openly speaking with you about things that bother them.
Well, regardless of whether your children show you that they are being disturbed online or you just have a hunch that they are, collect proof! Gather evidence of cyberbullying towards your kids. Screenshot posts, comments, messages, photos, videos and everything else used in this misconduct. You don’t have to wait to see so much. Even just the first time you witness it, take it as proof. This data will benefit you when you confront the bully or when things get worse.
2 – REPORT AND BLOCK ALL CYBERBULLYING POSTS AND CULPRITS.
Cyberbullying happens over and over again. One of the quickest ways to knock them off is by reporting and blocking all the posts and culprits. Do these within all social networking sites.
It would be best to have another account to observe the activities of the bullies, if they’re awfully tenacious. They won’t be able to see and contact your children online, but you can still watch over those wrongdoers and do something in case they still slander your kids.
Ask your loved ones, Facebook friends, Twitter and Instagram followers and everyone you know to report and block the cyberbullies, so their accounts can be shut down by the social media administrators.
3 – PREVENT AND STOP THEM FROM BLAMING THEMSELVES.
Some bullied kids blame themselves for being bullied. For instance, some are bullied for their skin color, so they think that they really are supposed to be oppressed for how they look. Others are being teased for their weaknesses, and they themselves get disappointed about their lackings. These situations and more are just heart-wrenching.
Prevent and stop children from blaming themselves by telling them that they’ve done nothing wrong and that the perpetrators are to be responsible. These bullies do what they do because they think they’re superior when they’re not. Cyberbullying will never be acceptable. Nobody, no child, deserves to suffer from it. It’s not the bullied children’s fault but the bullies’. Tell and show them how much they are loved.
4 – COMMUNICATE WITH THEIR TEACHERS TO ENSURE THEY ARE SAFE IN SCHOOL.
If bullying can happen online, it can happen offline. The cyberbullying that your kids are experiencing can happen real-life. It can occur in school, especially if their bullies are their schoolmates.
Communicate with their teachers to ascertain that they are safe in school. Let their advisers know that they are being bullied online, so they can better supervise and protect your children while you are entrusting them to their care.
5 – CONTACT MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT PROGRAMS FOR YOUR CHILD.
Inevitable are the mental and emotional damages that cyberbullying imprints on victims. Depression and anxiety are among the most common and the most deleterious consequences. Unfortunately, some even end up having suicidal thoughts because of these. These should alarm and alert every parent, especially those with cyberbullied children.
Aside from comforting them yourself and securing them as much as you can, contact mental health support programs that will help you help your child from the adverse effects of this oppression. Psychological professionals and coaches can assist parents to understand kids better. They can also help kids stand strong and overcome the struggles they face during and after getting cyberbullied.
6 – TAKE NECESSARY LEGAL ACTIONS.
Cyber harassment can be in diverse shapes. Teasing is the most basic, but others following it can become terribly destructive. Some defile reputations. Others step on people’s whole being. Some coerce victims to give offenders money. Others drag family and loved ones into the assault. Some literally do the victims dirty.
Hope never, but in case your children, especially teenagers, become victimized by the worst sorts of cyberbullying, take all the necessary legal actions. You have the police, child defense organizations, family protection institutions, and laws and lawyers by your side. You and your children will be ministered to. Your children’s rights are to be safeguarded by you, so don’t be afraid to seek legal help when needed.
Social media and the Internet are completely helpful and harmless until people who choose to ruin other people’s lives using these came to the picture. Cyberbullying is scary, even just by the mere thought of it, because the virtual materials used as weapons by the offenders can easily be viewed and circulated. Once it takes place, it’s difficult to be stopped, but still, do not just let it happen, especially if it’s your dear child who’s being bullied.
As mentioned earlier, awareness is the first key for parents to recognize cyberbullying and to stand firm against it. This displeasing oppression will never be valid. It will always be a nightmare to its victims. Its by-products are menacing, so if your children suffer from cyberbullying, know that they need you and your support the most.
In all the ways you can, help, guide and enlighten them to the route beyond the dangers of cyberbullying. It might be very hard for them to do it on their own, so do your best for them. After all, they are your children. Save them from the teeth of this distasteful cruelty called cyberbullying.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Nicole Ann Pore is a writer, an events host and a voice over artist. She finds quality and well-researched writing as a worthwhile avenue to enlighten and delight others about things that matter. For her, it’s restoring and fulfilling to the heart and a great way to clear the mind while loading it up with fresh learning. Film critiquing and filmmaking are among her interests too. Giving all the glory to God, Nicole graduated Cum Laude from De La Salle University Manila, Philippines with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts.