Are You Doubting Whether Your Child Is Being Bullied Online?
First, we will start with the definition of cyberbullying. This definition is going to be in a breakdown for a simple understanding. Cyberbullying is when a person is being messaged, threatened, harassed, or intimidated by another person through the means of electronic communication e.g. mobile phones, computers, etc.
This means cyberbullying involves 2 people; one person being the bully and the other person being the victim of the bully. Both persons are visibly apart because it’s electronically. In this case, the bully passes a negative comment or a life degrading comment to the other person on the other end which makes them a victim of a bully. This negative or life-changing comment begins to affect the psychology of the person being bullied.
CYBER BULLYING AMONG CHILDREN
It has become a global awareness that cyberbullying is increasing at an alarming rate among children/teenagers and very few children talk about it or report it to their parents/guardians. Although these days, there are ‘no cyberbullying’ campaigns everywhere kicking against cyberbullying but there is still an increase. Children/teenagers bully or get bullied through calls, text messages and on social media platforms, forums, online gaming platforms, etc. which is why it is good for parents to install ‘App block’ on their children’s phone.
WHAT ARE THE KINDS OF BULLYING?
This is when a bully spreads malicious information or lies against the victim to other people electronically in public posts in other to destroy the standard of the victim or in other to destroy the victim’s relationship with other people. Dissing happens in most cases when the bully has a personal relationship with the victim.
This happens when someone is being left out of a group/team on purpose. This mostly done in a face-to-face situation but now, it is also being practiced by teenagers online. For instance, your child is deliberately left out of a group function and he/she happens to see picture threads or message threads online. Something like this breaks a child.
This is a very serious kind of cyberbullying because it can extend to physical threats of the child which means at any point in time, that child could be harmed. Cyberstalking includes monitoring, threats messages, and calls, false allegations, etc. this is a criminal offense and a bully is to be punished by law when found guilty. If your child ever tells you they are being stalked, you can go ahead to take legal actions with evidence.
This is a lot of subcategories when it comes to harassment but let’s look at harassment as a whole. Harassment is when a bully constantly keeps spreading hurtful patterned messages online about a person with the intention of harming the person.
There are other kinds of cyberbullying such as Trickery, Outing, Masquerading, trolling, flaming, etc.
HOW CAN CYBERBULLYING AFFECT YOUR CHILD?
These are some of the possible harms that cyberbullying could cause to your child:
•Engagement in self-harm
•Having suicidal thoughts
•Abuse of drugs and alcohol
•Deleting social media accounts, etc.
HOW THEN CAN YOU PREVENT CYBERBULLYING OR HELP YOUR CHILD FROM BEING BULLIED?
MONITOR YOUR CHILD’S ONLINE ACTIVITIES
In this jet age where children grow up around smart technology and the internet, it is very easy for children to be addicted to smartphones, tablets and even computers. Parental control is very important in the kind of content your child feeds online. Parents can set up screen time control on their children’s gadgets to help the children as well.
BE VERY ATTENTIVE
Not all these children report bully situations to their parents or guardians. So it is very important to pay close attention to your child’s emotions and behaviors. Help them to open up to you whenever you notice any strange shift in behavior.
TAKE A BOLD STEP TO SUPPORT YOUR CHILD
When you find out that your child was bullied, take the first step of consoling your child. Have a good conversation with him/her. Let them explain to you everything that has happened and you should get it in recording as proof. Then go ahead by filing a report to the right authorities for cyberbullying. It is very important to show support to your child by reporting any form of cyberbullying.
To know more about cyberbullying and all its evaluation, Famisafe has a good evaluation of the percentage of cyberbullying through social media. Keep your children safe today.