Parents and educators should be able to know the common warning signs and prevention of cyberbullying. The rate of cyberbullying is increasing day by day according to digital access of a child.
Warning Signs of Cyberbullying
According to the National Crime Prevention Association, cyberbullying occur when teens send or post text or images by using the Internet, cell phones, or other devices to intend hurting or make ashamed another individual.
Symptoms of Withdrawal:
Has your child been lethal from his usual habit? A few symptoms constantly like: wake up later than normal or sleeping more, not communicating with close friends? Is he/she Irritability or Restlessness? Does he/she want to avoid something? Or showing a depressed mood at home?
If you can identify that your child previously experienced bullying first-hand then the probability of your child to be bullied online are much higher. Bullies don’t just stop bullying once at one time. When they have access to tablets, smartphones, and computers which let them bully people online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Both teachers and parents should be able to notice the symptoms of low self-esteem if a student or a child. It could be something as simple as your daughter making a comment about being too fat even though she’s a perfectly healthy size. The emotions of children are not different than the emotions of adults. Their behavior might be aggressive or passive in the way they ask for help.
Another cyberbullying warning sign of your children may be more aggressive than usual. Teachers, are your normally passive students getting involved in verbal or physical altercations at school? Parents, are your sons or daughters stomping around your house and screaming at each other more than usual? It may be another warning sign of online bullying.
When kids are cyberbullied many tend to lose focus on homework and extra-curricular activities. If your A-student is getting C’s or D’s on a regular basis it might time to speak with them about any problems they might be having.
This list contains only a few of the warning signs of cyberbullying that you should look for. Other warning signs to look out for include drug or alcohol use, skipping school, or health problems. It is very important to remember that as a parent or teacher your kids should be able to trust you. Make it clear to them that you will provide a safe environment free of judgment and they will be more likely to open up to you.
Effective ways to prevent cyberbullying
Above 50% of all American teens has been a victim of cyberbullying. So it is essential for every guardian to be aware of it.
Do Not Participate:
This may sound like common sense but many teens do not realize that they are guilty of cyberbullying by commenting on or sharing offending text or pictures, even if they were not the ones who originally started the bullying. Make sure your kids or students know that they should refuse to take part in these actions.
Block the Cyber Bully:
Most social networking websites, cell phones, and other messaging applications have functions that will allow a user to block messages or other types of communication from specific individuals. It is possible (and quite easy) for dedicated bullies to create fake profiles and accounts to get around certain blocks, however.
Rather than immediately tell an adult about an instance of cyberbullying, students can also choose to ask the bully to stop directly. Sometimes this form of direct communication can be very effective, but its success also depends highly on other variables including personalities, relationships, and environment.
Tell An Adult:
One of the tougher actions for a teenage child to take is telling an adult when a friend or classmate is being bullied. Many students are afraid of the possible retaliation by peers when thought of as a ‘tattle-tale‘. If an issue is brought up by a student, educators or officials should do their best to protect the anonymity of the whistleblower.
Preventative or Proactive Education:
There are not a whole lot of teenagers who will sit down at their computer and research cyberbullying. That means it is crucial that parents and educators take a proactive approach to educating kids about cyberbullying. Teach them ways to identify, prevent, and report cyberbullying and let them know that they should feel safe reporting instances of bullying to a trusted adult.
Children are affected every day by cyberbullying and some have even gone as far as to take their own lives because of it. Please share this information with your children or students.
Tell them this rule of thumb: If they wouldn’t say it in person, they shouldn’t say it online.