What you need to know...
We all know what it is. We all know that it happens. But I think what most of us don’t realize is how deep the effects take hold of its victims. And how to stop it.
We start with awareness.
As parents we should be checking our kids phones. Trust your gut, if something feels off it most likely is.
It did not take long to bring up mounds of information when researching this topic. And a common theme is that the pandemic pushed us all into the cyber world and while it kept us in touch during tough times, it has also become a significant problem in regards to cyber bullying especially for our youth.
One of the most well laid out statistically data was by: https://www.broadbandsearch.net/blog/cyber-bullying-statistics/amp.
I highly recommend reading this in its entirety for parents.
Lasting effects in kids…
In this survey, students who had been cyberbullied were asked to identify what issues they felt arose because of their cyberbullying experience. The results were:
41% developed social anxiety
37% developed depression
26% had suicidal thoughts
26% deleted their social media profiles
25% engaged in self harm
24% stopped using social media altogether
20% started skipping class
14% developed an eating disorder
9% abusing alcohol and/or drugs
How to manage cyberbullying...
What to do if you see a child being cyberbullied...
As an adult, if you see a kid being cyberbullied, consider doing one of the following:
Ask your child to go over their list of contacts on their phone and instant messaging apps so that you can know more about the people with whom they communicate.
Talk to your kids about cyberbullying, so they know what it is and how to understand when it is happening.
Emphasize to kids that they will not lose internet privileges if they are being cyberbullied. Believe it or not, this is the main reason kids choose not to speak up about cyberbullying, according to the NCPC.
Raise the issue with teachers and school administrators to look for signs of bullying in school and address the problem in the best way possible.
Reach out to your child's friends. An engaging bystander is a key component of fighting bullying, so those who witness the abuse know what they are seeing and how to react.
What kids and teenagers can do if they are being cyberbullied...
Those being cyberbullied have options, too. Ensure kids know this by going over what they should be doing if they feel they are a victim. Some things you can do if you think you're being cyberbullied are:
Tell someone you trust about what's going on so that you can get some help.
Keep emails, texts, comments, etc., that could be evidence of cyberbullying.
Don't strike back. Two wrongs don't make a right.
Report the issue to the website. For example, Facebook and YouTube both have places where you can report cyberbullying in a safe environment.
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