As technology continues to rapidly change, the dangers of Cyber Bullying increased with children and teenagers. Bullying is not only physical. Hence, today, in 2017 www.cyberbullying.org states approximately 34% of students report being a victim of cyberbullying. Harassment with electronic devices and cell phones is also common. According to www.phonesheriff.com, over 90 percent of teenagers do not report acts of cyberbullying. In fact, the effects of cyberbullying can affect a child’s or teenager’s self-esteem. It can also lead to depression. Due to the rise in online activity and portable technology, cyber bullying is now a real problem.
What is Cyber Bullying?
"Bullies behind keyboards are still bullies" Anonymous
According to the National Crime Council, Cyberbullying is defined as bullying that takes place online and through text messages. A cyberbully can be an acquaintance, classmate, friend, family members, or a complete stranger.
How to protect your kids from Cyberbullying?
Most cyber bullying happens at home on a personal computer. As parents, this is a great time for parents to talk to their children about cyberbullying. Listen carefully and ask what is the main issue that concerns your child. This is a great time to discuss your child’s screen names and their friends’ screen names. Parents should also create their personal accounts as well. It is important to be vigilant and aware of your child’s social media behavior.
Signs to Watch for if you child is a victim
Nothing is worse than witnessing a child’s behavior change drastically. There are many specific warning signs to look for when a child is actively bullied. Here are a few signs:
- New injuries
- Missing items such as jewelry, cell phone, clothes, electronics
- Faking illness to skip school
- Changes in eating habits and diet
- Socially isolated
In most cases, kids may be afraid to seek help due to the label of being called a tattletale. The fear of backlash can be severe. No child wants to be isolated at school or pressured by classmates.
What can we do as parents?
In conclusion, let’s focus more time on listening and communicating with our children. It’s important to educate the dangers of bullying and social media. Explain the dangers of giving out personal information and set time limitations for electronic devices. Moms, get to know your children’s friends as well as their parents. Don’t be afraid to schedule a meeting with the school and address this issue. Most of all work together as a team to provide daily encouragement. Therefore, your knowledge as a vigilant parent can help stop cyber bullying. For more information about cyber bullying please go to www.stopbullying.gov