In the modern, digitally-driven society, cyberbullying has turned into an epidemic syndrome. Thousands of online bullying cases are reported each day from all over the world, whereas many remain suppressed and never talked about. According to the cyberbullying lawyer, the matter of concern is that the list of victims also includes kids and teenagers.
In such a scenario, the easy availability of the internet has become one of the major reasons to worry for parents. That being said, protecting your child against cyberbullying can be difficult if you do not have a clear picture of what it actually is, how it can be identified, and what you can really do to stop it. So, let us go ahead and discuss everything you need to know to ensure your child doesn’t fall prey to cyberbullying.
What is Cyberbullying?
Bullying has been experienced by almost everyone at some point in life or the other. Although always condemned by all, its practice has been there in the society since time immemorial and its concept isn’t really new.
The thing that needs your attention is that bullies aren’t just limited to the classroom and playground any longer. With the advancement of technology, their threatening effects are now being experienced on digital platforms as well.
Cyberbullying can be defined as the sharing of hurtful messages or images on digital platforms. This practice of online harassment may result in humiliation or defamation of the victim. The process tends to continue for weeks or even longer with the bully’s true identity kept hidden.
Why Your Child May Not Be Telling You?
Many children tend to stay silent about the bullies. Here are some reasons why your child may not be speaking to you about the cyberbullying he is supposedly experiencing:
- S/he does not know what exactly cyberbullying is
As a parent, it is important for you to talk to your child about what exactly is known as cyberbullying. Your child should know what online bullying actually involves, what are its possible effects, and what she/he should do when s/he experiences such a situation.
- S/he is not sure about what to do
Even if your child understands that s/he is being bullied, s/he might not have the right idea about what to do about the situation. As a result, s/he may choose to remain silent instead of speaking it up. Children often end up assuming that complaining about the matter would worsen it.
- S/he may be afraid of withdrawal of online privileges
One of the biggest reasons why children do not let their parents know about the bullying they are experiencing online is the fear that their internet privileges may be withdrawn. They may think that the way their parents would deal with the matter would be seizing their computers and mobile phones.
How to Identify the Signs of Cyberbullying?
As a parent, you can watch out for the signs of cyberbullying by checking if your child is:
- Staying upset after or when using his/her computer or phone.
- Avoiding conversations regarding his/her online activities.
- Suddenly limiting his use of computers or phones.
- Showing a change in his/her behavior, mood, or sleeping and eating patterns.
- Becoming nervous on receiving an online message.
- Avoiding participating in school activities.
- Avoiding meeting with or speaking to friends and family members.
- Being very protective of his/her digital life
- Experiencing a sudden drop in academic grades
- Attempting to harm himself/herself
5 Steps to Prevent Cyberbullying
- Always encourage your children to develop new skills and grow in life. Help promote their self-esteem. Remember that confident and smart children cannot be easily trapped and even if they are, it would not take them much time to shrug it off.
- Let your children know that they can share things with you and can trust you. Your children should know that you’re a friend to them and wouldn’t overreact when they tell you about sensitive things like cyberbullying.
- Teach your children how to stay safe online. Make sure they know that they shouldn’t accept friend or follow requests of people they don’t actually know. Furthermore, teach them to avoid online conversations with strangers and never share passwords with anyone. It is also important for your children to know about the report and block features of the various digital platforms.
- Consider being familiar with your children’s life. Make sure you know what they’re doing and with whom they’re connected to in school, on the net, and anywhere else.
- Limit your children’s screen time. Encourage them to make real-life companions and spend more time with family members.
The Final Words
As a responsible parent, your first step to preventing cyberbullying is to know and understand the cyberbullying laws yourself. You should also consider spending more time with your kids and talking to them about their life and sensitive social issues. Moreover, it is important for you to know that the cyberbullying lawyers are always ready to help you and your child in such situations.