Is Your Child Being Cyberbullied?

September 9, 2015
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Bullying is a serious issue for young people in today’s world, especially when it comes to the online realm. Although cyberbullying might be more difficult for parents to identify, it is very real. And very harmful, as you can clearly see in this video:

Via YouTube

Here are a few red flags parents should keep an eye out for, according to Marie Newman, co-author of “When Your Child Is Being Bullied: Real Solutions.”

  1. Your child suddenly seems upset or withdrawn after texting or spending time online.
  2. He makes a request for a social media account to be deactivated.
  3. Out of nowhere, your child starts spending a lot more or a lot less time on social media or texting.
  4. You notice that your child goes out of her way to avoid social situations that she used to enjoy.
  5. A phone number gets blocked, or an email address.
  6. Suddenly, a lot of new phone numbers, emails or texts start popping up on his phone or other smart devices.
  7. Your child begins to act out more, whether it is getting frustrated more easily, or more impatient.
  8. Your child makes comments about being gossiped about online, even if it’s through the use of obvious “code words” in place of her name.
  9. Social media accounts have been opened up in your child’s name — but not by your child.

 

If parents notice several of these signs in a short period of time, there are some steps they can take for both damage control and to prevent future attacks. Approaching the subject can be as straightforward as simply asking if others are giving them a hard time online. Once you know there’s a problem, here are some important tips to keep in mind, according to Stopcyberbullying.org.

  • Let him know you’re on his side.
  • Document the online harassment. Save emails, take screenshots of Tweets or Facebook posts. Do what you can to collect the evidence.
  • Reach out to a school principal or other school official. While some schools don’t get involved in cyberbullying matters, many of them do.
  • Consider reaching out to the parents or guardians of the bully to make the abuse stop.
  • Take the evidence to the police, especially if physical threats are being made.
  • As unpopular as it may be, parents might consider shutting down affected social media accounts.
  • Talk to your child about online safety and make rules about future social media accounts, texting and other online activities.

As difficult as it is to face and take action against cyberbullying, make it clear that it isn’t acceptable.No one deserves to be publicly humiliated.

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