Cyber-bullying: The victim

 

Cyber-bullying (v.) :: when a child, preteen or teen is tormented, threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed or otherwise targeted by another child, preteen or teen using the Internet, interactive and digital technologies or mobile phones.

cyber-bullying

Cyber-bullying is an increasing issue among youth in today's society. We want to talk about what to do if you discover your child has been the victim of a cyber-bully. But first, here are some signs that may indicate your child is being bullied:

  • He/she unexpectedly stops using their computer or cell phone.
  • He/she appears nervous or jumpy when an instant message or email appears.
  • He/she appears uneasy about going to school or outside in general.
  • He/she appears to be angry, depressed, or frustrated after using the computer or cell phone.
  • He/she avoids discussions about what they are doing on the computer or cell phone.
  • He/she is abnormally withdrawn from usual friends and family members.

If you notice one or more of these signs, your child might be the victim of cyber-bullying, but what is the best course of action to take?

First, as a parent, be sure to communicate with both your words and actions your unconditional love and support of your child and that you desire the same result: that the bullying stop.

Next, consider with your child some different options and courses of action to take. Is there a teacher or administrator your child trusts that could be approached about the issue? Would it be beneficial for you to contact the other child’s parent or guardian? If a threat of violence has occurred, then the police should be contacted to investigate the issue further.

In all of these discussions, sensitivity is key. It’s possible that your child may be embarrassed that they have been bullied, and it’s possible that they are afraid that the bullying will get worse if it is addressed. Continued reassurance that the goal is to stop the bullying altogether may help your child address it with you head on.

For more information about online safety and responsibility read through some of our archived blogs:
How to avoid bullying and predators online 
Cyber-Bullying: The Bully
How to protect your privacy on Facebook
Keep your kids safe on the internet
Immersed online: Internet safety tips for parents of high school kids

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