Everything You Need to Know about Cyberbullying
You probably remember what bullying was like when you were in school right? Most bullying took place at recess or at lunch. However, the virtual online world has seem to have taken over the lives of today’s kids. Remember that nasty note that was passed around the classroom? Well, imagine that note being posted online for the world to see. That is the world of cyberbullying.
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What Is It?- Cyberbullying is a form of normal bullying but it takes place online or on some form of electronic device. It is the act of repeated harassment as well as some kind of power imbalance.
Why It Happens– There are many reasons that engage in the act of cyberbullying. Some kids do it in order to be accepted by their peers. Some kids do it as a sense of power over others. Other kids do it because they are jealous of the victim or they don’t like the victim. Some kids don’t have any reason at all for doing it other than just for the fun of it.
How They Do It– It can take on several different forms. It could be sending mean emails or text messages, creating websites that ridicule others, taking offensive or embarrassing pictures of someone and sending that picture to others, posting hurtful messages about someone in chat rooms or online bulletin boards and stealing someone’s online password and then changing their social media profile to reflect something racist or sexual.
How to Tell If Your Child is Being Cyberbullied– Even if you are close with your child, you still want to talk to them about whether they are a victim. If it is happening, your child may be scared to tell you at first but keep on the conversation. Ask them if they know what it is, if they know anyone that has been a victim and what they would do if they or someone they knew was being attacked. According to www.stopbullying.com, parents should watch out for signs including decreased self-esteem, feelings of helplessness, difficulty sleeping, fear of going to school or declining grades.
What to Do – Each and every case of cyberbullying is different so advice for one parent may not work in another parent’s case. The general rule of thumb is that you need to talk to your child about what is happening, what their individual feelings are and what they want to do about the situation. You want to be sure that whatever steps and actions are taken that you and your child are both involved. It is important that through this process their self-esteem and self-confidence is restored.
Another thing to remember is that not only kids or teens can become a victim of internet harassment, adults can also become victims as well!
Have you ever experienced internet harassment? If so, has it escalated to the point where you are being cyberbullied? What steps did you take to stop the harassment?
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