Parenting Tips to Help Children Respond to Cyberbullying

There is a noticeable increase in cyberbullying cases as teens use social media as their main means of communication. Unreported cases are maybe even higher. Because of this, parents should understand how to deal with instances of cyberbullying.

The exact way to handle cyberbullying can vary from person to person, so having a general guideline that can be followed can help prevent and overcome cyberbullying for your child. [2]

Tips for Dealing with cyberbullying

You can try these 9 tips if your child is dealing with cyberbullying:

Don’t Respond

The best response to cyberbullying is to ignore the victim’s posts, comments, messages, and calls. Even though it can be difficult not to respond to something untrue, it’s better to confront a trusted adult or parent instead. It is extremely important that your children, no matter how hurt they are, not respond to these words.

Bullies want a reaction from their victims. Don’t let your kids give your kids one. The issue is likely to fade away if the target does not respond. Reacting to a situation will only escalate it. [1]

Keep Copies of All the Cyberbullying

Be sure you save all posts, comments, and messages. In addition to emails, Facebook posts, Twitter messages, text messages, and the like, this includes social media posts as well. Your child should know that you cannot prove they are a cyberbully if you don’t delete all their online content. You will be able to remove the remarks after examining the evidence and speaking with the school and the police.

In addition, posts involving sexual bullying should be deleted if they contain nudity. It is illegal to keep or print pictures of a child under the age of 18 and you may be sued along with your child for child pornography. Let the police keep the proof of the incident and report it immediately. No sexual posts should be kept on your computer.

Read Also: Sexual Abuse: How to know if your child is a victim of this?

Report It to Your Child’s School

Cyberbullying at school is particularly important to report.

Whether bullying is taking place or not, parents should report it. The school building may be invaded at some point by cyberbullying and other types of bullying, especially as some states provide schools with the authority to intervene.

Moreover, it is likely that students will still discuss cyberbullying in class, even if it happened off-campus.

Kids often read posts on Facebook and Instagram. This information is then used as ammunition for more aggressive acts of bullying at school, such as name-calling, aggression within relationships, and exclusion.

Report cyberbullying to the school by sending copies of many texts, tweets, or posts. You should also keep your own copy.

Related: Choosing The Best Parental Control Apps

You should report this to your social media site and internet service provider

When you see cyberbullying occurring on your child’s personal account or at home, you should contact your internet service provider (ISP). Additionally, reports of cyberbullying that has been perpetrated on social media sites should be made to those outlets as well. Cyberbullying claims will be investigated by sites like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, especially when they involve minors.

There is no difference between anonymous cyberbullying or cyberbullying committed under a false identity. Policing and ISPs can often track down the person who posts or sends the messages.

Cyberbullying does not have to be tolerated by your child. In many instances, cyberbullies leave a way for authorities to investigate that can make it easier to stop them.

Contact the Police Regarding Any Threats

A person should report any threats to their lives, physical violence, stalking, and suggestions for suicide as soon as possible. As well, any harassment that persists for a long period of time and any correspondence that contains racial, religious, or disability-related harassment should be reported. These incidents will be handled by the police.

Cut Off Communication

Create a new social network account and close your current account. Changing your child’s cell phone number is important if it has been used for cyberbullying.

Your child should then set up new social media sites, email accounts, instant messaging accounts, and cell phones to blocking the cyberbully. Your child must be unable to contact the cyberbully in any way.

Read Also: Effects of mobile phones and tablets on the brain

Be Aware of the Effects of Cyberbullying

As a result of cyberbullying, kids can experience a multitude of symptoms including feeling overwhelmed and vulnerable, suffering depression, and even contemplating suicide.

You should not be afraid to intervene to stop cyberbullying and become aware of how it can affect your child. Communication is the key to preventing behavior problems in children. Additionally, your child should be distracted from social media. Have fun with your child or introduce him to new hobbies. To redirect their attention, they must stop looking at what other people are doing and saying.

A trained counselor at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can assist your child if he or she is having suicidal thoughts. 911 must be called if you or someone you love is in immediate danger.

Seek Counseling and Support

It’s important not to handle cyberbullying by yourself. Your child will need a supportive network of friends and family members. Having someone to discuss your problems can be very helpful.

Your child may benefit from the help of an experienced counselor. If you notice prolonged or erratic moods, sleeping patterns, or eating habits in your child, you should also have them evaluated by a physician. Getting outside assistance should be the first step for students who are cyberbullied.

Refrain From Taking Away Technology

When parents feel their child is being hurt, they want to get rid of it. Most parents, therefore, believe that taking away both the phone and the computer is the best strategy. Teenagers, however, often feel cut off from the rest of the world when this happens.

They must keep in touch with each other through their phones and computers. People may feel as if they are cut off from their world if that option for communicating is removed. Isolation and loneliness may be intensified as a result. Your child can better manage the situation if you establish boundaries, change online behaviors, and limit time spent on the internet.

Kids who are afraid of losing their computers or phones don’t report bullying, according to research. Rather than blaming the technology, look at the person on the other end of the technology who is hurting your child. Your children can feel assured you will not take their phones away if they report cyberbullying. Keeping your promises is the next step.