Is Your Tween Being Victimized By Cyberbullying?
You see it everywhere, cruel Facebook comments, nasty text messages and hurtful words exchanged in just about every online form available. Our children, teens and young adults are privy to some pretty harsh treatment these days. As parents we need to keep a keen eye out for this type of bullying. Studies show that 1 in 3 people are bullied by some type of online or mobile outlet. These are some big statistics that simply can’t be ignored. There is help. Below I’ll be speaking about ways to engage your tween, resources, and how you as a family can overcome cyberbullying.
See the Signs
As a research assistant with an iPad repair company, I invest a lot of time digging into everyday situations in order to find resources and solutions for mobile device users. In my recent studies on cyberbullying, I uncovered some stunning statistics and I wanted to share this information with you.
Just as many abuse victims do, they tend to keep their situation a secret. This is no different for cyberbullying victims. It’s been seen in many cases, going to an authority figure or a parent is just not something they do. As parents we assume if something is wrong, our kids they will come to us. This just isn’t the case; recent studies show that these victims hide the abuse because of embarrassment and even shame. Even though it’s not their fault, getting your tween to open up might be harder than you think.
Cyberbullying has some pretty distinguishable signs. If your child is showing any of these signs it may be time to have a serious sit down and jump into action.
- Abruptly stopping social events, outings or school activities.
- Change in disposition, feeling depressed and overly self-conscious. Sad or angry, especially after computer use.
- Avoids any questions about computer activity, switches screens or closes out if someone enters the room.
- Sadness, anger and jumpiness after viewing a text message.
- Uneasy about going to school
If signs are present, try sitting down with your tween, explain to them that being bullied is not their fault. Seek professional counselors or therapists to assist them with the emotional damage caused by cyberbullying. You may have to do a little research yourself. If your tween refuses to open up, check text messages and social media accounts. They may become upset with you but it’s worth it considering that prolonged results of cyberbully can cause victims to turn to drugs, alcohol or commit suicide.
Come up with a plan of action. Getting the help your tween needs emotionally is just the first step. It’s important to document any act by cyberbullies. Since social media and texts can be saved, I suggest printing it out and bringing it to local law enforcement. Presenting this evidence to the school board as well as the aggressor’s parents can help minimize further bullying.
Utilize simple resources. A great way to keep a record and block out harassing text messages is by installing some type of anti-cyberbullying app. Bully Block (source – Google Play) is an app that not only records voice conversations and texts, it blocks the intruder entirely. Any attempt the bully makes will be promptly stopped and recorded for future prosecution. There are many great apps out there but I think this one is the best.
It’s also important to remove these bullies from all social media accounts, block and report them. You don’t have to make your child cut off all communication from the world, I actually don’t suggest that. But I do recommend being proactive and blocking any and all threats from all mobile devices and computers.
Lastly, talk to your child and often. Open up those lines of communication and engage. Depression is a real effect of cyberbullying so professional help will do a great deal of good. But remember that involving yourself fully and creating a positive environment can not only help them but bring you closer as a family.
Author Bio – Sarah S. is a research assistant for an Atlanta mail in iPad repair company, called Bob Knows Phones. She inspires to bring mobile device users news, tips and tricks for everyday situations.
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