Social networks have become a common part of our lives, and even the youngest schoolchildren are spending more and more time on them. However, few people admit the risks associated with their use. One of them is cyberbullying, which can cause enormous damage to a fragile child’s soul.
Unfortunately, classic bullying among schoolchildren is nothing new, but in the age of modern technology, another form has been added to it, via a computer or a mobile phone. In the anonymous environment of social networks and internet discussions, aggressors can more easily find courage because there is no need for direct contact with the victim. At the same time, some bullies do not even realize the effects their behavior can have. The problem is that every bullying takes place in secret. And the victim is often silent. Confiding in her abuse is often painful and hurtful for her. But how to protect your kids from this? The basis is to help them acquire the skill of avoiding or standing up to bullying behavior. Otherwise, bullying can fundamentally undermine their self-confidence.
Pay attention to unusual behavior
However, it is not “just” about self-confidence. Depression is not an exception for cyberbullying victims, many young people seek relief from drug use, and tragic cases ending in suicide are no exception. It is not at all easy to recognize that a child is facing bullying on the Internet. According to experts, a parent can recognize that a child is a victim of cyberbullying by several signs. The child suddenly stops using the computer, begins to avoid discussing how to spend time online. It can be upset after reading messages on a mobile phone, and as is the case with classic bullying, it starts to close in front of family and friends.
How to fight cyberbullying?
Cyberbullying is a sensitive topic. The situation is often complicated by the fact that children are afraid to discuss the problem with their parents. They’re afraid you’ll overreact, misunderstand, or even get angry at the content they’ve shared on their social networks. Therefore, your child should know that he or she can always turn to you. You can then take the necessary steps. If cyberbullying has spread in the school staff, you must inform the school about the problem and solve the situation together. However, your fight against cyberbullying does not end with stopping the attacks of the cyber predator. It may have left a deep mark on the soul of your child, so you should turn to an expert who will help your child overcome a harsh attack on his confidence.
Building self-esteem is fundamental
The victim of bullying usually seeks guilt in himself, trying to understand what caused such behavior. Especially for children with low self-esteem, there is a risk that they will start to doubt themselves even more. “Cyberbullying is definitely not worth underestimating. Children who fall victim to it may suffer from depression and anxiety, even leading to suicide attempts. From a long-term perspective, in adulthood, they show an increased tendency to depression. They have doubts about themselves, their value and suffer from feelings of inferiority. Building a child’s self-esteem should, therefore, be a complete foundation. However, there is no shortcut to self-confidence, and it has to be built bit by bit. Therefore, the best thing you can do is help your child create a strong sense of self-worth in real life.
7 principles of cyberbullying prevention that you should teach your children
- Do not share personal information.
- Don’t accept friend requests from people you don’t know.
- Do not chat with people you do not know personally.
- Pay attention to what you publish.
- If someone you don’t know personally wants to write with you, block him and if you don’t know how to do it, ask someone for help.
- When you come across a particular page, leave it right away.
- Pay attention to what you do on the Internet so that no one can start bullying you out of revenge.
In addition to teaching these principles, experts encourage parents to use parental apps that allow parents to keep an eye on their kids’ digital behavior and know what they are going through. With any good app such as FamilyTime parental app, parents can:
- Track their kids’ web-history with the date and time stamps to see if they are looking for help material or finding ways to escape cyberbullying.
- View the list of favorites and bookmarks saved on their default browser.
- Monitor all apps installed on their phones and tablets and see how many apps are inappropriate for them.
- Check their call logs, contacts, and SMS history
- Blacklist unwanted or inappropriate applications.
With all this information, parents can get to know if their kids are being bullied and plan their help accordingly.
Bring these tips to your use and prevent cyberbullying smartly. Happy parenting!