Special thanks to Laura Pearson of Edutude.net for this post about cyberbullying!
August 10, 2017
Cyberbullying can happen to just about anyone as long as they have access to the Internet, and when it happens to a teen, parents are often at a loss as to how to help. It can be difficult to know where to begin, in part because cyber bullies often work anonymously and can strike in many different forums, from social media to texting.
Because parents want nothing more than to protect their child, it’s important to know the best ways to help when cyberbullying occurs. Many young people face these issues when they’re new to school, which can make a big move even harder to deal with. Fortunately, there are several simple ways you can help your child make good decisions when it comes to bullying and teach them how to overcome it.
Here are a few of the best ways to do just that.
It’s imperative to know exactly what cyberbullying is. It can come in many forms, from stalking to using a public online forum to harass or threaten someone. Most cyber-bullies use a screen name to protect their privacy, which gives them a sense of entitlement and safety. By not allowing them to continue their bullying–by reporting it or blocking them–your child is sending a message that they will not tolerate such behavior and will not be threatened.
Keep a log of evidence
One of the most important ways you can help your child where bullying is concerned is to find a way to save all evidence of it. Take screenshots or print messages out; just be sure to get the timestamp so that it can clearly be dated, as that might prove important at a later date. This may be easier said than done, as often, cyber bullies don’t stop at one or two attacks. There may be several instances that need to be recorded.
Block the bully
All social media sites should have a way to block a particular person from seeing your posts, so have your child keep the bully from being able to contact them in any way. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Skype all have a blocking feature; if the bullying is taking place via email, you might look into having your email service send all messages from their address to one file; this way, they won’t go straight to your child’s inbox, and you’ll have a record of when they were sent and from where.
Make home a safe, comfortable place
Being the victim of a cyberbully can make a young person feel scared, helpless, lonely, and even suicidal. Make home a safe, comfortable place by allowing your child to talk openly to you about what’s going on. Give him a stress-free environment and reduce anxiety by keeping a close eye on his diet and making sure he gets enough rest and exercise. You can also help him find relaxing activities to do at home, such as playing basketball or reading.
For more tips on how to make your home a healthy place for your child or teen, read on here.
Boost your child’s self-esteem
Being the victim of bullying can weigh heavily on a child’s mind, so help boost their self-esteem by finding ways they can express themselves. Art, cooking and baking, and physical activities like sports or even gardening can all help a child feel capable and more in control of things, which is extremely important in situations like these.
Remember that it’s important for your child not to retaliate in any way towards the bully; doing so only makes things worse, and they could get in trouble for the role they play in it. Talk to your child about the best ways to move ahead and be as supportive as possible during this difficult time.