CYBERBULLYING: WHAT IS IT, AND HOW YOU CAN HELP YOUR CHILD

I am so glad I ran across my guest’s path in the blog-o-sphere. She has some very worthwhile and valuable information for us.  Please welcome, Robyn Storey.


pictureCYBERBULLYING: What it is, and how you can help your child.
By: Robyn Storey

Bullying is not how it used to be: going to school and having a bully take your lunch money and teasing in the hallways. While bullying at school is still present, another form is rising: cyberbullying. This is an especially dangerous form of bullying because kids can no longer feel safe at school or even in their own home.

chartCyberbullying involves the “use of technology to harass, threaten, embarrass, or target another person” (KidsHealth, 2015). It largely happens to young adults below the age of 18, because adults can be charged with harassment or stalking. Unfortunately, not a lot of action is usually taken when it happens among teenagers and young adults.
In 2013, The Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey was conducted to see how prevalent cyberbullying was among young adults. It found that 15% of high school students (grades 9-12) were cyberbullied in the past year. (U.S Department of Health & Human Services, 2015)

This form of bullying can happen over any form of social media: instant message, text message, forums, blogs, or any form of social networking (such as Facebook or Twitter). It can also happen on any device that these kids have: cell phones, laptops, tablets, and any other device that can connect to the internet.

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So how can you tell if your child is being cyberbullied? Here are some signs (KidsHealth, 2014):

• Withdrawing from family and friends

• Getting upset after using the computer or phone

• Struggling academically

• Being very secretive or protective of one’s computer or cell phone

• Changes in mood, behavior, sleep, or appetite

• Stops using the computer or phone

So as a parent, how can you help your child? (KidsHealth, 2014)

• Offer emotional support. Tell your child if you have had any experiences with bullies when you were a child: this can help them feel less alone in their experience.

• Praise your child for telling you, and let them know that you will work it out together.

• Emphasize to your child to not fuel the fire: do not respond to any of the bullies messages, texts, or posts.

• Ask your child if it is ok if you can speak to a school counselor or the principal. Do not just tell them that you are going to do it, it is important to ask them if it is all right.

• Help your child block the bully on whatever form of media they are using.

• Do not force them to give up all aspects of technology. Technology is not always bad, it does help kids connect to each other, and the internet gives kids the opportunity to learn many things. Simply put some time limits on internet or phone use. You can place some parental controls on technology, but do not abuse this privilege!

There are many websites out there dedicated to teaching parents and kids the safety of technology and the internet. Here are some websites that have lots of information on what it is, why it happens, how it effects kids, and what to do to prevent it:

http://kidshealth.org/parent/positive/talk/cyberbullying.html#a_What_Is_Cyberbullying_
http://www.stopbullying.gov/cyberbullying/what-is-it/
http://cyberbullying.us/
http://stopcyberbullying.org/what_is_cyberbullying_exactly.html

Do not hesitate to have your child see a professional. Therapists can teach children proper strategies on how to help with bullying and how to re-build their self-esteem.

References
Kids Health. (2014). Cyberbullying. Retrieved from KidsHealth: http://kidshealth.org/parent/positive/talk/cyberbullying.html#
U.S Department of Health & Human Services. (2015). What is Cyberbullying? Retrieved from Stopbullying.gov: http://www.stopbullying.gov/cyberbullying/what-is-it/#effectsofcyberbullying


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My name is Robyn Storey and I have a strong passion for mental health. Achieving a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Psychology taught me the skills to help those striving for positive mental health. In the future I hope to become a therapist to aid those struggling with depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and other mood disorders. But currently, I am journeying through life with my husband of 3 years and my german shepherd, Hera. We are all capable of happiness, we just need love and compassion to have everyone discover theirs.dog

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10 thoughts on “CYBERBULLYING: WHAT IS IT, AND HOW YOU CAN HELP YOUR CHILD

  1. Thank you for posting this topic.

    I was a victim of bullying for many, many years. How I over came bullying? How did not commit suicide? How am I still alive.

    Well, I have to thank Trent Reznor of the band: Nine Inch Nails. If it wasn’t for me listening to his album: The Downward Spiral. I would not be here today.

    Also, I posted 2 videos of me reciting my poems. One of those poems is me addressing how I was bullied and how I overcame the struggles I went through. Check it out. It’s posted on my page.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: CYBERBULLYING: WHAT IS IT, AND HOW YOU CAN HELP YOUR CHILD | My BlogThe Philosopher's blog.

  3. I have to say when my daughter reached high school (13 here, she is now 21) phones and the internet were just becoming popular, everyone had one, well all her friends said they did not all actually had them of course, the argument ensued over the appropriate age for her to have a Facebook account, a mobile phone and all the other things, I laid down the ground rules straight away firstly I am not nor have I ever been her ‘friend’ I am her parent and will do whatever it takes to keep her safe even when she creamed she hated me and I was trying to ruin her life. Any technology she had was a privilege not a right, while I was footing the bill I could remove it at any time I felt it was needed, phones, laptops stayed downstairs over night recharging, you do not need a phone or computer to sleep, and when I let her have a FB etc I had the passwords to all her accounts and could randomly check on them at any time. People talk about childrens privacy, sorry nope, you get privacy online when you are all grown up paying your own way in your own home. I must have done something right my daughter graduated university, is engaged and working and looking forward to building a career I will do the same again with my son. Too many people want to be friends with their kids these days not parents and I think that is how bullying both in real life and cyber bullying go undiscovered for so long there are reasons for age limits in society and that is because under certain ages they cannot judge situations or make rational decisions, and it is our job to protect them not just from others but from themselves.

    Like

    • I LOVE this comment. You just gave me a few new ideas I need to think about too. I want to be my kids ally…I told her she may hate me but I am always there for her BEST interest and that will never change. I prefer ally over the word friend because I told her we all make mistakes and I will always be there to help her through them all but YES I am not concerned whether or not she agrees with the rules only that she understands them. So far the only stress I have regarding social media is when she spends the night with her gf’s but there again I ask lots of innocent questions and so far she likes to talk….so here is hoping she never grows out of that.

      Thank you so much for this comment!!!

      Like

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