Are you a parent who worries about your child being prey to cyberbullying? If yes, continue reading to know about the steps to respond to it. Parental control apps work as an accomplice to the concerned parents.
The effects of bullying can be overwhelming, leaving the victim feeling helpless, humiliated, angry, depressed, or even suicidal. Moreover, technology has made bullying no longer limited to schoolyards or street corners.
What is bullying?
Bullying is deliberate and continuous violent behavior, which can be physical, verbal, or relational. The victim lives in constant fear of where and when the bully will strike, what they’ll do, and how far they’ll go.
Physical bullying includes hitting, kicking, or pushing (or even just threatening to do so), as well as stealing, hiding, or ruining your things. Verbal bullying includes name-calling, teasing, taunting, or insulting.
Relationship bullying includes refusing to talk, excluding a person from groups or activities, spreading lies or rumors, making one do things they don’t want to do.
What is Cyberbullying?
Cyberbullying is when someone uses digital technology, such as the Internet, emails, text messages, or social media, to harass, threaten, or humiliate a person. Cyberbullies are faceless predators who do not require physical power or strength.
The internet allows a person to hide behind the screens without revealing their true identity, tormenting the sufferer 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
What are the effects of cyberbullying?
- All the negative emotions rise on a surface when your child is being bullied. They feel hurt, angry, afraid, helpless, hopeless, isolated, ashamed, and even guilty that they are responsible for it somehow.
- The child is at a greater risk of developing mental health problems such as depression, low self-esteem, or anxiety.
- The child might start performing poor in academics.
- With a few clicks, the humiliation can be witnessed by thousands of people online, making the victim taking extreme steps, such as attempting suicide.
Child monitoring is important to find out if your child is a cyberbullying victim. If they are, you must take prompt steps to show your support and save your child.
7 steps to follow when your child is cyberbullied
- Start with a discussion
Ask many questions about who is involved, how it started, and how long it has been going on. Listen patiently to your child’s account to get a clear picture of what has been going on exactly.
Let them talk about it as much as they want to. Respond with understanding, DO NOT blame your child, or justify the actions of the bully. Comfort them and offer the solutions to proceed further.
Refrain from criticizing your child if bullying is going on for a long while. Assure your child that cyberbullying is not their fault, and you will go to any length to protect them.
- Assemble the evidence
Do not delete the account or offensive messages before taking screenshots/printouts of harmful posts and messages. If any files can work as proof, save them. Bullying is a repeated behavior, so the records help to document the identity of the predators.
This can be important if the bullying intensifies or you want authorities to get involved. Once you have the evidence, help your child to remove his social media accounts, changing his email and passwords.
- Report the incident to the administrators of the platform
You must contact the administrators of the platform on which bullying occurred. Mainly this will be a social media company, such as Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Most companies have strict policies regarding abuse. They will promptly remove the offending material and the account.
- Report the incident to the school
Remember, you’re not the only person who can help your child sail through this difficult time. Your child might be going to the same school as the bully. Ask the teachers, counsellors, and the principal if they’ve observed anything unusual.
Most schools have anti-bullying policies that can help your child feeling safe at school. The school administrations do the utmost to protect your child and curb bullying. If necessary, ask the school to contact the other child’s parents.
- Approach the police or Internet Crime Complaint Center
Most of the cyberbullying incidents can be resolved without involving the authorities, but some threats warrant the extreme step.
You must report cyberbullying to the police when –
- Your child has been threatened with physical harm or encouraged to harm themselves.
- Compromising pictures of your child are being used as part of the bullying, or if their computer/account has been hacked.
- Your child is threatened based on race, gender, sexual orientation, or religion.
- Connect to a mental health professional
If you notice any acute changes in your child’s behavior, such as loss of appetite or sleep, or any indication that they might be in danger of hurting themselves, contact a mental health professional as soon as possible.
- Install parental control apps
Take the following steps to keep cyberbullying from happening again.
- Check your child’s privacy settings on all social media and messaging accounts, and ensure they are set in a manner to protect the privacy.
- Keep the family computer in a place where you can supervise their activities.
- Install parental control software on your digital devices. It allows you to block inappropriate apps and calls, limit the screen time, disable the Play Store to prohibit them from downloading any app.
There’s no way to guarantee your child will not be exposed to some bullying—Be it on the playground or online. But regular communication can help you spot suspicious behavior at an early stage.
Protect your precious child from the relentless bullies, bullying over and over for long periods of time. Bit Guardian Parental Control is a wonderful kids safety app that permits you to create a secure world for your child while relieving the weight of parenting from your shoulders.