Online Bullying

 

Bullies and bad girls are nothing new. They have been around forever, but technology now gives them a new platform and ways for their actions. In both the real world and online, names calling can have serious emotional consequences for our children and teenagers.

It is not always hard to know how and when to intervene as a parent. For starters, most kids use technology differently than their parents do. They are playing online games and texting on their phones at a very early age, and most teens have smart devices that keep them constantly connected to the Internet. Many are connected to Instagram,  Facebook, or Tumblr and chatting or texting throughout the day.  Children knowledge of the digital world can be intimidating to parents. But staying involved in the cyber world of children, just like in their real world, can help parents protect them from their dangers. As the awareness of cyber bullying has increased thanks to The Red Hood Project, many parents have learned a lot more about how to deal with it. We are updating that information to help you stay ahead of the bullies. Here are tips on what to do if this modern type of bullying has become part of your child’s life.

Cyber bullying in simple terms is the use of technology to harass, threaten, embarrass or direct another person. By definition, it occurs among young people. When an adult is involved, he or she can meet the definition of cyber bullying or cyber stalking. Cyber stalking is a crime that can have legal consequences like a restraining order and may involve jail time. Sometimes cyber bullying can be easy to detect; For instance, if your child shows you a text, a tweet or a response to a Facebook status update that is degrading, sadistic or cruel. Other acts may be less obvious, such as impersonating an online victim or posting personal information, photos or videos intended to hurt or embarrass another person. Some children report that a fake account, web page or online character has been created with the sole intention of harassing and intimidating them.

 

Cyber bullying can also happen accidentally. The impersonal nature of text messages, instant messaging and emails make it tough to detect the tone of the sender. The joke of one person could be the hurtful insult of another. However, a repeated pattern of emails, texts, and online messages is rarely accidental. Because many children are reluctant to report being bullied, even to their parents, it is impossible to know how many are affected. But recent studies on cyber bullying rates have found that about 1 in 4 teens have been cyber bullied, and about 1 in 6 admits to having bullied someone online.

Cyber bulling has caused some children, teens and even adults to take their own lives and should be taken seriously. Some children may not readily tell when they are being bullied so we have developed some expert advice to help parents detect when their kids are being bullied and how best to tackle it. First and foremost, your relationship with your kid is an essential factor if you are to succeed here. You will need to connect with your kid and build a friendly relationship with him/her.

Secondly, you need to encourage your kid to tell you his/her problem and share his/her concern with you. Never take his/her concern or fear for granted. Read your kid well enough so you can be able to notice changes even if they are subtle changes. Some bullies can be intimidating, and your kid may be fearful of telling you.

Finally, you have to take action. If you ever found out your kid is being cyber bullied, take strong decisive action this will encourage your child to confide in you if he/she faces a similar situation again. At the same time, it will scare off potential bullies from targeting your kid because they know you will deal decisively with them. If you religiously follow this advice, you and your kid will be 99.9% free from bullies.