Guest Post by Olivia Ryan
Most kids experience or notice bullying during childhood socialization. But things are getting worse in the last few years because over 80% of teens use a cell phone regularly, making it the most common medium for cyberbullying.
By definition, cyberbullying is the use of cell phones, instant messaging, email, chat rooms or social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter with the intention to harass, threaten or intimidate someone. It is often done by children, who have increasingly early access to these technologies.
A recent study proved that almost half of teens had been the victims of digital bullying. In such circumstances, it is crucial to learn how to recognize such a disturbing phenomenon. This post will show you 6 subtle signs a child suffers from cyberbullying.
How to Recognize Cyberbullying
Cyberbullying doesn’t leave physical traces, but there are still many ways to notice it. According to psychology counselors at Aussiewritings.com, parents need to double their efforts in the digital age and watch how their children behave while spending time online.
In other words, you need to look for the signs and behavioral patterns of cyberbullying victims. But what exactly are these indicators? We will show you 6 most common signs here:
If your kid is experiencing cyberbullying, he will probably appear nervous when receiving emails, SMS, or messages on Facebook, Viber, and similar platforms. Victims of digital harassment usually make sudden moves and can’t hold still because they are afraid and looking around to see if you’ve noticed something strange is going on. Therefore, anxiety is always the first signal of cyberbullying.
- Unexpectedly running away from the computer
This sign goes hand in hand with the previous one. A victim of online bullying will often run away from his computer or shut it down abruptly. Bearing in mind that most kids love spending time online, you should be worried and ask yourself: Why is my son/daughter shutting down the computer so suddenly?
- Unwillingness to talk about online activities
Children will rarely ever make the first move and complain about cyberbullying to their parents. If you notice unusual behavior but your child doesn’t want to talk about it, cyberbullying cannot be excluded. Ask your kid about online activities – what he does, who is he communicating with, etc. If you can’t get anything out of him, it could be an indicator of online threats.
- Hiding a smartphone or laptop
You’ve noticed already that most victims are running away from the problem and don’t want to share information with their parents. One way to avoid parental supervision is to hide when using a smartphone or laptop. Another way is to change screens whenever you walk by. In each case, you should check out why is this happening all of a sudden.
- A child avoids school
Cyberbullying can influence a child’s socialization. Some kids are so scared of online harassment that they don’t want to go to school anymore. Sometimes they even suggest there’s something strange going on by saying things like “I have no friends there” or “Everybody hates me.” It doesn’t always have to be a sign of cyberbullying, but it is a common indicator.
- Unexplained health issues
Online bullying can also have real physical consequences. Your child might be suffering from unexplained anger, headaches, weight loss, restless sleep, etc. If he doesn’t respond to medical treatments, you should be looking for a psychological cause of the problem. The only way to help your child, in this case, is to expose cyberbullying and solve the problem.
How to Prevent and Stop Cyberbullying
Detecting a problem is only the first step, but now you need to actually cope with cyberbullying. There is a wide variety of actions to take here, but we will show you the most common solutions:
– Check your kid’s messages and browsing history.
– Save and print examples of cyberbullying.
– Let the bully realize you know about his misbehavior.
– Talk to your child to let him/her know everything is going to be alright.
– Organize a meeting with the cyberbully’s parents.
– Talk to the school’s counselor.
– Take legal steps to protect your kid if necessary.
Cyberbullying can make a huge impact on a child both socially and mentally, so it’s important to recognize it as soon and possible and react promptly. There are many ways to notice something strange is happening to your kid in the digital environment.
In this post, we showed you 6 subtle signs a child suffers from cyberbullying. Keep our suggestions in mind and don’t hesitate to leave us a comment if you need additional advice about this topic. We are here to help!