Five Things Every Parent Need to Know About Cyberbullying

Five Things Every Parent Need to Know About Cyberbullying from North Carolina Lifestyle Blogger Adventures of Frugal Mom

With advancements in technology, the cruelties inflicted by cyberbullying on many tweens and teens are increasing.

While bullying is not something new, when committed in the digital world, the humiliation it brings can shatter young lives. Cruel comments, photos, threats, and taunts travel very fast and can be seen, reposted, revisited, and shared by a huge audience.

It’s our collective responsibility to make the digital world a decent place, especially for kids. Below you’ll find the things that parents must keep in mind when it comes to cyberbullying.

Let’s get started:

1. What is Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying involves the use of digital communications such as cell phones and the internet to make someone feel sad, angry, or scared.

The intent and the context of the behavior matter too. If the action was intentional, that’s cyberbullying for certain and there will be consequences. But if a kid unintentionally hurts another kid, then they only need to be taught good online behavior.

Whichever the case, if your kid is negatively affected due to someone’s online behavior, you should take that issue seriously. Kids’ conversations can sometimes be rude and rowdy. But if they are not intended to inflict cruelty, and no one feels offended, then no need to worry.

2. Is Cyberbullying Different from Bullying?

Any form of bullying can be extremely hurtful and can make children feel embarrassed, uncomfortable, sad, helpless, and angry. But unlike other forms of bullying, cyberbullying spreads quickly and further to reach more people, and can happen any time, be it day or night.

Since there is no face-face contact, online messages can be scarier compared to in-person communication. Kids can better deal with bullying if they are able to recognize it.

3. What Are Some Examples of Cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying is most often characterized by repeated cruelty or brutality. Whether it was a one-time prank, or an intentional act of cruelty, how it affects your kid matters a lot.

Here are some behaviors that could be regarded as cyberbullying:

  • Making fun of a person in an online chat.
  • Sending a mean email to someone.
  • Texting someone repeatedly to the point of harassment.
  • Directly intimidating or threatening someone in a text or online.
  • Sharing a photo or video without the owner’s consent.
  • Impersonating someone online.
  • Hacking or logging into someone’s account.
  • Making fun of someone in an online community.
  • Demeaning someone’s character online.

4. How Do You Talk with the Parent of a Bullying Kid?

If your kid is bullied by another child they are familiar with, you may be forced to talk it over with the kid’s parent face to face. These steps can help you get things together during the conversation:

Schedule a Meeting

While you can be tempted to face the kid’s parents right away, setting a time to meet and discuss the matter in a civilized manner is advisable.

Let Them Know You’re There for Your Kid

Explain to them that your kid brought an issue to your attention and you wanted to follow up. That alone will take the heat off and allow you both to discuss the situation.

State Your Goal

Although you’re hurt and angry, you should have a goal beyond blaming. Your discussion should be aimed at ending the bullying and having the kids stop engaging in harmful behavior.

Allow Them to Respond

Hear the other side; they may tell you something you don’t know.

Talk About the Next Plan

Talk about how to proceed and have a check-in schedule so you can see the progress. Depending on how things go from there, you may need to involve other parties, for instance, a counselor, a teacher, or even a community leader to save the situation.

5. Is it Cyberbullying or Just Kid’s Behavior?

Most often, Kids go online to chat, watch videos, email, play games, send messages, and do homework. But sometimes their behavior can get scary and mean. And because most communication is done online, it’s crucial to let your kids understand that their behavior can cause unintended harm.

The context of a person’s behavior as well as their intentions plays a key role in determining whether cyberbullying has occurred. Meanness can sometimes be accidental, but when a person uses tools like cell phones and the internet to intentionally upset someone repeatedly, that’s cyberbullying. Teach your kids to develop empathy for others. Let them know that an online community can only function well when all people are respectful and responsible. Teach them to use the internet more respectfully and responsibly, and be role models.

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