What Parents Can Do If Their Child is Being Cyberbullied
Cyberbullying is a downside of today’s virtual world. Anyone with access to a computer and the Internet can harass people without giving it a second thought. Children can even become a target of cyberbullying from their peers or even older people. It’s vital to be able to help your child if that happens. Here we’ve gathered some advice on how to handle the situation should you find that your kid is being cyberbullied.
First and foremost, make sure your children are safe and that they feel safe. Safety is priority number one. Talk to your child, ask about the bullies, find out what they are saying. Find out if your child is being asked to do something, or if your child’s wellbeing is being threatened. And by wellbeing, we mean the physical one too. Also, it’s important to make your child feel safe. Assure them that they can easily talk to you, that they can avoid hazards and threats, that they have someone to talk to no matter what is happening to them. Offer reassurance. If there aren’t immediate threats to your child’s wellbeing, assure them that nothing bad will happen and you will help them deal with the situation.
Then, talk to the child. Of course, you should talk to them in order to reassure them and find out whether there are immediate dangers, but afterwards you need to discuss the situation to understand what has been happening, for how long, and how it has affected your child. Stay calm. Avoid freaking out. Offer unconditional support. Demonstrate that your immediate goals are to make them feel safe and end the cyberbullying.
Now it’s time to collect some evidence. Together with your child, print or photograph conversations, especially if they contain threats. Gather and make sure you’ve saved all evidence, including photographs, videos, conversations, emails, etc. that can prove your child has been bullied. Keep note of the backstory. Also, make sure you know and understand how frequent and how long the matter has been going on. Check if there have been third-parties involved and if there were any witnesses. Any such details can help you with the further resolution of the bullying.
Remember, sometimes your child may be unwilling to show or tell you the details due to being ashamed. Keep calm and explain that you won’t judge them, but that you are just trying to help and to do so you need more information. If necessary, take some more time to calm the child, reassure them that everything will get better, and make them understand you are there for them and will help.
Contact who you need to. Talk to the school authorities. Most schools have a strict anti-bullying policy and can help you if the bullier goes to the same school. If the bullying is through social media, an online game, or some other site, contact the content provider. All legitimate providers have rules prohibiting cyberbullying and can help even if the child doesn’t know who’s been bullying them. Should the bullying occur due to race, age, gender, or sexual orientation, get in touch with the Office of Civil rights. Also, DO contact the police if any physical threats are mentioned.
It’s a good choice to opt for counseling. Your child can benefit from having a professional to talk to about their feelings and fears. Trained counselors know how to handle such situations and how to give the best advice possible. They will help you get the child feeling safe and show them they aren’t responsible. If the bullying has occurred due to sexual orientation, gender, or disabilities, the counselor can offer additional advice on how to deal with the situation and how to overcome a negative self-image that may have come about due to the bullying.
If possible, refrain from contacting the parents of the bullier. Oftentimes, when parents are confronted about their child being involved in cyberbullying, they get defensive and more troubles may arise. They may not be responsive to your case and there may be an additional drama that won’t be helpful for any involved.
Also, try to make sure the bullying won’t occur again by implementing measures against the bullier contacting your child again on the site or social media where this has occurred.
Laura Fields is the owner of Bestessayserviceradar and Essayexaminer and strives to give scholars and students useful advice. She writes on various topics, including ‘Should I use an essay writing service’, ‘How to compile a personal essay’, ‘What are the best essay writing services,' and others. She gives useful insight and information about different topics of interest that can be beneficial for every student out there.