What is cyberbullying?
The engagement of kids and teenagers in the world of Internet and social networks has resulted in the emergence of a new kind of school harassment cyberbullying. Let’s figure out what it represents and how you can prevent it.
Danger of cyberbullying and how to prevent it
The evolution of contemporary information technologies and communication facilities, as well as the communication facilities has resulted in the emergence of a new kind of school harassment cyberbullying. This term means harassment or mockery with cell phones and other electronic means. The specialists in the area of children’s rights protection say that it may be even worse for the kids than beatings after the lessons.
How does this thing work?
The information is disseminated very rapidly thanks to the social media and online communities. In just a single click, any personal and compromising photos/videos and nasty rumors may reach a lot of Internet users. Thanks to the mobile phones and Internet access, cybercriminals can terrorize their victims 24/7, creating an impression of total control over their lives and actions. Web technologies enable them to preserve the anonymity. Therefore, kids who can’t find out who makes them suffering, are scared of vengeance for engaging parents or headmaster in the issue. Teens usually refuse to talk about cyberbullying, as they’re scared of punishment for denunciation. Anonymousness and lack of punishment explain the antisocial behavior of the bully: the process fascinates the teenager, and his/her approaches become more cruel and do more harm to his/her prey.
Definitions used in cyberbullying
The following terms are related to cyberbullying: trolling, defamation, grief, violation of secrecy, parody, cyberstalking, expulsion/banishment, cheating and sexting).
Cyberbully doesn’t need to have physical power, authority or impact on the classmates in order to feel “above people”. “Thanks” to the Internet, one can belittle, offend and intimidate others using a PC or smartphone. The data remains in the web for quite some time, spreading and emerging in different online resources. This circumstance has severe traumatic effects on the mental state of the child suffering from mockery and insults. It reduces the self-worth of the person and may cause depression, and even lead to suicidal thoughts.
Cyberbullying can go beyond the web and affect the victim’s real life, if the offender and the victim go to the same educational institution or live close to each other. Kids and teenagers are not aware of the implications of their actions when they share their private information on their account in social networks. After all, bullies can easily use it to terrorize their preys. Usually, parents don’t know anything about cyberbullying, and therefore can’t provide the online security of their kids. Only about 1/4 of all parents place restrictions on the use of the web for their kids, while more than 2/3 of all teenagers surf the Internet daily. One third of adolescents have personal accounts on social networks. What’s more, every tenth child has internet dependence.
How can you tell that your child suffers from bullying?
Pay close attention to any fundamental changes in your child’s life. For instance, look at how he/she treats his/her mobile phone. You may be glad that your kid has stopped to use social networks, but you have to determine the cause. Talk to your child, but not in the form of questioning. Mood swings of your kid should cause concern as well. Do your kids often cry or laugh without reason? It may be a dangerous sign. Moreover, attention should be drawn to a troubled sleep and headache. If your child used to lover walking/running, and now always stays at home, you should figure out why. If your kid is afraid of going to school, it’s even worse.
What do the parents have to do in such case?
We should note that it’s not easy to oppose bullying. Actually, this involves going against public attitude. You will need an outstanding fortitude. But first of all, remember that your child desperately needs your support. Be strong, and you child will follow your example.
My main tip is as follows: talk to your children. Avoid controlling your kids, but develop a trusting relationship with them. If you don’t live in the same country, use Skype. Be your child’s friend and share experiences with each other!