Cyberbullying is not rare now. It has become a term which is common in the internet world. It is not limited to Facebook only. It is a crime. Yes, you read that right, it is a crime. There are laws for it and a guilty person faces punishment for it. This post is dedicated to the parents and in this post we will point out a few things which every parent should know.
What is bullying and when does it becomes cyberbullying?
When a person uses his strength and power to intimidate or harass someone, it is considered as bullying. The most important thing about bullying is that, it is repeated and habitual. Bullying can be verbal, physical, emotional and cyber. When the bullying is done with the help of technology, it becomes cyberbullying. It is the most anonymous form of bullying as bullies can pose as someone else. It usually goes as unnoticed due to lack of parental/authoritative supervision. Most common platforms for cyberbullying are emails, text messages, websites, social networking sites etc.
Things You Need to Know:
Technology is not the problem
Everything bad thing that happens to your kid is not the fault of technology. Ban on social networks, mobile phones just because your kid got bullied, is not the solution. In this way you are protecting your child but you are not stopping the culprit. They will simply find someone else to bully. Also, not everything bad that happens to your child is bullying. A boy telling your daughter that she is ugly is not bullying. However, if it happens daily then the scenario is different. Posting embarrassing photos, sharing secrets and fake gossip on a repeated basis is definitely cyberbullying.
Cyberbullying is still not so common as compared to real-life bullying
35-40 percent of kids have faced bullying for once in their real life, while only 25 percent of kids have admitted that they have been bullied online. A teen is likely to be real life bullied, two to three times more than the cyberbullying. Cyberbullying gets more media attention that’s why hype is created about it.
Cyberbullying can be worse
You can get punched in your face and no one will know about it, even you will forget about it in two days. But, cyberbullying can get worse. People can say things to you which they can never say face to face. If they are doing it on public platform like Facebook, the news can go viral and it can damage you mentally. The worst thing about cyberbullying is that the whole world watches what’s happening with you and it can be really humiliating.
It happens everywhere
A kid can be harassed everywhere, from Facebook and Instagram to Xbox Live, Secret, and twitter. A kid uses so many apps and it is almost impossible for the parents to know which all apps their kid is using. Banning one app or network will not do any good as the tormentors will find their victims on another app.
It is very hard to detect if your child is bullied or not
Most of the kids do not reveal that they are being bullied. Many times the tormentors bullies that he will even do something more bad if the kid reveals the bullying to his parents. There are few symptoms but they does not mean that the kid is bullied. If your child suddenly stops using phone and laptop, it means something is not good.
It’s even harder to detect if your child is a bully
Now this is almost close to impossible. While you must be wondering whether your kid is getting bullied or not and its turns out that your own kid is the criminal. There are few ways to find it out. Your kid will always hide his phone or laptop, will quickly close his laptop when you walks by. Even maintaining many fake accounts on different social networks can indicate that something is wrong.
There is an app to prevent bullying
Thanks to availability of monitoring apps, it has now become possible for you to detect bullying situation and consequently make a timely intervention. You can install a SMS tracker app on your kids’ smartphones to keep an eye on their text messages, along with the details of who they’re exchanging text messages with. The best part about such apps is that you no longer require physical access to the target device after the initial install, thanks to its remote functionality. You can monitor the SMS exchange on the target device from anywhere at any time, and act swiftly when the situation demands. If you’re looking for even greater protection, you can opt for monitoring solutions that let you keep tabs on your kids’ smartphone activities, including their interactions across different platforms. In a bid to prevent bullying, some mobile apps and websites have taken an initiative to let victims of bullying report the perpetrator or offending content anonymously. It searches for evidence of bullying, contacts the social network of app where it happened immediately, and gets the offending content removed within a matter of hours.
Parent should talk to their kids about it
It is very difficult to find out some information about a teenager from his own mouth. Their unwillingness to divulge any information can be really frustrating. Being a parent, one should try to talk about what’s happening in their life and what new technology are they using. Don’t be too harsh or direct, be diplomatic.
But, kids will not talk about it
Teens don’t want to admit they’re being terrorized or bullied because they feel embarrassed and they fear retribution. However, the main reason is that, they fear that parents will take away their phones and will block their accounts. Instead of this kids will be more open to a family friend, friendly aunt, teacher, or other adult. The main and important thing is to make sure they’re not suffering in silence and they talk about it.
The worse, kids may not want you to do anything about it
Being a parent you would be thinking to go straight to school and demand answers from the tormentor but that’s what exactly your kids don’t want. Many teens would try to handle the problem on their own.
Bullying is definitely not good for your kid. It is not good for anyone. While bullying can have temporary effects, cyberbullying can have permanent one. It can damage an individual from inside. The thing is that the best time to talk to your kids about bullying is before it happens. Well, today is a great day to do it.