What is Cyberbullying?
Cyberbullying is any type of bullying that takes place on devices such as computers, cellphones, tablets, etc. Those devices are used to transmit mean text messages and/or emails, or similar messages via social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
Other examples of cyberbullying include transmitted rumors, extremely embarrassing videos and/or photos, and even fake profiles.
Cyberbullying can be a bit more difficult to escape than in-person bullying because it can occur 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Cyberbullies can post anonymously, and they can reach an audience of unlimited numbers.
Effects of Cyberbullying
Kids who are cyberbullied are more prone to:
- health problems
- poor or lower than average grades
- skip school
- use alcohol and/or drugs
- experience in-person bullying
How You Can Help
- know what your kids are doing online
- know the sites your kids visit
- know the passwords used by your kids
- “friend” or “follow” your kids (but don’t intrude or embarrass them by posting to the sites)
- encourage your children to come to you if a problem develops. Reinforce the fact that you will not take away their computer or punish them in other ways simply because they’ve become a victim of a cyberbully.
- teach children about what they should and should not post online.
- teach kids how to post privately, or only to certain people, such as family and close friends.
- be sure your kids know that you’ll be monitoring their online activity. It is your duty as a responsible parent to do so.
*Monitoring the online activity of your kids is extremely important, not only to prevent your child from becoming a victim to a cyberbully, but to prevent your child from becoming the bully. Remember, for every victim, unfortunately, there is a bully.