Tips To Prevent Cyberbullying
September 30, 2020
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If your beloved child is expressing anger and/or anxiety after an online session, it might be one of the indicators that they are being cyberbullied. Cyberbullying is becoming a very important issue both for parents and teachers. An average kids spends at least 3 hours online and uses cell phones 80% of the time, making it the most common medium for online bullying. Cyberbullying is the same as traditional bullying before the internet era. The difference is that in traditional bullying when the school day ends it's over but for online bullying there can sometimes feel like there's no escape. Unfortunately, to assert dominance or feel better about themselves some bullies torment and harass each other using the internet via computers and smartphones.
Some surprising stats so you can learn about the scope of the problem.
45% of children admit they have experienced bullying online
More than 40% say they have become the bullies' target
70% admit they have witnessed cyberbullying
50% of children admit to actually being frightened of their online bullies
92% of cyberbullying attacks are held through chatting and commenting on social media websites
Cyberbullying victims are 3 to 9 times more likely to consider committing suicide
Only 2 in 10 victims will inform their parents or teachers of online attacks
If you are suspecting your child is being bullied online, below is a list of things you can do to stop, help, or prevent it.
Every expert will tell you that the best way to help your child or student is to have a talk first. Be patient and ask a child about the problem in general: what is cyberbullying, does he/she know someone who is being bullied, what children should do if notice acts of bullying. This way you will see how much your child is involved in the situation.
2. Use celebrity influence in a positive way
Modern children choose role models and follow them on Twitter and Instagram. Nowadays, a lot of celebrities are supporting cyberbullying victims. Many of them post numerous comments against online bulling on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Among many others, Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, Demi Lovato, and Miley Cyrus are just some of the popular singers who talk about this problem out loud. Many athletes, actors, and more have spoken out agains this trend.
3. Monitor online activity
Luckily, cyberbullying has one advantage for the victim: you can notice it and save the evidence. If taking their phone away is not an option, you can install iPhone monitoring apps that allow monitoring of social media activity. You can use parental controls and filters to block and control the child's phone remotely through PC or personal cell phone. Be careful about this because a child might hate being controlled or even more than being bullied.
4. Engage parents and kids
Create a community for adults and pupils to send a unified message against cyberbullying. Establish a school safety committee that will control and discuss the problems of online bullying. There are many online groups that give good tips on how to accomplish this. You can create policies and best practices, including cyberbullying reporting system. It is important to make the main objectives known to parents, school and children.
5. Build a positive climate
School staff can do a big deal to prevent cyberbullying. As a teacher you can use staff and parents meetings and even send newsletters and write about this in the school newspaper. Use your school website to create a page and forum, where parents can discuss the problem. You can also engage bullies and victims by giving them mutual tasks, so they can try to see each other from a different perspective. Teachers can try and create team building activities to get different cliques to try and see the world from the other's point of view.
6. Volunteer in the community
As a parent, you can prevent bullying by working in the community. With your experience on the ground, appropriate strategies can help identify the victims and redirect bullies' behavior. And it's not just helpful against cyberbullying, but also helps the entire community as a whole. This is more important than ever in the Covid-19 era where social groups are far more isolated and many tensions are higher.
7. Restore self-respect
Remember that the ultimate goal is to protect and restore the victim's self respect. Collect the evidence and join with parents or teachers to figure out the possible best choice to stop cyberbullying among children.
There are many more things that experts will recommend, but those are some initial things you should think about as a parent to keep you and your family safe. There are many great privacy tips and best practices out there that will contribute towards keeping your loved family healthy, happy, and safe.
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