Is your child facing cyber bullying? And you don’t have a clue what it is and how you can protect your kid from such bullies?
Cyber bullying basically occurs through electronic methods of communications, namely, text messaging, instant messaging, e mails and social media updates. Due to technological developments, in the past few decades, this form of bullying is increasing frequently.
The effects of cyber bullying are just as serious as that of bullying done in person. Often, a victim of cyber bullying may not present the ‘symptoms’ as those experienced in general bullying, which makes it difficult for parents to understand if their kid is really a victim.
How to Prevent Cyber Bullying for Kids?
Here are some basics you need to know about what is cyber bullying for kids and some symptoms that may help you detect if your child is being bullied.
1. First Things First:
Know what to look for, the signs of harassment, which are mostly in the form of an individual harassing the victim via emails, text messages or other such means of electronic communication. Cyber bullying usually involves the following.
- A heap of messages, emails or texts, irrespective of them being threatening or not.
- Hateful and verbal calling which includes blackmailing, name-calling and/or threats of violence.
- Threatening or embarrassing images.
[ Read: Internet Safety For Kids ]
2. Make an Attempt to Identify the Cause:
The bully may be a person that the individual is acquainted to (may be a friend, an ex, or someone else).
- It would be a wise choice to talk the reason of bullying.
- Do mind the conversation be done in person rather than on the phone, text or any other sort of communication.
- On the other hand, if the person is unknown, it is more advisable to take a stronger action since talking out will probably not work.
3. Stop the Response to His/Her Messages:
Since a bully will message expecting for a reply, it is best to ruin such expectations. They mostly intent to send a message to either make you scared or to elicit a reaction from you, so firing back a message will provoke his/her behavior further, which is more likely to make things go out of hand.
4. Keep the Evidence:
This is a very crucial and important step- it is best to back up any conversations your kid may have had with the bully as a form of evidence; file away every mail, text message, instant message, or any other useful data.
[ Read: Safety At Home For Kids ]
5. Keep the Bully Away:
The best method to put an end to the bully’s threats is by immediately blocking the person out from your social account. Note to do this step after saving the appropriate evidence through messages or any other media. Social networks and smartphones nowadays have enhanced features for managing privacy and blocking unwanted people, hence this won’t be too hard to do.
6. Limitations Required:
Social networking websites do have their benefits, but one should know how to tread carefully when it comes to imparting personal information.
- Change your account settings. Limit the amount of personal information you share with others hence removing any odds of the bully to find a new way of contacting you.
- Social media sites, despite having all your personal information, have added features to limit the data from going public as well.
- Utilize these features and limit your phone number, address and contact info to only close friends.
- Create a new account if the person has found another way of getting to you. Reveal that account only to close ones and family.
In some cases, you may also need to approach certain higher authority people to tackle kids cyberbullying-
- The school principal, teachers or student counsellors as they can find a solution to your problem before things get out of hand. Other kids at the school may experience cyber bullying too, so perhaps your case will set an example to speak about the problem frankly rather than suffering in silence, so don’t be afraid to talk about it.
- Cyber Crime Cells by Indian Police are located across the country. You can approach them or log a complaint if such bullies take up drastic shape and require police attention.
Lastly, try to support your child through his/her experience; assure him that you will always stand by him and protect him from anything that may cause him harm.
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