Parenting

How to Stop Cyberbullying?

In the traditional form of bullying, we know that kids might be at the receiving end of a bully who would intimidate or physically assault them at school or near home. However, the number of kids who are assaulted by electronic means – through cell phone messages, e-mails, social networking sites, instant messaging, is gradually increasing. Cyberbullying has can leave emotional scars in a child similar to traditional bullying and parents should take steps to stop cyberbullying.

How is cyberbullying done?

Sending mean text messages, spreading rumors about the victims online, posting the pictures without their consent, acquiring personal information of the victim to use it in the wrong way, hacking personal e-mails, and posting threatening messages etc. are all forms of cyberbullying.

Cyberbullying has increased rapidly with the emergence of social networking sites such as orkut, facebook and myspace. Instant messaging services can also make it easy to find a victim. With the presence of such freedom online, it is very easy for a bully to befriend a victim, get personal details, and bully him/her online.

Effects of Cyberbullying:

Cyberbullying can leave a victim depressed, anxious and can lead to low-self esteem. In fact, constant bullying can also make a person resort to suicide. The sooner one stops cyberbullying, the better are the chances that the child will recover.

How to Prevent Cyberbullying?

In spite the severe effects of cyberbullying, parents sometimes fail to respond properly to a child who is cyberbullied. In most cases, parents block the online access or seize the cell phone. Fearing this, children may not divulge the details of online bullying.

To prevent cyberbullying, parents should create an atmosphere where kids feel comfortable about talking out issues which are bothersome. Listening to the kids without being blaming or  punishing them is important. Parents should also have a discussion with their kids about cyberbullying and give them advice about handling cyber threats. Here are a few guidelines parents can lay out for their kids:

  • When faced with a cyberbully, kids should not reply or react. Retailiting only increases the communication with the bully
  • The bully should be blocked in the instant messenger or the social networking site
  • Kids should never give personal details online and should avoid posting pictures online
  • If the e-mail account is hacked, they should immediately change the passwords

If kids get messages which are explicit in nature, they should be free to share this with their parents. Adult intervention is important if the bullying gets out of hand.

Cyberbullying is growing and can have dangerous impact. Honest talks and discussion between the parents and kids can help to stop cyberbullying.

1 response to How to Stop Cyberbullying?

  1. Good post. I think it is possible to recover from depression, but it takes time and patience. I can’t find any good message boards on the net, can you recommend any?

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