The use of internet-enabled devices is on the rise and ever-expanding. While it has all the benefits we need, there are still attacks to pursue, and one of them is cyber bullying. Our children witness it every day just like the adults do.
The latter can handle it but our kids have no idea what to do. The only options left are for them to join the bullying act or suffer from distress and mental illness. According to statistics, 92% of the kids are joining the internet daily.
About 87% of them have reported bullying cases where one million kids witnessed the act on Facebook alone. Those are numbers that will propagate the parents on finding ways to protect their young ones.
Part 1: Cyberbullying Defined
Naming someone a cyberbully means that they use the internet to threaten others. It’s more severe than face-to-face bullying since the internet-enabled devices record. Unless it’s deleted, there may be no escape as the memory lives through.
Furthermore, the bully on the other end is anonymous, and that’s how it remains. The internet rumors spread more than the wildfire. A dirty secret can be revealed to all your friends, enemies, and those related to you in seconds.
The worst part is that regardless of where you are, an online threat will always hurt you. Here are some of the ways the bullies will use while on the internet:
- Sending provocative text messages which may extend to unstoppable calls
- Have a fake social media account and profile to humiliate the victim
- Send or post unwanted messages and comments on the social platform.
- Hack the victim’s account to retrieve personal information
- Expose the victim’s information to the public or those close to you
- Spread rumors via social platforms about the victim
If your child is undergoing such things, then he/she is already a cyber-bully victim. To ensure your kids’ safety, find more info on protecting your child’s WhatsApp and other social media activities.
We will discuss the five ways to prepare your kids when encountering the harshness in the online world.
Part 2: 5 Ways to Protect the Children from Cyberbullies
#1. Placing Early Restriction on Tech Gadgets
As the kids continue to use the internet-enabled devices, you can set up parental controls. They significantly help by setting time limits on when the children should have the devices. That way, they will know when to use them and when it’s time for other things.
You will also be preventing them from staying on the phones and tablets for long. Some of the restriction measures include installing monitoring software such as Spyier.
It will tell you what the kids are doing all the time, even when you are away.
#2. Engage in Open Conversations with Your Child
Allow your kid to be free to talk to you about the issues affecting them. Is their relationship with friends at school or home beneficial or not? If it gets around the use of computers and phones, you should take great concern.
Discuss with your kid about the rights and privileges of using social apps and other internet services. That is what will drive your child to behave when a bully comes their way.
#3. Take Time to Learn about the Kid
You can start by engaging your kid in conversations about the cyberbullying effect. Let them know about the different stories that revolve around the issue. That will provide the right angle for your kid to share what they think about it.
It’s also okay to ask the child what they may do when presented with an unpleasant situation. Take the feedback remarkably, especially if it doesn’t concur with the moral code. That is how you get to change your kid’s mind as you know more about them.
To know more, always have an open dialogue with your kid.
#4. Educate on Mental Illness
Maybe cyberbullying has already taken a toll on your child. In that case, as you look for ways to help, let your child know about mental illness. Cyberbullies understand that this is a weakness they can chase, and it often brings in trauma, depression, anxiety, and shame.
Allowing your child to know about mental health issues helps in de-stigmatization. Once the kid knows that it’s something that people go through, their thinking pattern changes. It will also motivate your kid to help those they think are suffering from the same. Emphasizing what one encounters will make your child see it as a normal solvable situation.
That’s how you cultivate good morals and behavior in your child as they cope with the difficulties.
#5. Check on Your Child’s Behavior
How is your kid acting of late since you bought that tablet? Is there emotional or physical withdrawal? That is one of the things that raise the red flag. You may start by secretly checking on the conversations using a spying application.
Since confronting the same could lead to backfires, improvise ways to counter the behavior. That includes setting up an environment that will allow your kid to open up slowly.
Part 3: How Is Your Child?
This will always be the norm when you are dealing with your kids. They will never tell when they are in trouble until it’s too late. The little one doesn’t want mom to know since the device may go away. At times, it’s because they are ashamed.
You always need to assure your child that all will be well when they communicate. They also need to know that being bullied is not an option to take. That will pave the way for better communication as you progress.
If there is no talking in the house, then watch out for the following signs:
- Nervousness and long quiet hours
- The child wants to stay indoors at all times.
- Spending less time on the phones, and tablets primarily online.
- Health issues such as body, head, and stomach aches
- Insomnia and eating disorders
- Trouble focusing
You now have an idea of what to do as you engage your kids online. They need it these days more than ever since there is less human contact after the COVID-19 pandemic. That presents the parents with more parenting work as the efforts extend to the online world.
Use the five ways to protect your children from the anonymous bullies. If you know your child is suffering or causing trouble, seek more help from professionals.