Parents’ Guide: 10 Basic Signs of Cyberbullying
Cyberbullying is a more urgent problem than many parents can imagine. Think about it – around half of teenagers have been cyberbullied on the Internet and only one in ten of them tells an adult about it. Right this moment your kid can get mean messages on the phone, read inappropriate comments under their Facebook picture, receive online threats, etc.
Cyberbullying may have a strong influence on teenagers leading sometimes to unexpected and hurtful consequences. Not to let that happen, parents need to be attentive to their kids and to notice any basic signs of cyberbullying. Even if your kids don’t tell you about this problem directly, they can give it up in many different ways. So, if you notice any of the following things in your kid, you better have a serious conversation.
1. Constant checking of their devices. If you notice that your kid has been online much more often lately, it may be a sign. Cyberbullied kids usually fail to resist checking whether there are any new comments or messages about them online. It is also possible that they start playing a lot of videogames and sit in different online chats just to escape the problem. Of course, many kids today spend an excessive amount of time online and it doesn’t always mean something, but it is definitely worth checking.
2. Change of interests. If you notice that your kids are not interested in the things the used to like, it may also be a sign. Kids can see their previous hobbies meaningless and feel apathy towards everything. It also concerns friends and relatives. If your child doesn’t spend as much time with you or their friends as before, you should get alarmed.
3. Unusual emotions after visiting the web. If you see that your kid is angry, upset or on the verge of tears after going online, something if definitely wrong.
4. Bad school performance. Many kids who have been cyberbullied by other kids from school, start skipping classes not to see their offenders. Thus, their grades often drop because they are stressed out and cannot focus on their studying.
5. Nervousness. Kids are often nervous for many reasons. There can be a test tomorrow, a new crush, a fight with best friend, etc. However, if you see your kid nervous after checking their phone and this state is more frequent than usual, it is time to start a conversation.
6. Secrets. Does your child shut the laptop every time you enter the room? Do they refuse telling or showing what they do there? Well, it may be nothing, but if they seem too scared that you see their screen, you better do something about it.
7. Physical reaction. Of course, cyberbullying is nonphysical and all the harassment happens online or over the phone. However, the consequences many be quite physical because of all the stress and fear. It can be frequent headaches, sleeping troubles, etc.
8. Weight changes. Loss or gain of weight can actually be a sign of cyberbullying, too. If you see such changes, you better seriously talk to your kid.
9. Derpession. If you see that your kids are too gloomy and depressed all the time, you cannot ignore it.
10. Any other life changes. If you notice that any things are different in your kids’ life, it may be connected to cyberbullying. Of course, there can be many different reasons for that, but it wouldn’t hurt to ask.
Cyberbullying is a rising problem that should be dealt with, first of all, by parents. If it goes on for too long, kids can get emotionally traumatized and carry the consequences of that for a very long time. If you notice that your child acts in an unusual way, you should always try to figure out what’s wrong. The best way to do it is to have trustful and honest relationships with your kids so that they feel safe to share their problems with you.