Cyberbullying Is Rampant; What Should Parents Do If Their Kids Are Involved?
One in five kids experience cyberbullying and it's also one the highest leading causes of teen suicide. Even as there is an increased awareness on the effects of bullying, especially online via social media, many parents might still be unaware on how to properly handle this if their kids are involved.
Child psychologist Gregory Jantz said kids sending or receiving hurtful messages online is becoming more common. In cyberspace, some kids act without caution, thus they might be prompted to do things they won't usually do in person and hurt other people.
Parents might instinctively decide to take the privilege of being on social media away from their children if only to curb cyberbullying. The better move, however, is to let the kids use devices and allow them to be on social media, but their use and behavior should be regularly monitored, Jantz advised, per Q13 Fox.
Jantz said families must impose rules when it comes to gadget use and social media access. For instance, parents can set a rule about no cellphones in the bedroom or no internet use beyond 9 p.m.
Parents should also make bullying a part of discussions and casual conversation with the kids, such as during family dinners. Be open and accepting when talking about this with the children so that they know they can trust an adult enough to come to them if they are in trouble.
Parents, take note. Most victims of cyberbullying are afraid to come out to their parents or teachers, according to ABC. They feel uncomfortable about potential repercussions, even if they are the ones being attacked.
Parents should also raise concern with the school, a pediatrician, or a pastor, or counselor even if a cyberbullying incident only happened once. This way concerned parties can be on the lookout, especially if the children demonstrate an unusual behavior. If the situation escalates, however, consider filing a report for you children about this to authorities and present a printout of the destructive messages, according to Stop Cyberbullying.