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Cyber Bullying Prevention


5 Warning Signs Your Child is Being Cyber Bullied

Parents and educators should be able to spot common warning signs of cyber bullying. With the ever-increasing rate at which technology is available it only stands to reason one should expect an increase in cyber bullying.
Because cyber bullying is usually experienced at an age when parents can expect their child to act differently it can be difficult to tell the difference between a bad mood and warning signs your child is being cyber bullied. If you have doubts, be sure to strike up a conversation with your son or daughter and let them know they are free to ask for your help.

Warning Signs of Cyber Bullying

1. Symptoms of Withdrawal: Has your child veered from their normal routine? A few symptoms to look for include constantly waking up later than usual or sleeping more, not hanging out with their normal crowd of friends, or exhibiting a lack of emotion while at home.
2. First-Hand Bullying: If you know your child has already experienced bullying first-hand then the odds that your child is being bullied online are much higher. Bullies don't just stop bullying once school lets out -- they have access to tablets, smartphones, and computers which let them bully people online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
3. Low Self-Esteem: Both teachers and parents should be able to notice if a student or a child is exhibiting symptoms of low self-esteem. It could be something as simple as your daughter making a comment about being too fat even though she's a perfectly healthy size. Children, not too different from adults, can be very passive-aggressive in the way they ask for help.
4. Extra Aggression: Another cyber bullying warning sign to look out for is added aggression in your child or student. Teachers, are your normally passive students getting involved in verbal or physical altercations at school? Parents, are your sons or daughters stomping around your house and screaming at each other more than usual? It may be another warning sign of online bullying.
5. Lower Grades: When kids are cyber bullied many tend to lose focus on homework and extra-curricular activities. If your A-student is getting C's or D's on a regular basis it might time to speak with them about any problems they might be having.
This list contains only a few of the warning signs of cyber bullying that you should look for. Other warning signs to look out for include drug or alcohol use, skipping school, or health problems. It is very important to remember that as a parent or teacher your kids should be able to trust you. Make it clear to them that you will provide a safe environment free of judgement and they will be more likely to open up to you.

Cyber Bullying Facts: 5 Ways to Prevent Cyber Bullying

According to the National Crime Prevention Association, cyber bullying happens when teens use the Internet, cell phones, or other devices to send or post text or images intended to hurt or embarrass another person.
More than 50% of all American teens have been a victim of cyber bullying so it is imperative that students, parents, and educators are aware of ways to stop it.
1) Do Not Participate - This may sound like common sense but many teens do not realize that they are guilty of cyber bullying by commenting on or sharing offending text or pictures, even if they were not the ones who originally started the bullying. Make sure your kids or students know that they should refuse to take part in these actions.
2) Block the Cyber Bully - Most social networking websites, cell phones, and other messaging applications have functions that will allow a user to block messages or other types of communication from specific individuals. It is possible (and quite easy) for dedicated bullies to create fake profiles and accounts to get around certain blocks however.
3) Direct Action - Rather than immediately tell an adult about an instance of cyber bullying, students can also choose to ask the bully to stop directly. Sometimes this form of direct communication can be very effective, but its success also depends highly on other variables including personalities, relationships, and environment.
4) Tell An Adult - One of the tougher actions for a teenage child to take is telling an adult when a friend or classmate is being bullied. Many students are afraid of the possible retaliation by peers when thought of as a 'tattle-tale'. If an issue is brought up by a student, educators or officials should do their best to protect the anonymity of the whistle blower.
5) Preventative or Proactive Education - There are not a whole lot of teenagers who will sit down at their computer and research cyber bullying. That means it is crucial that parents and educators take a proactive approach to educating kids about cyber bullying. Teach them ways to identify, prevent, and report cyber bullying and let them know that they should feel safe reporting instances of bullying to a trusted adult.
Children are affected every day by cyber bullying and some have even gone as far as to take their own lives because of it. Please share this information with your children or students.
Tell them this rule of thumb: If they wouldn't say it in person, they shouldn't say it online.