A few decades ago, most parents only had to worry about physical and social bullying when their children were away from home. However, the new technology that helps to connect our society may also end up resulting in bullying at home. This isn’t to say violence and bullying in schools is no longer a problem, but that online platforms give bullies the ability to contact their victims at any time of day. Parents need to be especially vigilant. Here are some things you need to know about how bullying has changed due to the rise in computers and smartphones.
Cyberbullying: What Is It?
In modern times, common violence against kids in high school goes online. This can include sending private messages threatening a child, constantly sending harassing messages, using random internet trolls to attack the child, creating communities to mock and shame the teen, or using online behavior to blackmail the teen. Online bullies are often people the teen knows, but they may be complete strangers.
The Problem With Online Bullying
A lot of parents think that online bullying is less dangerous because it is not physically harmful. However, the mental effects of online bullying are still extremely severe. This type of behavior can greatly impact a child’s social development, and online bullying frequently causes depression and anxiety disorders. In some circumstances, online bullying has even been linked to suicides.
Signs of Online Bullying
Keeping your kids safe throughout high school requires some extra care in the modern digital age, but unfortunately, it can be hard for parents to notice that their child is a target of online bullying. Some options include a child who stops using devices unexpectedly, seems nervous while using devices, gets upset after going online, seems depressed, hides online usage, or becomes withdrawn.
What You Can Do About Bullying Online
In the modern digital age concerns about online safety for kids continue to rise, but many parents do not know how to deal with bullying besides banning their children from computers and phones. Unfortunately, this is ineffective and may isolate your child further. Some options that may be more helpful include talking to the parents of bullies, reporting bullying posts to website moderators, reporting the cyberbullying to law enforcement and helping your child to find social support outside of an online environment. Another option is to pull your child out of the traditional schooling environment and enroll them in an online public school, where they will have more flexibility. It is important to be involved in your child’s life and do all you can to protect them online.
If you or a loved one is dealing with bullying and needs help dealing with the emotional challenges, please check out 5 Ways to Fix Emotional Health!