No parent will ever dare to say that being a parent is an easy task. All parents in this world would certainly attest to the fact that being a parent would require so much from them and it is a task that never stops nor ends. Being a parent is a job that requires you to be one twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, thirty days in a month and three hundred sixty five days a year. Being a parent does not end even if your child reaches the age of majority, leaves home to study or marries. A parent is a parent from the moment the child is born until his death. That is why this is a piece on what each parent must know about cyberbullying.
Perhaps most parents would agree that the hardest part of the job is during the times when your children are still young and innocent. At this time, you need to be there at all times to teach them, to guide them, to take care of them and to protect them from all types of harms. Do you still remember how you would watch over your kid while she sleeps so as not to let a single insect touch her? Later on this job would be more tiring as your child will learn how to move on their own. You may still recall how you would run to her side each time she would attempt to stand on her own. Do you realize how angry you have been when the daughter of your neighbor pulled her hair? Or how you retorted when she went home from her class telling you that some classmates teased her and made her cry? The truth is that, parents can be overly caring to their children. No parent would ever want her child being hurt nor bullied by anybody else.
But do you realize that things have been taken to the extreme these days? You may blame it to technology but the chances that your kid will be hurt and bullied is greater today due to modern technological advancements. This can even be accentuated if your children have easy access to these technological devices. Herein we will try to tackle important points relating to cyber bullying and how you can deal with it accordingly.
Be Acquainted to Cyber Bullying
It has been a very famous quote that the most efficient defense is an offense. As a parent, protecting your children from cyber bullying would require you to know every detail regarding it. How can you possibly protect them from an unknown danger to them if you are not also aware it exists and how it can damage your kid? Below are some essential points to be familiar terms with.
How Bullying is Done These Days. When you were a kid, you can still remember how those wicked girls in your class would get their scissors and cut your hair. At one instance, you realized that your seat is stuffed with chewed gums. Those girls were calling you ugly. They say that you do not belong to that class. They told you that your parents did not want you because you are not intelligent. Nobody wants to play with you because you do not have new doll. Your classmates would write nasty words about you at the chalk board. Your bag will be hidden at the trash bin. You may also recall that there were rude boys living near your house and that they always try to attack you every afternoon. Things like these may happen a long time ago. But this type of bullying has become obsolete these days. As provided by http://kidshealth.org, bullying these days can happen anytime. It can be through communication devices like mobile phones, laptops, and iPads.
How It Is Done. As mentioned, bullies make use of communication devices as the primary medium of the offense. With this, messages or calls can be forwarded to your child’s mobile phone. It can also be advanced through websites, emails and social networking sites.
Get to Know the Offender. The trouble with bullying through the cyber world is that you may have a lesser opportunity to identify the offender. There can be instances wherein the offender is someone known to your kids. However it can also happen that the offender is an anonymous persona.
Why it is Rampant. This type of bullying is very rampant due to the fact that it is easy and convenient for the offenders to accomplish. With easy accessibility of your kids to the internet and their ownership of Smartphones, sending harsh messages to them can be straightforward. This can also be considered as a safe way to harass any kid since the identity of the offender cannot be directly identified. A long time ago, it would have been easier for us to determine who pestered our kids by simply asking them or other people who witnessed the event. This time, it can be more challenging for the identity of the offender can be hidden.
Cyber Bullying : The Destructive Upshots
In the past, if a child is bullied, it can be normal for her to cry and be afraid for a while. But as long as the offender has been apprehended, the child will immediately feel safe again. But cyber bullying according to http://www.childline.org.uk may have long term and more destructive upshots to your child.
Emotional Agitations. Any kid who would receive any disparaging message or call can be emotionally disturbed. Even adults can be disturbed when you receive threats like “I’m just around the corner, I’ll kill you at the first opportunity I get” or “You can bid goodbye to the world now”. Do you think kids will be able to deal with it properly? Most often than not, it can be a positive indicator that your child is being a subject of cyber bullying if she always seem troubled, depressed or mortified.
Being Reserved regarding Online or Mobile Transactions. If you notice that your child has finally set for a password on her Samsung Tablet or would always carry her iPhone anywhere she goes, even at the comfort room then you should be alarmed. This can mean something like she is trying to hide something from you.
Being Aloof. If your child uses to hang out with her girl friends on Friday afternoons for a scoop of ice cream or joins them for library work and suddenly declared that she wanted to stay home then it can mean trouble. Being aloof to other people especially those people she enjoys spending time with can be an indication that something is worrying her. It can be about a cyber bully who is making her upset and unsociable.
Decreased School Performance. Was your attention called by the teacher because your daughter always absent in class? Or her grades have significantly decreased or she is not submitting assignments anymore then you have to be vigilant.
Inconsistent Behavior. Are there times when your child seems to be happy but after checking on her phone, her mood suddenly changes? Her inconsistent behavior might be caused by something alarming.
Being Unhealthy. Are there visible dark circles in her eyes? It is a sign that she is not getting enough sleep. Studies reveal that kids would normally want to stick with their beds. It would be very unlikely for them not to get enough sleep unless they are disturbed about something. Do you also notice that she is not eating enough? Does she love rice cakes but refuses to take a snack? These indications can really mean that you should do something about it.
Why Children Will Keep Cyber Bullying Undisclosed
Only a few children will have the guts to tell their parents that they are receiving unfavorable messages or calls. Most often than not, you can just expect that your child will keep the real situation perfectly hidden. Here is why.
The “I am no weakling” thought. Only weaklings go home crying and telling Mom that the biggest boy in class made fun of him. Only weaklings would tell their parents that they are being bullied. Children these days have this connotation that they should not tell their parents about it because they can handle the situation. To most of them, it can be very upsetting to have your big brother scolding that big boy who made fun at you in class. The same holds true when kids are bullied online. They would not want their parents to aid them.
The “I will be embarrassed” thought. Kids find it embarrassing to be bullied. For them, only the feeble ones are bullied. The strong ones will never be harassed for they can easily protect themselves. Thus, you cannot expect your child to be telling everybody that he or she is bullied. She may opt to bear the pain alone rather than be embarrassed.
The thought of steering clear from communication devices. If you know that your child is receiving prank calls, what will be your immediate reaction? Regularly, your instantaneous decision will be to take the phone away from the kid. This is the main reason why your child will not tell you about it. Who wants to be without an iPhone anyway?
The Necessary Actions for Your Child’s Protection from Cyber Bullying
Upon knowing that your child is a subject or can probably be a victim of bullies in the online world, you must take necessary action for your child’s protection. Again, note the fact that your child can be innocent and helpless. It is your duty as a parent to help her out if she is in trouble or someone is taking advantages of her vulnerability.
Track Your Child’s Phone and Online Dealings. You have to be sure that you are informed of every malicious message or call your child gets. This can be the most professional way of cyber bullying prevention. Know that mobile phones like Apple Iphone 5 allow you to install a tracker application on the phone. This way, you will be able to access all incoming messages and calls of your child. The mobile phone device tracker will also provide for the visited URL’s and received emails of your child. For this matter, you can get hold of the every harmful information that may be unfit for your child. The installation of a device tracker will also be favorable since it would provide for a record of all transactions. This would later on help in identification of the offender.
Play down Your Child’s Accessibility to the Internet. The internet opens the largest door for your child to be attacked by bullies. Thus, minimizing his access to the internet will make it possible for him to be protected. It would be recommended for you to keep the computer in place where you can easily see him. Kids, especially in their tender years, should not be allowed to access the Internet without supervision. No matter how much your child will ask for a personal computer in his bedroom, it would be best to say no. You may allow him to use the Internet as long as you can keep a close eye on him. The most appropriate place to situation the computer is in the living room.
Build a Defense Wall. If it is confirmed that your child is being bullied then build a strong defense wall to deny these offenders contact with your child. A lot of communication devices these days can block certain individuals. Also, only allow trusted websites to be accessed in your child’s phone or computer.
Discuss it with your Child. Whether it is confirmed that your child is bullied or you are just having suspicions, it would be good to discuss the issue with your child. You have to know that it is never easy to be bullied. Talking to your child about it will help ease the burden and the worries. Tell your child that you are there to protect her and that there is no need to be afraid of the offenders.
Ask Assistance of Experts. Realizing that your child is having a hard time in dealing with being a victim of cyber bullying, it is appreciable to seek the assistance of experts. Her teacher at school can help you make the child feel safe again. Guidance counselors and psychologists may also be opted. At the end of the day, your child needs to know that you are willing to help her out to matter what.