Cyber bullying is the use of technology to harass, threaten, embarrass, or target another person.
Effects of cyber bullying
Cyber bullying can cause significant emotional and psychological distress for a child. Just like any other victim of bullying, cyber bullied children experience anxiety, fear, depression, and low self-esteem.
What Is cyber bullying?
Some of the Signs of cyber bullying to look out for
- being emotionally upset during or after being online
- being very secretive or protective of their phone/tablet/laptop
- withdrawal from family members, friends, and activities
- avoiding school or group gatherings
- changes in mood, behavior, sleep, or appetite
- seems nervous or jumpy when they get an instant message (snap-chat whats-app), text or email.
How parents can help
- If you discover that your child is being cyber bullied, offer comfort and support.
- Let your child know that it's not his or her fault, and that bullying says more about the bully than the victim.
- Praise your child for doing the right thing by talking to you about it. Remind your child that they are not alone
- Let someone at school know about the situation. Often they will have a policy if the bullying is also happening in the school.
- Encourage your child not to respond to cyber bullying
- Keep any threatening messages, pictures, and texts, as these can be used as evidence with the bully's parents, school and the gardai/police
- Block the bully. Most devices have settings that allow you to electronically block people
- Learn about ways to keep your kids safe online. Encourage them to safeguard passwords and to never post their address or whereabouts
- Counselling can help your child to safely talk about their experience
- Peer support - A free and safe space where you can find and give support by connecting with other people who have been through similar experiences.
- Group support -Facilitated by a mental health professional, support groups are a safe space to connect with others and share solutions and coping strategies on a variety of mental health topics.
- Counselling - Support for whatever you are going through, this is a safe space to talk with a professional counsellor to help you understand your feelings and work together to develop the tools you need to get through tough times.