When bullying entered the online scene, it just made the act easier to do. Bullying of this kind often slips unnoticed by parents and school authorities because it leaves no physical mark of abuse. However, the emotional mark is definitely there.
What Parents Can Do
1. Place the computer in a public place in your home.
Discouraging computer use inside the private bedroom of a child will allow parents to check on their children without being extraordinarily snoopy and and in violation of privacy. This will also make it easier for parents to detect any sign of distress when using the computer.
2. Look for signs of distress that can be associated with computer use.
Sudden stoppage of using a computer is a sign that something is wrong and so is too frequent use. Anything out of the ordinary is suspect. The reason behind unusual behavior must be checked discreetly.
3. Talk with the child.
Talking with a child about his life in general is something that should be done with or without any special concerns.Many children are willing to tell their parents when asked especially those who feel that their parents can understand their situation. This is the reason why trust should have been established early on.
4. Observe for any signs of fear related to school or the neighborhood.
Cyberbullies are usually found where the victims spend much time in like school and the neighborhood. Observing and taking the time to speak with people who spend much time with the child can provide important information. It always pays to know friends and “enemies” of the child.
5. Listen and help the child.
Many bullied children fail to directly say what’s troubling them for fear of retaliation but are doing so in their own way. It is the responsibility of parents to help a child going through this. They should not ignore it and dismiss it as childish fights.
Cyberbullying is Serious
Cyberbullying is one of the undesirable effects of technology since bullies can now follow their intended victims wherever there is Internet connection. The computer which used to be a source of fun and easy-going communication with family and friends can become an instrument of fear and hatred. It need not be this way for anyone.
Cyberbullying is serious and parents should make sure that they know what is happening to their children before technology is used to destroy their lives.