Cyber bullying has become a serious issue these days. According to last year’s statistics (2014), over 25% of teenagers report that that they have experienced repeated bullying via their mobile phone or online. Reports also show that over half of young people experienced the same problem; while 11% of adolescents and teens have experienced embarrassment with damaging photographs taken without their knowledge or consent. And the numbers just keep piling up. I’m also sure that you have heard stories about teens taking their own lives because of cyber bullying.
In this post, I have gathered some tips on how to prevent this problem and the cycle of aggression. May it serve as guideline not only for parents or guardians, but also to everyone who may have been involved to such incident.
For kids and teens
Don’t respond or retaliate. Most of the time, these cyber bullies would actually wait for your reaction because they think it gives them power over you; and empowering a bully is the last thing you don’t want to happen. Just try to ignore these “keyboard warriors”. Retaliating could only make things worse. If you can’t remove yourself from the situation, sometimes humor disarms or distracts a person from bullying.
Save the evidence. To support the things mentioned above, don’t respond or retaliate. The best thing to do is to save the evidence in case things escalated and report it to the authorities.
Reach out for help. You don’t have to keep everything to yourself. Find a person you can trust or just listen to what you have to say—if not your friends, perhaps your parents or guardian. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help, especially if it’s really getting under your skin. Always remember, you’re not alone.
Use available tech tools. There are many apps services you can use to disengage you with such incidents. You can block the person, set your account’s privacy, or you can also report the problem to the service provider. This may not end the bullying, but at least you get to control the harassment, and you’ll be less tempted to respond. If you’re getting threats, you should definitely call your local police or let your parents or guardians know. Consider reporting it to school authorities as well.
For parents or guardians
Monitor your children. You’re really lucky if your child is open to you. Most children don’t share these things to adults. Monitor their activities. If you notice some changes like they can’t sleep at night or they lose interest going to school or seems restless when on his or her phone or computer, try to ask why as calmly and open-heartedly as possible.
Work with them. Keeping your children involved is always a good thing. Victims of bullying (in any form) usually involve loss of dignity or control over a social situation. Getting your child participate to some activities may help him or her regain that control.
Respond thoughtfully. Gather your thoughts before making an action. The problem with most parents is they retaliate as quickly as possible. This would only make things worse. Find out what really happened and gather your thoughts so you can find out the best solution to the problem.
There are many ways you can do to prevent these problems. Just keep your eyes open. For sure, you know your child better than anyone else. And for the others, I hope you do your part as well. Say not to bullying. Sometimes, lending your two ears could save lives.