With the ease of access to the internet, cyberbullying has become an epidemic that it is nearly impossible to contain. Parents now have to take preventive measures in order to shield their kids from becoming victims of cyberbullying. This form of bullying is especially dangerous, as technically there is no accountability for harassing someone online anonymously. The rate of cyberbullying victims are on the rise. Parents, take a look at how you cyberbullying can be prevented, both if your child is the victim or the cause of it.
You can only help if you know. Since kids can sometimes be embarrassed by their online behaviors, talking to their parents is the last thing they want to do.
To be in a place where you can offer to help, it’s important that parents and guardians maintain a strong offline connection with their kids to prevent bullying online. This connection will build a trust and open the door to address any issues, if necessary. Whether your child is a bully, victim or a bystander, talking about it is a crucial step. The most effective way to show that you care and understand is to, “[open] up an ongoing dialogue with kids about social conflicts, friendships, and navigating difficulties”.
Training and Education
It’s not an easy chat to have with your children if they are the ones initiating the bullying online. Most often kids who are the bullies don’t see the pain that they are causing to other kids. Whether it is for revenge, or for fun, cyberbullying can cause victims to be more prone to depression or addiction. Some kids spend years building back their self-esteem after cyberbullying, so the scars that cyberbullying leaves on some victims take a long time to fade away.
Social media is an immense powerhouse and kids are using it without any responsibility or accountability instructions. To better understand how to not abuse that power, parents and schools need to provide programs and training classes that would help educate students about the negative impacts of cyberbullying. Through these programs, students are at least having a dialogue about the issue and thinking about it.
Additionally, schools should attempt to host forums to raise awareness on the issue. In those forums, they could also invite brave former victims of cyberbullying who could share their stories with the students and hopefully give them a different perspective. Empathy is very significant when it comes to preventing any kind of bullying.
Building a Positive Community
Building a positive community goes a long way when it comes to preventing cyberbullying. Kids aren’t born mean, so being around a community that advocates for love and kindness might just sway them from hurting someone online.
Carrying out these preventative measures are just a few ways to get an upper-hand on the war with cyberbullying. We are determined to help, but it needs the involvement of teens, parents, and schools to have a fair chance at preventing it. Some good starters are definitely getting the dialogue started, and having schools to teach and educate teens about cyberbullying and all of its unpleasant facets.