Cyber bullying; October theme of the month ; Verbal Judo

safebook 1 300x257 Cyber bullying; October theme of the month ; Verbal JudoHow Parents Can Spot Cyberbullying and What They Can Do About ItBullying isn’t a new problem. Kids have been bullying other kids for hundreds of years. Cyberbullying, at its core, is just a form of bullying – a potent  Cyber bullying; October theme of the month ; Verbal Judoand potentially dangerous one, however. Decades ago, a school bully could affect your child on a local level. It may have been hard on your child, for sure, but it was usually contained. The internet has opened up many more opportunities for kids to harass other kids. It allows bullies to spread their harassment through social channels and often reach hundreds with their bullyingmessages and practices.Cyberbullying has such a profound effect on today’s youth, partly because so much of their lives are wrapped up in their online persona. Here’s how parents can spot signs of cyberbullying and what they can do about it if it’s happening to their child.What is cyberbullying?As a base level, cyberbullying is the use of technology and the internet for the purpose of intimidating, ridiculing, or harassing another person. It can be threatening text messages, mean Facebook posts, online impersonation, or cruel blog posts. Not all cyberbullying is so clearly defined, however. A lot of it can come in the form of microaggressions, including microassaults, microinsults, and microinvalidations. The former two can be categorized by explicit attacks meant to hurt or demean someone or the more subtle insensitivity to one’s personal identity, respectively. The latter is even more subtle, defined as communications that attempt to degrade by invalidating one’s rights to their own personal thoughts and/or cultural practices/identities. Denying that there is racism, sexism, homophobia, etc, in a given situation or that the person doesn’t have the right to feel a certain way can be a microinvalidation.  What are some signs that someone is being cyberbullied?According to the National Crime Prevention Council, the number one sign that your child may be the victim of cyberbullying is a sudden withdrawal and aversion to technology. But there are plenty of other emotional, social, and even academic signs to watch out for: sudden mood swings, withdrawing from friends or changing friend groups rapidly, falling behind at school or trying to avoid going at all; seeming incredibly anxious; getting defensive when asked about it; seeming secretive about their phone or computer; and attempting self-harm.What can a parent do?So, how do you deal with cyberbullying if your child becomes a victim? The best thing you can do as a parent is to create an environment where your child feels comfortable talking to you. That means that they need to know that they can come to you with any problem, and they won’t be judged or punished. The Spruce notes that you need to find a line between being concerned and supportive and being an overprotective parent.Beyond that, it’s important that you take measures and appropriate actions if evidence of cyberbullying is discovered. Print out chat logs, or take screenshots of any evidence of bullying – it may be useful later. If the cyberbullying is aggressive, you may need to contact your child’s school or even the police if it’s particularly malicious. Use privacy controls to block the bullies on your child’s social media accounts, and make sure that you limit their internet time to when you can monitor it. Always teach your kids about password security, as a lot of cyberbullying involves online impersonation.Cyberbullying happens to all types of kids. Don’t think that your child is immune to it if they seem to have a lot of friends or are relatively successful in academics or extracurricular activities. If you think your child is being cyberbullied, open up a line of communication. Don’t act accusatory, simply talk to them. If you think it’s best for your child to take an internet break, don’t be afraid to impose one.Thank you for the article Laura Pearson!Photo Credit: Pixabay.comSaveSave
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