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9 Ways To Keep Your Children Safe From Cyberbullying

These efforts can help raise awareness and involve kids in a proactive, positive way in addressing social media hazards – without casting an unwelcome focus on your child’s personal experiences.”

In this day and age, raising children presents more challenges than benefits. With the introduction and widespread use of the internet, which allows anyone, including children, to access the internet and social media, parents face a new challenge.

Bullying is unfortunately one of the issues that arise as a result of technology. Cyberbullying is when a person is bullied through the use of electronic communication, such as sending intimidating or threatening messages.

Some children were once only bullied at school, but with the rise of connected devices and the ever-expanding Internet of Things, cyberbullying has become a problem.

The amount of time kids and teens spend online exacerbates the problem.
According to studies, seven out of ten young people experience
cyberbullying before they turn 18, with harsh comments being the most
common form of harassment.

In a bid to stay current on social
media sites, young children and teens are now sharing more personal
information on their pages, exposing them to cyberbullying.

In
young children and teenagers, cyberbullying has been connected to a
variety of mental health issues, including depression, drug use, and
even suicide.

Protecting your children from cyberbullying can be a
difficult chore for parents, especially if you don’t understand how
cyberbullying works or the dangers it can cause.

Unfortunately,
because their children are afraid of getting into additional trouble,
parents are generally the last to learn about difficulties.

While
completely removing young children from social media may appear to be
the simplest and most effective way for parents to protect them from
cyberbullying, it does not help them grow into resilient individuals
capable of dealing with the barrage of abuse that the world throws at
them both online and offline.

As a result, it’s critical for
parents to be involved in their children’s digital lives and to
understand how digital devices and social media platforms work.

Experts suggest the following ten strategies to safeguard your children from the dangers of cyberbullying.

Protecting
your child from cyberbullying is best done before it begins. According
to cybersecurity expert Jerry Thompson, placing controls and permissions
on the usage of internet-enabled devices in the family as soon as
children get access to technology is vital to prevent cyberbullying
occurrences.
He explained that this can assist children avoid
becoming overly reliant on their computers and phones when they get
older. Setting sensible boundaries on internet usage can also help kids
grow as individuals and establish a healthy sense of self-worth that is
separate from their digital persona.
It’s
better for you as a parent if your child feels safe talking to you
about their insecurities and trusts you to address them. Let children
know that if anything is inappropriate, distressing, or harmful, they
can come to you for assistance.

Encourage your child to come to
you first if they have any questions or concerns about their school
relationships or online activities, according to Thompson. This will
help safeguard them from cyberbullying. If kids broach the topic of
acquiring their phone, computer, or social media account, he suggests
talking about the rights and responsibilities that come with it.

You can
work together to write a “Declaration of Rights and Responsibilities”
that spells out what kind of behavior your child is allowed to engage
in.
It is safer to
point out examples of cyberbullying to your child in order to teach them
how to react and what not to do if they are confronted with the
problem. It’s also critical to start teaching children how to preserve
their online privacy while they’re young.

Thomson asserts that
When it’s appropriate, get the whole family together to talk about
personal or national tales regarding cyberbullying, privacy, and other
internet dangers. Use these occasions as icebreakers for discussions
about what is and isn’t acceptable online, as well as what you and your
child can do in the event of an emergency.

Inquire about your child’s reactions to specific occurrences and solicit ideas on how you might best assist them online.

It
is critical to keep track of how much time your child spends online in
order to safeguard them from cyberbullies. If you notice an increase in
online activity, or if your child appears increasingly or emotionally
concerned with their phone or computer, it could be a warning sign,
according to Thompson.

If you need to check your child’s internet
account but don’t have a prior agreement in place, it’s usually better
to talk to them about your concerns and plans ahead of time (or
immediately afterwards, if the situation is truly urgent).

Explain why you believe or believe it is vital to take action, and include them in the decision-making process.

Keep
an eye out for any sudden behavioural changes in your child, as they
could indicate something more serious. Thompson continued, Isolation,
disengagement, and dislike to previously enjoyed hobbies or social
circumstances can all be signs of cyberbullying.

It’s rarely
advisable to break your child’s confidence by skimming through their
text messages or private communications without their awareness unless
it’s an extraordinary scenario. This might easily backfire, leading to
even more secrecy.

One
of the things that young children fear is their parents’ reaction when
they discover something is wrong with them. Some parents even hold their
children responsible for situations that are beyond their control.

When
it comes to cyberbullying, it’s better to express gratitude to your
child for sharing their worry with you and work together to find a
long-term solution.

Pattie Fitzgerald, a childcare and internet
safety education expert, stated that a parent should Be supportive and
understanding if your child is being bullied. Determine how long the
bullying has been going on, who the bullies are, and how you will
collaborate to find a solution. Make it clear to your child that he or
she is not to responsible for being bullied.

Many
parents are unable to properly handle situations in which their
children are bullied, so they resort to downplaying the child’s feelings
by advising them to shrug it off or encourage them to deal with the
bullies on their own.
According to Fitzgerald, Bullying causes
significant emotional distress in children and teenagers, and it can
have long-term consequences. Don’t make fun of your child for being
bullied or respond with the mindset that ‘kids will be kids’.
It’s critical to keep track of who cyberbullied your child, as well as what they said or did.

Sherri
Gordon, a bullying prevention expert, recommended parents to keep
messages, comments, and postings as proof. This includes emails, blog
entries, social media posts, tweets, text messages, and so on, according
to Gordon. Although your child’s first impulse may be to delete
everything, tell them that you can’t prove cyberbullying without
evidence.

You should be allowed to delete comments once you’ve gathered the evidence and spoken with the school and the police.

If
the cyberbullying occurred on school grounds, she said, reporting the
incident was critical because it would make it easier to identify and
punish the bullies, potentially putting an end to the practice.

One
of the most common blunders made by most parents whose children have
been victims of cyberbullying is believing that they can manage the
situation on their own. This may only serve to further isolate the
youngster, resulting in a worsening of the situation. Cyberbullying, as
Gordon pointed out, is a serious problem that cannot be solved on its
own.
Surround your youngster with friends and relatives who will help
him or her succeed. It’s important to remember that talking to someone
about what’s going on may be really beneficial.

To assist your
kid in healing, seek out a competent therapist. If you observe changes
in your child’s mood, sleeping patterns, or eating habits, you should
get them examined by a healthcare expert.

If
your child is dealing with cyberbullying, it’s best to take a step back
and look at the broader picture. Participating in and organizing
activities and seminars can assist your kid in overcoming cyberbullying,
which may also affect other youngsters. Consider assisting in the
planning of school-wide, student-led cyberbullying events and campaigns,
and talk with school administration about suitable activities and
events.

These efforts can help raise awareness and involve kids
in a proactive, positive way in addressing social media hazards –
without casting an unwelcome focus on your child’s personal
experiences.”

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