6 Signs Your Child Is a Victim of Cyberbullying
Learn how to read the signs of cyberbullying, and how you can help your teen if she's being cyberbullied.
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Your child is more secretive than usual.
Tweens and teens are notoriously private but it’s wise to start investigating if your child starts to seem much more concerned about hiding her screen.
Your child now avoids hanging out with friends.
If your child suddenly wants to avoid certain social situations, like hanging out with a specific group of friends, or doing a certain activity, he may be being bullied, Ellis says.
What to Do If Your Child Is a Victim of Cyberbullying
If you think your child might be a victim, it’s important to offer her support—but approach it delicately. Ellis recommends talking in general terms rather than asking directly. For example: “I’m reading a lot about cyberbullying and bullying and it’s really happening a lot. Does it happen at your school? Do you know anyone it’s happening to?” Even if she doesn’t open up, it’s important to reinforce that you are there for her, you love her, and will do your best to help.
If you find out he is being cyberbullied, stopbullying.gov recommends keeping a record and screenshots, then reporting directly to the social media platform as well as your child’s school. If your child is receiving threats of violence or worse, or if a crime or illegal behavior is happening, report it to the police.
Finally, make sure your child knows the rules of the cyber road. “A parent has to be computer savvy,” Ellis says. “You have to communicate with your kids constantly. It’s not a one-time conversation. Parents need to raise responsible digital citizens because if they don’t, there’s a possibility their kids are going to bully someone, or they will be bullied.”