Cyberbullying is prevalent on social media and online games. Don't fall in the trap of NMK (not my kid). Your child could be a cyberbully as well as a victim. Teach your child to be a Cyber Superhero: an Upstander rather than a Bystander.
An Upstander is someone who speaks up in support of a victim of cyberbullying. A Bystander takes the easier route of avoiding the conflict that they are observers too.
Take screenshots of messages, save images or video and report it to the parents and school of the child involved, or to the child protection authority in your jurisdiction if it involves a threat to safety. For bullying to stop, it needs to be identified and reporting it is key.
Though laws vary by country, cyberbullying behavior can rapidly tip over into criminal offenses and contacting law enforcement may be a needed step in stopping the behavior. If you are in immediate danger, then you should contact the police or emergency services in your country.
Preventing and stopping cyberbullying requires parents to - Monitor their child's social media and gaming sites, apps, and browsing history; follow or friend your childs on social media sites or have another trusted adult do so; re-set your child’s phone location and privacy settings; stay up-to-date on the latest apps, social media platforms, and digital slang used by children and teens; know your child’s user names and passwords for email, social media and games; establish rules about appropriate digital behavior, content, apps and games, and keep checking in and checking up.
If the bullying is happening on a social platform, consider blocking the bully and formally reporting their behaviour on the platform itself. Social media companies are obligated to keep their users safe. It can be helpful to collect evidence – text messages and screen shots of social media posts – to show what’s been going on.
The feeling of being laughed at or harassed by others, can prevent people from speaking up or trying to deal with the problem. In extreme cases, cyberbullying can even lead to people taking their own lives.
For bullying to stop, it needs to be identified and reporting it is key. It can also help to show the bully that their behaviour is unacceptable. It is important to collect evidence (text messages and screen shots of social media posts), to show what’s been going on.
The first step is to seek help from someone you trust such as a parent, a close family member or another trusted adult like a school counsellor, sports coach or favourite teacher. And if you are not comfortable talking to someone you know, search for a helpline in your country to talk to a professional counsellor.
When bullying happens online it can feel as if you’re being attacked everywhere, even inside your own home. It can seem like there’s no escape. The effects can last a long time and affect a person in many ways: Mentally (feeling upset, embarrassed, stupid, even angry), Emotionally (feeling ashamed or losing interest in the things you love), Physically (tired, or experiencing symptoms like stomach aches and headaches).
Though laws vary by country, cyberbullying behavior can rapidly tip over into criminal offenses and contacting law enforcement may be a needed step in stopping the behavior. Threats of physical harm should be reported to police immediately.
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