Category: Bullying

Common Signs Your Child Might Be Getting Bullied

Common Signs Your Child Might Be Getting Bullied

Kids can be brutal to one another. It results in stress for your child as they process what is happening and learn to cope with it. Of course, it’s also of great concern for parents as well.  If you’re worried about your child, it’s only natural to want to help them defend themselves and keep them safe.

Let’s explore some red flags you should watch for to know if your kid is getting bullied.

1. Headaches and Stomachaches

Kids bullied in school may not have the courage to talk about it. The signs appear in other ways, like frequent ailments. Suppose your child constantly complains of a headache or stomachache. In that case, they might be going through something at school that is causing their anxiety to permeate through their body in physical ailment form.

Dietary changes like a loss of appetite can be a symptom of bullying. Try approaching your child with understanding and questioning them about the reason for their sudden changes. Scolding them for not eating enough will likely just make matters worse. Coax them into telling you what is going on.

2. Withdrawal From Family Functions

Being a parent sometimes entails reading between the lines. Kids are likely ashamed of being bullied and can fear getting in trouble or being judged for not standing up for themselves. This can be challenging with the never-ending to-do list you already have, but you should do your best to take notice when your child is suffering.

Any changes in their behavior, dietary habits, and socialization can cause concern. Connecting with others is an essential way of relieving negative thoughts and anxiety. When your child withdraws from family, they’re likely feeding into insecurities brought on by judgment from others.

3. Losing Interest in Socialization

Bullying is scary for children. Often, they don’t know how to react. When they tell, they can be labeled as a tattletale. When they fight back, they can get in trouble for fighting. Bullying can be confusing, and when kids don’t know the best route to take, they can get overwhelmed and completely shut down emotionally. This can cause a complete loss of interest in any social gatherings or hanging out with their friends.

They want to avoid any situation where bullying would likely occur, including going to school. If your child is suddenly using every trick in the book to get out of going to school or attending extracurricular activities they used to find fun, there’s a good chance they’re being bullied in some way or another.

4. Difficulty Sleeping

Difficulty sleeping or having frequent nightmares can be a sign of bullying. Any shift in your child’s sleeping patterns is a reason to worry because quality sleep is essential to a healthy lifestyle. Most older kids aren’t getting the needed rest and are more likely to experience various sleep challenges.

If your child is waking in the middle of the night or suddenly having issues falling asleep, consider talking with them to find the cause. Often, kids don’t want to go to the doctor, so telling them you’re worried and might need to take them can get them to open up to you about what is bothering them. Be consistent with their bedtime and limit their screen time to see if that helps before making the trip.

5. Decrease in Self-Esteem

Bullying can manifest in your child and lower their self-esteem. If you notice your child’s confidence plummet or they begin doubting themselves, they might be a victim of bullying. There isn’t much you can do to help your child if they don’t communicate with you. Encourage your child to open up about why they’re so hard on themselves. Adolescence and teenage years are tough and can harm kids’ self-image.

Encourage your child to love themselves, take time for their mental health, and support their friends’ self-image as well. Be observant and set positive examples and expectations for your child. Ensure they know who to talk to when they feel bullied or notice a bully harming someone else.

Signs Your Child Is Getting Bullied

Bullying can be physical, with apparent signs you can be watchful for – like torn clothing or bumps and bruises. Bullying can also be verbal, emotional, and hard to detect in your children.

If you witness any of these symptoms, your child might be a victim of bullying. Learn how to protect your child against bullying.  Do your best to establish an open line of communication so your child feels comfortable coming to you with their fears and concerns.

Cora Gold Author Bio - Social MediaAuthor bio:
Cora Gold is the Editor-in-Chief of women’s lifestyle magazine, Revivalist. She strives to live a happy and healthy life with her family by her side.

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Is Cyberbullying a Crime?

Is Cyberbullying a Crime?

Bullying is not new, as it has been around for a long time in various aspects of life. However, with the presence of the internet and social media, it has become a menace due to cyberbullying. Many may wonder, is cyberbullying a crime?  The primary concern is that any type of bullying may be hurtful to the victim.

73% of students claim to have been bullied at school, and 44% share experiencing bullying in the span of thirty days.  Even though it’s quite prevalent, it’s not quantifiable when a victim feels unsafe due to something sent to them online or written about them. This online humiliation and harassment can be direct, indirect, or invading someone’s online privacy with the intention of hurting them.

With the growing number of rude online interactions that turn into threats, there are Electronic Cyber Harassment Laws in California to punish offenders. This protects the victims, preventing cyberbullying effects. Keep reading to find out more so you can stay safe from bullying while having the resources to fight it legally.

What is Considered Cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying refers to online harassment using digital platforms such as cell phones, computers, and the internet to threaten or defame a person. What cyberbullying means is that an individual is sharing hurtful texts, images, and videos of another person, making them feel embarrassed, sad, angry, or frustrated. It may also include rumors and false accusations that might put the one getting bullied in mental turmoil.

For those unaware of how cyberbullying starts, it may be as small as someone sharing hurtful texts directly or in a group. It may be anonymous or someone you already know. As people are using the internet more frequently now, they are more susceptible to getting bullied. This includes both adults and children.

However, children are more at risk of mental struggles due to bullying. A few factors that cause bullying of children are lack of awareness and peer pressure. Many may consider something to be a harmless joke, but it has the potential to turn into cybercrime without the intervention of parents and authorities.

The child who experiences cyberbullying may feel anxious and fall into depression, withdrawing from social activities. As parents, you need to ensure your children are safe online and not under the stress of cyberbullying. In California, cyberbullying and cyberstalking may lead to hefty fines and significant incarceration if an individual is guilty.

Current Electronic Cyber Harassment Laws are in California

As per the California Penal Code 653.2 PC, any electronic media, including texts or emails, with an intention to threaten an individual or their family is considered a crime. This also includes putting the other person’s safety at risk via electronic mediums with the purpose of harassment, public embarrassment, injury, or physical contact.

Anyone who publishes or distributes nonconsensual emails, pictures, or other personal information may be considered guilty of a misdemeanor. It is punishable by up to one year in county jail or a one thousand dollar fine (both in some cases).

Ways to Deal with Cyberbullying

If you’re wondering can cyberbullying cause depression, 37% of children have been noted to link their depression to cyberbullying. Will cyber bullying ever end? We may not be able to eliminate cyberbullying completely. As a result, we need stern measures and actions to deal with it alongside the laws. Here are some ways to deal in case you or your child is going through online bullying.

Don’t brush it off

If any situation feels unsafe and may pose a threat to your safety, it’s better to take action. Victims may be able to pick bullying cues earlier than others. Therefore, as parents, it’s essential to trust your children and empower them to voice these concerns when needed.

Avoid direct retaliation

Sometimes, bullies just want a reaction and enjoy it when their victim retaliates. It may be hard not to revert to harsh comments and rude remarks, but you may need to keep calm and think about your next step calmly. Make sure you save proof of your online interaction when required in the future.

Report

Social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat have a report abuse feature in case someone gets bullied on the app. Moreover, some mobile phone providers offer anti-bullying features to prevent it over the phone.

Seek legal help

You don’t have to be clueless in these situations and suffer. It’s ideal to seek help from an attorney to proceed with the case if the situation requires more than just reporting these offenders online.

Hiring Professional Criminal Defense Attorney

If your child or loved one is a victim of cyberbullying, do not stay quiet wondering is cyberbullying a crime. If you’re worried about your child being bullied, you may want to hire a professional attorney to fight against cybercrimes and bullying.

Criminal defense attorney Samantha Greene says, “With rising cases of cyberbullying and cybercrimes, we need to safeguard our youth from it, now more than ever. Legal council can greatly  assist anyone in need of legal aid against cyberbullying.

Seeking proper legal council can:

  • Support you throughout your battle against cyberbullying.
  • Ensure your case is strong and all facts are considered to make sure you win.
  • Law firms with expertise in this area understand that this legal battle may get challenging for your child and your family.
  • They can guide you while representing your court case.

Your child may suffer more if the situation is ignored and takes an unfortunate turn. Consider taking the necessary action to deal quickly with issues such as cyberbullying and cybercrimes. You may also want to contact an attorney if your child is being accused of cyberbully.

Author Bio:

Samantha Greene Author BioAttorney Samantha Greene is an attorney at Sevens Legal, APC.  She is the winner of the Client Choice award from AVVO and the Top Attorneys award from San Diego, signifying credibility in the field. With her Juris Doctor from the University of San Diego School of Law, Mrs. Greene has expertise in dealing with criminal defense cases.  Before starting a private practice, she worked as a Certified Law Clerk for the Public Defender’s Office and Senior Associate for one of San Diego’s top trial law firms.

What to Do If Your Child Is Being Cyberbullied: a Single Parent’s Guide

What to Do If Your Child Is Being Cyberbullied

Due to the rapid advancement of technologies, our lives are becoming more digital. Even though the digital era benefits humanity in many aspects, the increased access to the Internet also leads to cyberbullying. If you are a single parent wondering how to stop cyberbullying for kids, make sure to read this article.

Learning the Basics of Cyberbullying

The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, also known as UNICEF, defines cyberbullying as “bullying with the use of digital technologies.” Currently, cyberbullying covers a wide variety of online activities, including sending, posting, or sharing negative, harmful, false, or mean content about a specific person or a group of people. In some cases, cyberbullying can cross the line into unlawful or criminal behavior.

According to a report published by Pew Research Center, nearly 60% of children have experienced some sort of cyberbullying at least once in their lives. The thing is, the age-long problem of in-person bullying has made it into the digital world. However, cyberbullying is more damaging than traditional face-to-face bullying, as it can happen at any time, and there is no place to hide.

Based on the information provided by Ditch the Label, one of the world’s leading anti-bullying organizations, cyberbullying most often takes place on social media platforms, such as Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat. The main reasons why most people get attacked online are as follows:

  • Appearance
  • Academic achievements/intelligence
  • Race
  • Sexuality
  • Financial status
  • Religion

The Signs and Impact of Cyberbullying

Some children are ready to tell their parents they are experiencing bullying online, which significantly simplifies the process of providing parental help. At the same time, most kids are still too embarrassed or ashamed to talk to their parents about it. Therefore, each parent should be able to identify the main signs that their child is a victim. If you suspect something, watch for the following behaviors in your child:

  • being distant, upset, or angry after being online or texting
  • appearing more lonely or distressed
  • a decline in their school work
  • trouble sleeping
  • loss of interest in favorite hobbies
  • unexplained weight loss or weight gain, headaches, stomachaches, or trouble eating
  • suicidal thoughts or suicide attempts

Apart from this, what experts say about cyberbullying is that cyberbullying has a significant impact on a child’s mental health and well-being. For example, if the child suffering from cyberbullying does not get appropriate help, it can lead to:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Low self-esteem
  • Eating disorder
  • Self-harm
  • Substance abuse

Best Ways to Help Your Child Handle Cyberbullying

If you don’t know how to protect your child from online bullies, try to stick to the cyberbullying tips listed below.

1. Listen to your child without judgment and blame

No matter who initiates the first conversation about cyberbullying, parents should discuss the ongoing problem with their child calmly. Instead of freaking out, try to gently ask questions regarding the names of bullies (if known), the forms of cyberbullying used, and the length of time the cyberbullying has been a problem.

Also, do not blame your child if they have been hiding the truth about being cyberbullied for a long time. In fact, victims of online bullying may be scared their parents won’t understand the magnitude of this problem. Let your child know that you are always here for them if they feel like they need to talk.

2. Help your child feel safe

What parents can do about cyberbullying is ensure their child feels safe. If you think that taking away your child’s phone or computer to teach them about online safety can be helpful, you’re wrong. This action can only alienate them from their peers.

To help your child build resilience, encourage them to block cyberbullies from contacting them. If the cyberbully still manages to contact your child somehow, they shouldn’t respond or retaliate. Usually, people who use electronic communication to bully someone only want to get a reaction.

Finally, let your child know that telling an adult isn’t tattling – it’s standing up for yourself. So, if new episodes of cyberbullying occur, the child should be able to talk about it with a trusted adult.

3. Collect evidence

If the harassment continues, collect evidence that you can later show to teachers, the parents of bullies, or police officers. For example, make screenshots or recordings of conversations, messages, pictures, videos, and other items that demonstrate a full picture of bullying behavior.

If you consider taking legal action, speak with a lawyer, legal service, or the police about the type of evidence you might need to help resolve your case. Once evidence is collected, make sure to store it in a way that removes it from your child’s devices. For instance:

  • Send the evidence to your personal device or email
  • Store the evidence on an external hard drive

4. Work with the school administrator

Presently, the majority of schools have a bullying policy, and most cover cyberbullying. If your child and aggressor go to the same school, contact educators who take responsibility for creating a safe environment for victims of online harassment through an investigation and appropriate response.

If reporting the incident to the school doesn’t help you handle the issue well, step back and reconsider your options. Is the cyberbullying your child experience possibly a crime?  In the end, the last thing you want is for the problem to get worse for your child.

5. Report the online harm

Typically, social media platforms, games, apps, and websites have policies that help prevent and deal with harm caused by online abuse and restricted online content. Considering that cyberbullying violates the Terms of Service of all legitimate service providers, contact the content provider to inform about this violation.

f you manage to provide appropriate proof, the service provider will take action within 48 hours after the report has been submitted. As a result, the cyber-abuse material will be removed, and the person initiating cyberbullying will be blocked.

6. If necessary, seek counseling

If you don’t know where to find help for reducing physical and mental harm caused by cyberbullying, try to find a well-qualified cyberbullying counselor for your child. Many victims of online harassment may be reluctant to speak out, which is why parents should play an essential role in motivating them to seek help.

If you notice any signs of anxiety or depression experienced by your kid, communicate with your child on the subject of cyberbullying. If the child agrees to receive psychological help, mental health counseling can be beneficial for them in areas such as:

7. In case of a real physical threat of harm, contact local law enforcement

Sometimes, cyberbullying includes a realistic physical threat of harm. In this case, parents should contact county or state law enforcement officials immediately. After researching your state’s cyberbullying laws and procedures, you can file an official report with the police.

In turn, the police are required to take appropriate measures to prevent new episodes of online harassment from occurring. For example, if the bully is anonymous, the police will try to track them down. If cyberbullying involves a credible threat or posting the victim’s contact information to provoke physical attacks against them, the police might launch an investigation.

8. Encourage positive connections and coping strategies

Reassure your child they are loved and supported by numerous people, including their family members and friends. In addition to having open communication about your love for the child, encourage them to engage with interests like sports or dance that connect them with other young people. In this way, your kid can improve relationships with their friends and get acquainted with new people who share the same interests.

Moreover, if your child feels unsafe at school, offer to switch educational facilities. This decision can help your kid find new meaningful connections and build lasting friendships from scratch. Considering that changing schools exposes children to a wide range of new ideas and attitudes, it can be a perfect way to start a new chapter of life.

A Final Thought on Cyberbullying

If you want to learn more information on cyberbullying and options to address this problem, there are a variety of cyberbullying help sites that you can use to improve your knowledge on this topic. For example, you can visit government websites, such as Stop Bullying, Cyberbullying Research Center, and Connect Safely Cyberbullying.

Author on Cyberbullyingby: Natalie Maximets
Natalie Maximets is a certified life transformation coach at OnlineDivorce.com. She has expertise in mindfulness and sustainability. She is a published author focused on the most progressive solutions in the field of psychology. Natalie helps people go through fundamental life challenges, such as divorce, and build an entirely new life by reframing their personal narrative.

What to Do If Your Child Is Being Bullied: Single Parent’s Guide

Single Parent Guide with Bullied Child

“I am a single parent, and my lovely kid is being bullied at school. Is my status as a single parent the main reason for a child’s violence? How can I stop bullying? Are there resources available to assist me in helping my child? ” Many threads on parenting forums begin like this.

There are many ways you can help your children cope with cruel treatment. However, to provide the correct aid, you first need to understand the true bullying nature.

What do the statistics say?

According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, every fifth child (20.2%) reported being bullied at school. And many of them think the bullying will also continue after graduation.

The constant exposure to bullying at primary school and high school can traumatize the mental health of children. As a result, kids become fearful, depressed, have low self-esteem, and have sleep difficulties. Also, when a child is being bullied for a long period, suicidal thoughts may appear.

Students from different states ages 12-18 indicated that they had been subjected to different types of bullying, including:

  • Threatened with harm – 3.9%;
  • Destroying of the property on purpose – 1.4%;
  • Being the subject of lies or rumors- 13.4%;
  • Shoved, pushed, spit on, or tripped – 5.3%;
  • Being made fun of, insulted, or name-calling – 13.0%;
  • Exclusion – 5.2%;
  • Others tried to make them do things they did not want to do – 1.9%.

The males are more likely to be subjected to physical violence, and females are often subjected to verbal (rumor) violence. But not all parents are aware of this.

The bullying symptoms and why it happens

Schoolchildren rarely speak openly about their problems to their parents for fear of condemnation and that the situation will worsen.

Typical bullying symptoms include emotional and physical complaints such as worries, fears, and tummy aches. In addition, the kids do not want to go to school for some reason. In such a way, kids try to avoid things that are making them stressed.

Childhood society is like a wild jungle, where everyone learns to survive, coexist, and defend themselves. In this case, the herd instinct is triggered. It pushes children to group together in search of protection. As a result, a sense of security gives confidence and the ability to defend their interests. After all, there will always be someone who will cover your back.

When someone is different or does not fit into the framework of the already established order of the children’s society, we have bullying. “Weaks” under the protection of a strong leader will attack the “black sheep” with a special effort. Why? They may also have a fear of being in the victim’s shoes.

Anyone can become a black sheep – the child is an excellent student, too beautiful, an orphan, poor, not talkative, or just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Below are practical tips and advice for what you can do when your daughter or son is being bullied at school.

Tips How to Teach Your Child to Deal with Bullying

Avoid Wrong Attitudes

While giving guidance, people want to do what is best. But often, it leads to misunderstanding or alienation between the child and the parent. As a result, the child can retire into their shell and stop sharing their problems with a single parent.

To help your child deal with bullies, you should avoid such bullying myths:

“You need to learn how to resist bullies.”

Children who tell their father or mother about bullying are looking for support first. They may be upset and depressed. Therefore, it is not necessary to say that they have to cope with the situation independently. If a child asks for help, they can not do it alone.

“Words will never harm you, unlike sticks and stones.”

You shouldn’t underestimate the power of words. Unfortunately, sometimes the consequences of name-calling can cause mental pain for many years.

“We all went through it, and we’re fine.”

Bullying is not the behavior norm. It can lead to long-term negative mental and physical health effects. Many adults who were frequently bullied during their school years have PTSD.

“You have to stand up for yourself and fight back when you are bullied.”

Violence breeds violence. A bully fight can make the situation worse and hurt your child. Also, responding to bullying at school may cause your child to be punished for school disturbance.

Use a Strategy for Dealing with Bullying in School

When teaching children to handle bullies, a single parent first needs to explain how to respond to bullying appropriately:

  • Don’t expect to be mistreated from the start. It would help if you were not wary and belligerent towards the new group of children. Instead, it would be best if you treated others the way you want others to treat you.
  • Don’t let the bully make you feel bad. Ask, “So what?” You are not a hundred-dollar bill to please all. There will always be someone who doesn’t like something about you. However, this does not mean that you do not have positive traits. Always keep your benefits in mind.
  • Disarm the bully with humor. Laugh at their name-calling or threats, and then leave. Are they trying to hurt you by pointing out your flaws? Instead, show that you can laugh at yourself and accept your weaknesses.
  • Tell the bully how you feel and what you want them to do. Sometimes, when peers use name-calling, they do not think it can cause the victim severe emotional pain. For little hooligans, this is just entertainment. So express your feelings about name-calling or other types of bullying in a calm and confident voice.

Bullies often want to assert themselves at the expense of the victims because they look stronger and more authoritative. However, they do not yet realize that fear does not equal respect.

Take more serious action to stop bullying

If your children are being bullied every time they go to school, you should cooperate with the administration and other parents to improve the situation. Also, it would be more helpful if you prepared your child to make intelligent choices and teach them how to act if they experience or see someone being bullied.

Step 1. Talk to Your Child

First, talk to your child about the situation. You should find out how long the bullying has taken place, who the bully is, the reasons for the bullying, and how it all started. Also, avoid extreme reactions and judgments. It will help if you do not make hasty decisions until you see the whole picture.

Step 2. Report About Repeated Bullying

If your child is afraid or unwilling to report bullying on their own, you should go with them. Talk to the teacher, psychologist, and school principal to help resolve the situation under the school policy against harassment. If necessary, contact your family therapist, police officer, or specialist organizations such as Olweus Bullying Prevention Program (OBPP), Stomp Out Bullying, and National Bullying Prevention Center to help stop bullying.

Step 3. Contact the Offender’s Parents

Working as a team is a smart way to deal with peer bullying as soon as possible. As a parent of the victim party, you should call or email the offender’s parents to resolve the issue together. But, in no case should you accuse them of the improper upbringing of their child.

Step 4. Cooperate with Your Child’s School

Teachers may not know that your child is getting bullied at school because no one tells them about it. Let them know about any bullying that has happened, and feel free to suggest anti-bullying programs to add to school policy. Although many schools already have similar policies, they still lack resources and support from the community and parents.

Step 5. Teach Coping Skills

If your child is being bullied, remind them that it is not their fault, and you will always be on their side and ready to help. Children of all ages need to define their feelings to tell their parents about what happens.

Final Word

Unfortunately, bullying at school is a common issue. Therefore, as a single parent, you should prepare your child in advance to avoid harassment from peers. Become an example for your child of how to get along with others. It is also essential to help them develop positive body language because our body unconsciously indicates our inner state and attitude towards others.

by: Natalie Maximets

Natalie Maximets is a certified life transformation coach at OnlineDivorce.com. She has expertise in mindfulness and sustainability. She is a published author focused on the most progressive solutions in the field of psychology. Natalie helps people go through fundamental life challenges, such as divorce, and build an entirely new life by reframing their personal narrative.

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