Category: Bullying

How Cyberbullying Affects Your Child’s Psyche

How Cyberbullying Affects Your Child

Cyberbullying is one of the most common causes of emotional stress not only among children but also teenagers and even adults. Children that are bullied online experience stress, anxiety, and even depression. They have low self-esteem, lower grades, and may even feel physical pain.

The mental bullying definition, according to officials, is the following: it is a form of bullying which takes place via smartphones, tablets, and computers. It happens through text messages, social media accounts, forums, and video games where youngsters share information and communicate. Cyberbullying means sharing harmful and negative information about a person, including data that may cause embarrassment.

In this article, we will discuss the signs of online harassment, its consequences, as well as apps that prevent cyberbullying and other effective measures.

Signs that your child is being bullied online

Most children don’t tell their parents about being bullied, so it is important for adults to understand what signs may indicate the problem. A child may be cyberbullied if:

  • They stop using a smartphone or computer, while before they used it all the time;
  • They avoid using computers where anyone else can see them;
  • Every time you walk by, the screen or monitor goes black;
  • They are withdrawn;
  • They neglect friends and avoid other people;
  • They don’t want to attend school;
  • They say something like ‘I don’t have friends’ or ‘there’s a lot of stress in the class.’
  • They are nervous when getting a message or email.

How this may impact a child’s psyche

You already know what cyberbullying is and what signs to look for. But what can cyberbullying cause? Is it a minor problem or a serious issue that requires our attention? Below we are going to discuss the emotions that cyberbullied children experience. And some of them are extremely dangerous.

  1. Confusion

It may be overwhelming, especially if a child is bullied by several kids at the same time. A bullied kid may think that everyone knows about the situation and supports it. They think that the world is against them, and there is no one they can turn to. Very often, they think that the situation is too heavy and difficult to handle.

  1. Humiliation

Cyberbullying takes place on the Internet, so if something is published online, it stays there for ages. That is why children feel exposed and can’t get rid of the feelings of being humiliated.

When the bullying takes place, messages and posts can be shared by others, and the more people know about the situation, the more difficult it is for a child to cope with the situation.

  1. Strengthless

Cyberbullying victims feel powerless and unsafe. This happens because online bullying reaches them anywhere they are: at home, at school, or even in a supermarket. They are reached via a smartphone or a computer 24/7. That is why the child doesn’t have a place to hide, and it feels that the bullying will never end.

Unfortunately, rather often, online bullies are anonymous, so children may experience additional stress and fear. And they don’t know how to cope with the feeling of powerlessness.

  1. Uselessness

As a rule, bullies attack the most vulnerable ones, so the victims already feel that they are not worth the love and attention. Most bullies trigger others by saying that they worth nothing and don’t have any value.

Unfortunately, these feelings may lead to disastrous consequences. For example, if a kid is called fat, they might use harsh diets and harm their health. Or try and change their appearance to look more attractive. Some children refuse to go to school or even to leave their homes because they feel useless and don’t see a point in communicating, studying, or even living.

  1. Isolation

Many children and teenagers that are bullied feel excluded at schools and colleges. They often feel alone and not knowing who to turn to. At this age, friends are extremely important, and their absence leads to even more bullying and stress.

When cyberbullying happens, children are usually advised to close their social media accounts and turn off computers at least for a while. However, this leads to even more isolation because, for children, it is extremely important to communicate with their friends and stay updated on the things happening around them.

  1. Vengefulness

In some cases, cyberbullying makes children very angry, and they start searching for a way to harm the bully in return. This emotion is one of the most harmful consequences of bullying because the child is locked in negative emotions, which can do significant harm. It’s best to forgive another person than to be angry all the time.

  1. Physical illness

Psychosomatics proves that emotional state may influence your physical health. Cyberbullied children often complain of headaches and other physical symptoms. Stress can also lead to problems with the stomach, skin, and whatnot.

A common impact of cyberbullying is troubled with sleep and nutrition. Children have nightmares and insomnia. They may also skip meals or even stop eating at all. These conditions are extremely harmful and can lead to negative consequences in the long run.

That is why it is so important for parents to be attentive to their children and notice any changes in sleeping and eating habits, as well as other physicals signs of mental problems.

  1. Absence of interest

Cyberbullied children look at the world differently, and they lose meaning in the things that support them. They no longer enjoy their hobbies and spend less time with their friends and relatives. This only contributes to depression and leads to irreversible consequences.

Bullying victims are disinterested during classes; they are not motivated to get high grades and perform well. They skip school not to dace bullies or because they feel embarrassed and think that everyone in the school knows about the situation.

Stress and worries cause a lack of concentration, which results in poor grades. In the long run, this may lead to dropping out of school or even losing interest in entering college. As you see, such a ‘minor’ problem may impact a child’s future.

  1. Depression

One of the most dangerous and harmful conditions that a bullied child experience is depression. They lose confidence and no longer have healthy self-esteem, which leads to stress and anxiety. They, in turn, make a child unhappy. If the episodes of cyberbullying happen on a regular basis, the above emotions lead to depression. And in most cases, it is impossible to cope with depression without side help.

It should be noticed that many children mask their depression and, on the inside, seem happy and cheerful.

  1. Suicide

According to research, cyberbullying may be a cause of suicide, especially among youngsters. Children who are regularly bullied by their classmates or neighbors, or even unknown people on the internet, often lose hope and think that they can’t do anything about the situation.

They might think that the only way to change the situation is to commit suicide. As you understand, this condition is the most threatening one and requires your full attention.

How to prevent cyberbullying

As you see, cyberbullying and depression are interlinked. This may influence a child’s future and even lead to irreversible consequences. That is why it is so important to know the most effective prevention measures.

First of all, you should try and monitor the social activity of your child and record the time and the medium that was used for bullying. Then you can report to the school or academic institution if the child is bullied by a classmate. It is also important to try and talk to a child about the situation. Another effective instrument is to post positive messages if you see a dialog with bullies.

However, the methods above might not help if your child is withdrawn or too sensitive. In such a case, you can try out applications that may help to reduce and even prevent cyberbullying.

Final thoughts

Does bullying cause depression and suicidal thoughts? Now you know the answer. It is a very dangerous problem that causes stress and anxiety in thousands or even millions of children. It becomes difficult to lead a happy life, which in the long-run harms both mental and physical health.

Fortunately, it is in our power to help children and solve the problem of cyberbullying. Instead of remaining indifferent, we should become active listeners, mediators, and voices of wisdom. We should also treat our children with respect and participate in their lives so that they won’t want to bully others or would have enough stamina to resist bullies. Luckily, there are consulting sessions and apps which will be of great help.

Is Online Therapy for Teens a Viable Solution?

Anti-Bullying Day! Helping to Stop Bullies All Year!

Anti-Bullying Day

Anti-Bullying Day is a day when the world joins together to stand up against bullying in our schools, on the playground, and online on social media. It’s recognized at different times of the year depending on what country you live in. These are special days that bring awareness and focus to help stop bullying, as well as standing up for those who are currently being bullied.

Parents, teachers and kids of all ages can all work together to ensure no one is ever bullied. Kids can do their part by being a friend to those who are victims of bullying and including them in activities with their group of friends. Even the simple act of sitting with someone in the lunchroom can go a long way to help them feel like they are not alone.

The Origins of Anti-Bullying Day

The idea of Anti-Bullying Day began in Canada in 2007. It’s also called Pink Shirt Day in Canada and takes place on the last Wednesday of February. It began when people came to the defense of a boy who was bullied simply because he wore a pink shirt to school. This is why there is also another day called International Day of Pink, which is held the first week of April.

Countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, France and New Zealand will honor “International STAND UP to Bullying Day” on February 28th or 29th. Schools may call the day by different names, but the goal is always the same; to stop bullying and help those who are currently being bullied.

The United nations declared every May 4th as International Anti-Bullying Day. Regardless of when any country commemorates this important day, it’s vital for all of us to speak out against bullying. It’s a reminder to stand along side those who are bullied – regardless of their age, race or gender.

Bullying has been around since there have been schools, or when any group of friends throughout history have gathered together to play. It only takes one person who feels the need to ‘get their kicks’ out of picking on someone in the group. The invention of the Internet has rapidly spread the problem. Bullies now have the ability reach their victims at home through social media. This is called Cyber Bullying. On the Internet, the effects of bullying can cause even more hurt and damage and do it much more quickly.

Things You Can Do to Stop Bullying

No matter where bullying takes place, it’s important for kids to also stand up against cyberbullying. If you know of someone who is being bullied, tell let your parents, a teacher or school counselor. There are also other things you can personally do to help. As mentioned, sometimes helping means just being a friend to someone who doesn’t have one.

On social media you can stand up for someone by speaking out against harmful comments about another person. It may be by making simple comment in defense of someone. If you see one of your friend connections taking part in bullying, you may want to talk to them about what they are doing. Ending your social media connection with a person who is bullying you or others is also be a very healthy thing to do.

If you being bullying, the first step is to tell an adult you trust. They can guide you in what you can do to help it stop. Sometimes bullying can happen within friendships. If you have a friend who are being cruel to you, this is called a toxic friendship and a toxic relationship. Distance yourself from them. They are not a true friend who cares about you.

You’ve probably heard the term used for people who are watching something happen but are not part of the action. They are called bystanders. If you were walking down the street and an old lady drops her groceries, and you do nothing to help her, you may be called a bystander in a negative way.

The same can be said for bullying. Of course, you always have to make sure you are safe when you help someone, but whether you see injustice against another person in the school yard or on social media, you have to decide. Will you be a bystander who does nothing, or someone who will step in to help? The same can be said for cyber bullying on social media.

How Will You Make a Difference on Anti-Bullying Day?

So, whether your school asks teachers and students to wear pink on your own Anti-Bullying Day or not, it’s important to remember that everyone can make a difference. Remember, a large group of people saying NO to bullying is made up of individuals. If everyone said they can’t make a difference just because they are only one person, many great causes around the world would lose their power. That’s often be referred to as “The Power of One”.

Do you see someone who needs a friend?

Do know of someone who is being bullied?

Maybe you are the one who being bullied.

Talk to someone about how you can stand up for yourself in a safe way, or do something else to prevent it from happening again. Don’t be afraid to block or hide someone from view on social media. You may even decide that a particular social media platform is not for you and delete your account altogether. Talk to your parents about this if you need help.

It’s also ok to have compassion for the bully. They are human too. Why do they do what they do? Which brings us to our final comments on the subject of bullying.

A Final Word for Bullies.

Are you a person who is bullying someone else?

You may wonder why it makes you feel better to be hurtful to others. Perhaps you are involved in other destructive behavior. Maybe you are being bullied or hurt by an adult. Teachers and school counselors are there for you too. Talk to them.

How to Tell If Your Child is Involved in Cyberbullying

cyberbullying of a child

If you keep up with the news, then you’re all too familiar with stories about cyberbullying. As a parent, you might be concerned that your child could become a victim of online bullying. Equally worrying is the possibility that your child is a cyberbully.

Whether your child is being bullied online or your child is doing the bullying, there’s a good chance that they won’t tell you what’s going on. However your child is involved in cyberbullying, it can have serious consequences, which is why you must learn how to recognize the signs. The critical first step to helping your child is being able to tell if they’re involved in online bullying.

You want to protect your child from the dangers of the world and that includes cyberbullying. Even if you don’t consider yourself internet savvy, you can still familiarize yourself with the indicators for if your child is bullying other children online or if they’re the target of cyberbullying. Since your child may not even know what counts as cyberbullying, stay vigilant for any signs that they may be involved in online bullying.

The Dangers of Cyberbullying

To start, the definition of cyberbullying is using technology such as social media to deliberately and repeatedly harass, threaten, and humiliate another person. Online bullying can range from someone spreading rumors online and creating fake social media profiles to sending mean texts or emails. Your son or daughter might not come home from school with a black eye, but online bullying can be just as damaging as physical bullying.

Because cyberbullying is a relatively new phenomenon since it’s directly related to the rise of the internet, there isn’t much research available regarding its long-term effects. But, psychologists agree that being the victim of traditional bullying puts a child at risk for anxiety and depression as well as decreases their ability to concentrate in school. Individuals who experience emotional trauma as children or adolescents can carry that stress and anguish well into adulthood.

The victims of bullying aren’t the only ones who suffer. Bullies themselves endure long-term consequences. Unlike their well-adjusted peers, bullies often don’t learn essential life skills such as the ability to compromise and negotiate. Children who never grasp how to work with others could have trouble forming healthy relationships as an adult and may even be more likely to engage in criminal activity. For both bullies and victims, cyberbullying can lead to mental health issues in children.

How to Tell If Your Child Is the Victim of Cyberbullying

Often, children are reluctant to tell their parents that someone is bullying them. In the case of cyberbullying, kids sometimes don’t even realize that they’re being bullied. Since there is a good chance your child won’t come forward themselves, you should know how to tell if your child is the victim of online bullying.  Beside behavioral signs, there are parental apps that can assisting you in actively monitoring cyberbullying activity.

Children with learning or thinking differences could be at a higher risk of being cyberbullied. Signs to watch out for include sudden changes in their computer usage, not wanting to use the computer in common spaces, and changing the screen when you’re around. If your child seems nervous or on edge when they receive a message, text, or email, someone might be bullying them online.

Your child expressing feelings of loneliness or saying something along the lines of “I have no friends” could also indicate they are the victim of cyberbullying. Finally, if your child becomes withdrawn and doesn’t want to go to school, there’s likely an issue that requires your attention. Encourage them to turn off social media, and on your own, research the school’s cyberbullying policies. Depending on the severity of the situation, you may need to involve other parents, the school, and possibly law enforcement.

Signs Your Child Is a Cyberbully

Being the victim isn’t the only way your child can be involved in cyberbullying. They could be the one doing the online bullying. Your first instinct might be to shut your eyes and cover your ears and deny that your child could ever do such a thing, but ignoring the problem only serves to deny your child the chance to change their behavior and learn from what they’ve done. You can’t teach your child not to be a cyberbully if you ignore the signs that they are one.

Furthermore, failing to recognize your child’s actions could mean that you’re overlooking underlying issues. Keep in mind that cyberbullying is even more common among older teenagers (14-18). They might be cyberbullying in retaliation or feeling pressure to follow the lead of someone in their peer group and simply acting as a cyberbully bystander. It’s possible that online bullying is their way of handling a bigger stressor such as divorce or changing schools. You’ll never get to the bottom of the issue if you don’t first see the signs and confront the fact that your child is a cyberbully.

One major indicator that your child is involved in online bullying is if they’re unwilling to discuss or share information about their online accounts or activities. As with the victims of cyberbullying, increased secretiveness is a warning sign. If you’re suspicious, then enforce keeping devices in commonly used areas.

Whether your child is showing signs that they are a cyberbully or the target of cyberbullying, your first step in addressing the issue should be talking to your child. One way to start the conversation is to share your own experience with bullying. But, you won’t be able to have that all-important talk unless you’re able to tell if your child is involved in cyberbullying. Take time to familiarize yourself with the indicators, and then, make a point of staying vigilant. Cyberbullying can have serious consequences for both the victim and bully, so keep a watchful eye for any signs that your child is involved in online bullying.

How to Foster Empathy for Bullying Prevention

Empathy for Bullying Prevention

Regrettably, bullying is very common among children. However, that doesn’t make it normal, and parents shouldn’t rely on their children to “grow out of it” as they mature. Why? Because growing out of it is a quick fix, while fostering empathy in your child is a long-term solution.

Emotions, kindness, comforting words, hugs, and feeling others’ pain are all traits associated with empathy. When your child is empathetic, bullying is entirely out of the equation. But the question is how to foster empathy for bullying prevention. Below are a few ideas.

How to Instill Empathy in Children

When your child is authentically empathetic, they’re guided by their empathy in all their actions. They’re able to put themselves in others’ shoes, relate to their feelings, and help others feel better. Here are some ways to teach your little one to be empathetic.

Fulfill Their Needs

Even among grownups, we usually say that when someone bullies us, they feel bad about themselves or are jealous. By that very same token, if your child doesn’t receive the love they need from you, they won’t be able to treat others with love either.

Loving your children extends to include making them feel enough, and that’s the keyword. Avoid comparisons with classmates who receive better grades, sports mates who continuously win the gold medal, and similar situations. This very often triggers bullying behavior.

Encourage Your Child to Speak Up

Kids often have trouble conveying their feelings, especially when they don’t understand exactly how they feel. Always encourage your little one to share their feelings in the best way they can –– be it through art, speaking, a song, or other. Then, you can help them name their feelings.

When they’re connected with their emotions, they’re able to pick up on situations where others feel the same way they did, and they’ll understand how that felt like. If your child doesn’t let out their feelings, it may result in violence, bullying, and tantrums.

Lead by Example

Children are the best copycats. Showing them what empathy looks like is one of the best ways to instill empathy in their behavior. For example, visit your neighbor who lives alone and take them with you. Then, when you’re back, tell them that the neighbor had been feeling lonely and you wanted to give her some company and cook her a good meal.

When you take action and explain it, your child builds up a life guide of situations and behaviors that they use when they need to. You don’t even have to make huge actions; they can be as small as explaining why an actor was crying in a particular movie scene. Also, make sure to hear what your child thinks of the reactions they’re perceiving.

By doing so, not only does your child eliminate bullying from their dictionary, but they’re also better equipped to identify it and stand up to such behavior if it ever happens to them.

Explain to Children How Their Words and Behaviors Impact Others

Sometimes, children simply don’t understand the repercussions of their behaviors. They don’t mean any harm, but their mind doesn’t grasp the impact of their actions. Therefore, always make a habit of talking to your child about what happens to the other person due to their behavior.

Make sure to tackle issues such as spreading rumors, gossiping, being violent, calling others names, leaving some people out, and more. That way, they’ll learn to think before taking action, and they’ll consider how the other person will feel.

It’s also best if your child’s school works on preventing bullying by using a program that promotes an overall positive school climate using age-appropriate lessons. Make sure to check the school’s efforts in that area.

Final Words

Being empathetic is a cornerstone of leading a healthy life. For the longest time, people thought that empathy is equivalent to being nice, but actually, empathy is the bigger umbrella encompassing high levels of emotional intelligence that children can employ to make compassionate decisions and relate to others.

We hope that you now have an idea of how to foster empathy for bullying prevention, and at the end of the day, we all share the same vision of putting a stop to bullying!