Depending on how old you are, you may remember the first time the internet was readily available in your home. The woes of using dialup still fresh in all of our memories. This isn’t the case for kids growing up nowadays. They are born into an environment that essentially requires they use the internet, whether it be for schoolwork or for socialising.
Because so much of our lives have moved online, cyberbullying as time has gone on, has become more prevalent. Perhaps a natural evolution as the online world becomes a vital part of all our lives. What can you do to help your kids when it comes to cyberbullying?
Understand that kids nowadays have access to the internet 24/7
The first thing to really understand is that kids nowadays have access to the internet 24/7. Now, of course, there are ways to limit that. Whether through software or physically keeping an eye on your child. But for the vast majority of the day, they will have access to the internet on a device you essentially have very little oversight on. This allows children to really become engrossed in their online personas.
Cyberbullying is often done anonymously
Unlike with “physical” bullying, cyberbullying allows for anonymity. Making it a lot easier for a would-be bully to feel like they can get away with anything. Often, cyberbullying happens through multiple avenues. It can be difficult to keep up with the latest new apps that kids are using, but try speaking to your kid and learning what they are using on a regular basis. Cyberbullies also often use email. If your child has an email account, make sure to regularly monitor it for any possible bullying.
If you want to limit your child’s access to these sorts of services. Both the likes of the Play Store and App Store, have parental locks you can put in place. So, make sure to take a look at those if you want to closely monitor your child’s online activity.
Speak to your child
It can be difficult for your child to speak out when it comes to any type of bullying. Especially under threat from a bully that things will only get worse if they do confide in someone. This makes it important to ask your child if they feel they are being cyberbullied at all. It’s also important to instil the idea that it’s okay to tell you if they feel they are being bullied in any way. This helps your child understand that avenue is always there if needed.
Of course, this isn’t a foolproof way to make sure your child isn’t being bullied. But it’s still a vital step that many parents overlook.
Education is important to curb cyberbullying
As time goes on, cyberbullying will only ever become more commonplace. Thankfully, awareness of this issue is getting better all the time. It will never become completely eradicated, of course. But more effective prevention methods can be put in place by schools with more knowledge of how kids operate nowadays.
Ultimately, that education at the grassroots level is what can help kids get help if they feel they are being cyberbullied. And by educating kids on the very real consequences of cyberbullying, it should hopefully help stop the issue before it propagates.