Cyberbullying might be overlooked, but it can be a huge hindrance to your child’s safety. Now, social media has become one of the biggest avenues for cyberbullying. Although roughly 81% of teens age 13-17 say social media makes them feel more connected to family and friends, 45% feel overwhelmed by the drama that comes along with it.
Apps like Twitter and Instagram allow constant communication through comments and direct messages. It’s always important to make sure that (1) your child is not being cyberbullied and (2) your child is not doing the cyberbullying.
Unlike physical bullying, cyberbullying can be hard to detect, and your child might not feel comfortable to talk about it. To help, be sure to look out for these signs:
Your child becomes socially distant.
Your child seems jumpy after looking at his or her phone/computer.
Your child doesn’t want to go to school.
Your child’s behavior and mood has drastically changed.
Believe it or not, your child could be actively engaging in cyberbullying. To avoid them hurting someone else, educate them on how to treat others, the implications of cyberbullying, and to not be pressured by others. The best thing is have open conversations; sometimes if you find that your child is a cyberbully, it could mean there is an underlying issue.
If the problem becomes serious, it’s best to understand the laws and policies your state has against cyberbullying.