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Identifying signs of cyber bullying and safeguarding your child

Identifying signs of cyber bullying and safeguarding your child

With a rise in internet usage by kids, there has also been a rise in the number of cases of cyberbullying. Victims of cyberbullying often suffer from anxiety and depression with their self-esteem also taking a blow from having been cyberbullied.

Signs of cyber bullying

To avoid fatal consequences, it’s crucial to watch out for the following signs to determine whether or not your kid is a victim of cyberbullying:

1. They’re secretive about their activities online and seem to switch tabs whenever you’re around. They don’t give you clear answers about their online activities and prefer not to have you in the vicinity when they’re online.

2. They seem nervous when they receive a message or email and there seems to be no logical explanation for their nervousness.
3. They fake an illness to avoid going to school or try to get out of attending school in some way. They seem uneasy or traumatized by the very thought of having to go to school.

4. They’re irritable, angry, or depressed, especially soon after online activity and you can’t seem to pinpoint the source of their changed behaviour.
5. They begin to withdraw from family and friends and spend lesser time engaging in social activities.
6. They show physical symptoms of disturbance which may manifest in the form of headaches, sleep disturbances, stomach aches, and other bodily disturbances.
7. They’re showing unexplained appetite changes which have resulted in weight loss or weight gain depending on how much they’re eating.
8. They abruptly stop using the computer without giving any explanation even though they previously enjoyed using digital devices.
Safeguarding your child

The first thing you need to do to protect your child from cyberbullies is have an open discussion with them about:
• What cyberbullying is
• What behaviours qualify as cyber-bullying
• How cyber-bullying can impact victims
• What to do in case your child is cyber-bullied

Discussing the impact of cyberbullying on victims can prepare your child and help them understand what they may feel if they’re ever victims of cyber-bullying. Actions to take in case of cyber-bullying will increase their self-efficacy and enable them to make the right choices if they’re victims of cyber-bullying.
You should also monitor their internet activity using apps like spy phone, spy phone app, and phone tracker so that you can see what they’re up to and who they’re interacting with. These apps also have 24/7 backup of messages exchanged so you have access to all the evidence you need in case your child is cyberbullied.
Make sure you take up the issue with the parents of the cyberbully and get in touch with the school as well to take appropriate action. If the issue isn’t taken care of, you can also consider taking legal action against the cyberbully to protect your child.
If your child is a victim of cyberbullying, you’ll also want to consider therapy to deal with any negative psychological effects arising from the cyberbullying.