Cyberbullying is being more common, and children are often unaware of the steps they can take to deal with the problem. Because of this, parents play an important role in helping their child secure a bully-free existence online. To do this, parents and children can utilize a variety of techniques to deal with the bullying.
More specifically, websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, and others are common avenues for bullying to occur. These sites also have features that allow your child to block messages from bullies. Furthermore, online harassment does constitute a legal offense, and you can report the behavior to the police. The child will typically be reprimanded by their parents, and the issue will stop. If this doesn’t occur, vigilant reporting can lead to police action. Online harassment has been a contributing factor to depression and suicide, and it’s something that should be taken seriously.
If removing the bully directly is undesirable or impractical, children can use tactics to hide their identity. Establishing a pseudonym and giving the information to only friends, for instance, can help reduce the chances of a bully following them. Online bullies are usually someone they know, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be dedicated enough to track down their target. If they are, websites like Facebook will often be willing to restrict the person’s access to the website. This means that the bully won’t be able to access the mediums necessary to bully their child.
Unfortunately, the victim often plays an important role in allowing bullying to continue. More specifically, children don’t always recognize that someone who mistreats them isn’t a friend. It’s important to let a child know that they should not allow themselves to be treated that way. It’s essential that they be willing to remove contact with the person when using online websites or messaging programs. Teach them to delete messages from the person without reading them, ignore them altogether, or stop using sites entirely. Bullies try to exploit things like popular culture. The child thinks they can’t go without a messenger or Facebook – they won’t be cool if they stop using those things. The bully knows this and chooses those areas to harass a child. It’s important that if a child can’t stop the bully or ignore them, they need to be willing to give up things they value. This won’t be likely, however, as websites popular with children recognize the seriousness of the issue and are generally happy to assist in putting a stop to harassment.
Ultimately, a parent may need to educate themselves in order to educate their child. However, a computer’s online space is much like a bench in a public park. It’s easy for people to get access, but once they engage in inappropriate behavior, there are many ways to put a stop to it. In fact, having your child speak openly with friends can be another tactic to stop bullying. Children are becoming more aware of bullying at an early age, and many of them will be willing to speak out against bullies. If bullies know they are becoming unpopular as a result of their behavior, they will often stop.