How To Protect Your Kids From Cyber Bullying

Posted: October 21, 2013 in Articles
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HackersThis article focuses on the dangers of cyber bullying on kids and teens and how parents can safeguards their kids digital world from cyber bullying and its negative effects on the kid’s emotional and psychological well-being.

Bullies have been around for ages but the advent of the Internet has offered bullies a new platform to practice their bullying actions. The term cyber bullying was coined to describe bullying actions that are done on the Internet. Such bullying actions include any action that is aimed at embarrassing, harassing, and threatening a kid or teenager by another person.

Kids love the social aspect of the Internet. Many kids spend a lot of time hanging out on social network sites and playing their favorite online games. Although the social network and MMO gaming sites offer kids the platform to express themselves, connect with others, and have fun playing their favorite games, these sites also expose kids to attacks from cyber bullies. In fact, social media sites provide online bullies the perfect platform to carry out their favorite pastime: bullying.

Bullying, whether in the real world or online world, has serious negative consequences on the emotion and psychological well-being of kids and teens. Loss of self- esteem, confidence, sudden withdrawal from friends and social activities, Changes in mood, behavior or appetite, sudden drop in grades, and emotional distress are some of adverse effects of cyber bullying on kids and teens. A kid in Nova Scotia even committed suicide due to cyber bullying.

Incidence of cyber bullying should not be treated with kid’s glove. Parents should safeguard their children online world from cyber bullies. Below are some of the ways parents and guardians can protect kids and teens from bullies prowling the cyberspace:

Get Involve in Your Kids Online World: As a parent, it is your responsibility to protect your kids in the real world as well as the online world. The best way to protect your kids from cyber bullying is to become part of their digital life. Open an account with the various social media sites your kids belong to and add them as friends. By becoming friends with your kids on the social media sites, you will be able to monitor their activities on these sites, their posts and the types of responses they are getting.

Pay Attention: Kids and teens usually send out signals when they are going through emotional and psychological distress. It is up to you as a parent to always to pay attention to your kids behavior in order to quickly spot any sudden changes in their behavior. Withdrawals from family, friends and social activities, mood swings, and anger might be signals that something big such as cyber bullying is going on.

Listen and Be Supportive: If your kids casually inform you of any incidence of disturbing Internet activity like cyber bullying experience by them, listen carefully to what they are saying. In fact, give them the opportunity to fully tell you their thoughts and feelings. Having an open and frank conversation with your kids will arm you with the necessary information needed to stop the cyber bullying and prevent future occurrence.

Follow Through: Since cyber bullying can ruin your kids’ lives, it should not be treated as a joke. If you suspect that your child is experiencing cyber bullying on the Internet, take actions to put an end to the online bullying. Actions like warning the bully and deleting his account from your child’s list of friends, and reporting the case to the law enforcement agencies if the bullying persists will help to put a stop to the cyber bullying attacks experience by your kids.

Author’s Bio: Efeturi Oteri works in an NGO dedicated to protecting kids from the activities of cyber bullies prowling the cyberspace. He has written several articles that can help parents protect their kids from online bullies and also a lot of game walk-through such as dragon knight guide.

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