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Cyber bullying: is your child getting victimized?

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

Is my child being a victim of cyberbullying?

You can be mistaken more than often in judging the security of your child within the comfort of the home. When engaging technology in almost every aspect of life, you inevitably increase vulnerability. The internet has brought a plethora of resources with its inevitable side effects. One such side effect, which seems tempting for many people, is cyber bullying. Although there may be no physical injury involved, the inherent emotional setback can upset your child and adversely affect the personality.

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The urbane art of bullying

In cyber bullying, the abuser uses new technology like the internet or mobile phones, making things more challenging for the victim to trace the abuser. Research points out that cyber bullying can be used as an additional tool by the abuser besides the traditional ones. The multiplicity, unpredictability and complexity of cyber bullying can magnify the effect of the harassment or embarrassment for the victim. You (and your child) may not be prepared to face such a hostile sequence of events.

Victimization can be direct and indirect. Recognizing cyber bullying can be difficult due to its covert characteristic. Children who are being victimized can reveal sadness, depression, low self-esteem, reduced academic performance, aggression and difficulty in peer relations.

Substance abuse can also be observed. You need to be watchful of any of the warning signals, and co-relate events to deduce a logical conclusion. This happens more challenging if your child goes in hibernation or is unwilling to share his/her concern. If you observe any obvious change in your child’s behavior, consider it an indicator that he/she requires external help.

If there is reluctance to socializing, escaping school or recreational activities, abrupt mood swings, he/she is probably being the target of cyber bullying; your interruption is desired in controlling the situation from worsening.

Considerations to assist handling cyber bullying

With the rising involvement of technology, it would be impractical to advise your child keep away from the activities going around. You cannot restrict opportunities to keep the bullies away from your child. It is important to realize that learning is integral to the growth of children. As adults, parents can better recognize the vulnerability of their children. This enables maneuvering and customizing tools favorably.

Educate your child to use the tool (internet or mobile) favorably to resolve the problem considerably.

The more thorough and well equipped your child is, the better he/she can handle cyber bullies (sometimes, even without your support!). Changing mobile numbers and usernames can help to some extent. If the site facilitates, block the bully to make your child inaccessible. The bullying incident can be reported to the website manager for appropriate action. Avoid responding to messages or e-mails of the bully.

Gain confidence of your child to enable him/her share an unfavorable incident with you. You may not be able to assist your child unless you are aware of the situation. Listen calmly to the story and ask for your child’s reaction. Ask for the child’s opinion and suggest practical solutions. Follow up, as the bully may revert to bring more damage along with.

Sometimes, cyber bullying leaves your child with low self-esteem and self-confidence. Alleviate his/her sense of individual power; you can involve him/her in some decision-making at home. Divert focus by creating enjoyable and favorable opportunities.

Technology may be a necessary evil. By using it the right way, you devise solution(s) to resolve the difficulty. It is better to take command before a thing becomes overwhelming. Behaving alert and pro-active can keep your child from being a victim. On facing an unfavorable situation, use judgment instead of impulse.

About the author: Alia Haley is a blogger who takes an utmost care while choosing her stuff as she prefers to own only green accessories. These days she is busy in writing an article on yacht world  and In vitro fertilization.