Cyber Bullying and How You Can Protect Your Kids
Cyber bullying, any act of bullying through electronic means, is far more common and damaging than we know. It is estimated that over 43% of kids have experienced one form of cyber bullying or the other and sadly, a lot of these cases go unreported.
Cyber bullying has become easier and more commonplace to carry out since a lot of kids have mobile phones, which is the commonest medium of cyber bullying.
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Here are Some Scary Facts about Cyber Bullying You Should Know
- As common as cyber bullying is, only about 10% of it gets reported. Most people would rather keep silent about it, believing it will pass or they can handle it.
- Cyber bullying happens a lot to young people aged 12-17 years and 30% of people have had it happen more than once.
- It’s more common to see girls getting bullied than it is boys.
- Girls are also more likely to be perpetrators of bullying than boys.
- Over two million kids skip school daily from from fear of being bullied.
- Cyber bullying increases your risk of committing suicide as much as people who have been bullied are twice as likely to attempt suicide as a way of escape.
- In April 13, 2013, Rehtaeh Parsons, a 17 year old, attempted suicide by hanging after photos of her being allegedly gang-raped were distributed online. She was rescued but died four days later after her life support machine was turned off.
- LQBTQ are constant victims of online abuse.
- Instagram is the social media platform with the most amount of online bullying.
- An estimated 43% of kids have experienced one form of online bullying or the other.
- Bullied kids are 2-9 times more likely to consider taking their lives.
- Victims of online bullying always exhibit signs that parents can look out for. These signs include withdrawal symptoms, aggression and lower grades.
Here are Some Signs you Look Out for if You Suspect Your Child is Being Bullied
Kids who are been bullied online will always exhibit some signs and parents can look out for these, since most kids won’t report the bullying act.
Signs to look out for include:
-Change in sleep patterns.
– Loss of interest in school activities, especially school work.
– Declining grades
-Loss of interest in social activities
-Thoughts of or hints about suicide
How You Can Protect Your Child from This Menace
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- Keep an open line of communication. Make them know they can come to you with any problem and you will do all within your powers to keep them safe.
- Get actively involved in their lives, that way you are able to spot signs your kids is being bullied.
- Monitor their use of online gadgets, especially phones and computers. Get to know what what sites they visit and monitor their activities on these sites. If possible, place restrictions on these websites and connect your phone to theirs so you get notifies if they visit restricted sites.
- Teach your kids the proper response to cyber bullying or bullying of any kind. Let them know that a bully gets encouraged and empowered when you fight back. Let them calmly buy firmly tell the bully to stop the act and if this doesn’t work, to report the attack to an adult they trust.
- Teach them to also be kind to any kid being bullied; to show empathy and report the issue to a responsible adult if the bullied child is unable to.