Cyber bullying is an online danger that our most vulnerable face. Our children are at risk if they have social media accounts or a cell phone with texting capabilities. Even if you’ve done all you can to cyber bully proof your child, you still need to be vigilant in looking for the signs they are being cyber bullied. Here are 8 signs of cyber bullying to watch our for.
1) Observe your child’s behavior and pay attention to any deviation from what’s normal
One of the first signs of cyberbullying is nervousness, especially when receiving messages from texts, social media, or even email. If your child suddenly avoids the computer or their phone when they aren’t finished you need to inquire why.
2) Pay attention to the way your child uses the computer, tablet, or their phone
Because cyber bullying starts and ends with electronic devices pay particular attention to the way your child uses the computer, tablet, or their phone. They may become agitated while using their phone or computer or stop using the electronic device altogether. Therefore, it’s so important to check your child’s accounts, social media, email, and private text messages. Do not allow complete freedom and privacy from you with their electronic accounts. It’s imperative for the parent to be on top of what’s going on so you can tell quickly if someone is bullying your child through social media, email, or private texts.
3) Note if your child suddenly has reservations about attending school or doing any of the normal activities
If your child suddenly has reservations about attending school or doing any of the normal activities, it may be a sign of cyber bullying. Often the bully is someone they are acquainted with in real life and they may feel threatened to get back to normal life. Sometimes the bullying may come from someone they’ve met online. However, if your child withdraws from certain friends, this withdrawal may indicate that is the bully.
4) Recent changes in your child's behavior
Changes in behavior often have underlying causes such as being bullied. If your otherwise calm and chipper child turns angry or depressed, find out why. If your child withdraws socially and stops wanting to go out and be with friends, you know something is up.
5) Physical changes such as headaches, sleeping problems, weight gain/loss or stomach issues
Cyber bullying may bring on physical changes such as headaches, stomach aches, trouble sleeping, or weight gain or loss. Even if there is no cyber bullying, these physical conditions need attention and perhaps a doctor’s visit.
6) Schoolwork is starting to Suffer
Schoolwork may suffer if the child is being cyber bullied. Keep a watchful eye on schoolwork performance and if something is off talk to your child. Talk to their teachers too. Get to the bottom of the issue with their school performance.
7) Odd behavior or loss of items
Odd behavior such as suddenly losing items such as clothing, jewelry, electronics, or books can be an indication something is wrong as well. Cyber bullying is distracting to the child and will cause erratic behavior.
8) Loss of self-esteem and/or self-confidence
Finally, cyber bullying defeats self-confidence and self-esteem.
If your child suddenly seems lacking in these areas, it’s time to inquire what’s going on and get to the bottom of the possible cyber bullying before the bullying gets out of hand.