With the growth of technology, our kids are gaining a new backyard or so to say. While their adventure in the cyberworld can be fun, they might also find some people that want to bother them. Before they become a victim of those people bothering them, we as parents should try to know the signs of cyberbullying and have some talks with our kids.
Cyberbullying could have some harmful effects to your children, and some of them are:
Some kids might feel really angry because of the cyberbullying they are experiencing. However, sometimes they might not know where to target that anger. Rather than using it to better themselves, they would instead unleash it to the people they are close with.
Some kids might have lower tolerance to the bullying that will lead them to stress. This stress, if not dealt with quickly, will develop to depression.
- Low self-esteem
The side effect of depression could lead them to second guess themselves, which will create a low self-esteem for your kids. When this happens, your kids might show their disinterest with school, making friends, or even building relationships with other people in general.
- Health problems
Their low self-esteem and depression combined together might cause them to develop an unhealthy way of coping by eating snacks when they are stressed. This will lead to many health problems down the road.
- Suicidal thoughts
The ultimate effects a cyberbullying–or bullying in general–could have is to make the victim have suicidal thoughts caused by their depression. These thoughts will interfere with their daily lives, to the point it will make them hard to function mentally or physically.
The points above are scary. But it is precisely why we need to know the signs of cyberbullying. If we are fast enough, we might be able to stop the harmful effects before it could spiral out of control.
There are some obvious signs of cyberbullying that you could take note when watching your kids doing their daily activities, and those are:
- Upset after they go online or gaming
Did you notice something unusual when they were gaming or browsing the internet? Did they suddenly get upset after losing in the game? If so, it might be one sign that your kids got cyber bullied by the friends they play with.
In some cases, your kids might also throw their device in the middle of using it. This might be a way for your kids to go away from the bullies. If your kids show this behavior, you need to start getting them to talk to you about their online activities.
- Unwillingness to share their online activities
If you approach them to talk about their online activities and they refuse to give any information about it, it might be one of the signs of cyberbullying victim. When it comes to online bullying, increased secretiveness in your child is a big warning sign.
One way to deal with this is to create rules where your kids share their online password and account to protect them from the online bullies, and to give you as a parent a peace of mind.
- Sudden weight loss or gain, or other sickness
Another signs of cyberbullying that you need to look out for is health-related symptoms such as sudden weight loss, headaches, weight gain, eating trouble, or eating disorder. Usually, the victims of bullying will be very stressed, and that stress can manifest in a lot of ways.
This is very dangerous, because if this habit continues for a long period of time, your kids’ health will also start to deteriorate and go downhill very fast.
- Trouble sleeping during the night, or sleepy during the day
Another thing that could happen to victims of cyberbully is restlessness. When they are restless, your kids might develop a sleeping disorder. The restlessness will make them harder to sleep at night, and in turn will also make them very sleepy during the day. By being sleepy, they will have problems functioning in the afternoon.
- Withdrawal from families or friends
The most dangerous warning signs that the victims of bullying could show is withdrawal. This withdrawal might be an attempt to push other people away and create distance between them and everyone else, especially the bully. When your kids start to exhibit this sign, you should let them know that you are there if they are ready to talk about it.
It is difficult to see the signs of cyberbullying while trying to be a helicopter parent that is very anxious and suspicious about what they are doing on their mobile gadgets. One trick you can do is to create a safe space where you and your kids can talk about anything that goes on in their life. Let us know in the comments section below if you are experiencing this issue or want to share how you overcome it!