When children are being cyberbullied, it is common for them to feel vulnerable and all alone. They may be withdrawn or seem worried or guarded; they may have difficulty concentrating or sleeping.
If you are concerned they may be the victim of cyberbullying, check the browser history on the computer and their messages on their phone. It takes courage for victims to speak out, but talking to someone about being cyberbullied is the first step to ending the cycle. If your child discloses to you they are being cyberbullied, be calm, supportive and positive. Deal with any broken rules about internet and phone usage later.
Here are some things to help your child do to bring the cyberbullying to an end:
- Tell someone. Talk to someone you trust, a parent, a youth leader, school counsellor or teacher.
- Contact your phone or internet service provider and report what is happening. They can help you block messages or calls from certain senders.
- Don’t reply to bullying messages. It will only get worse if you do, and it can land you in trouble too. By replying, the bully gets what he or she wants. Often if you don’t reply, the bully will leave you alone.
- Change your contact details. Get a new mobile phone number, a new user name for the internet, a new e-mail account, and give them only to your closest and most trustworthy friends.