Is my child a victim of cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying has far reaching emotional implications – depression, anger, shame and fear are only a few emotions that could be experienced by a cyberbullying victim. These feelings may lead to social withdrawal, isolation, decline in your children’s school work and in extreme cases even suicide! So whether your child is a cyberbullying target or one that bullies others online, your child is a cyberbullying victim.

If your child is a victim of cyberbullying, they may not tell you about it. Often they are embarrassed, or they fear you will overreact, or that you will restrict or curtail their mobile phone or online activities to protect them.

So how will I know?

There are many signs that may indicate that your child is a cyberbullying victim. It is important that you closely monitor your children’s use of computers and mobile phones and notice any behavior that seems unusual. Does your child normally enjoy using the computer but suddenly no longer wishes do so? Is your child constantly engaged with interacting over the internet all hours of the day and night? These could be warning signs that you need to pay attention to.

What to look for

The following signs could indicate that your child is a cyberbullying victim. Remember that none of these signs by themselves is a definite indication of cyberbullying but several signs together are cause to open a discussion with your child.

Is my child a cyber bully? Your child could be a victim if she:
  • Changes screens or closes programs quickly when you approach
  • Uses the computer frequently and/or at all hours of the night
  • Gets annoyed if doesn’t have access to the computer or mobile phone
  • Avoids talking about what he does on the computer or on the mobile phone
  • Laughs excessively while online or while using the mobile phone
  • Uses multiple online accounts or accounts that are not theirs
  • Has been involved in bullying incidents at school or has been the target of bullies in the past.
  • Stops using the computer or mobile phone suddenly or when you approach
  • Seems nervous or edgy when new text, e-mail or instant messages arrive
  • Is hesitant about going to school or leaving the house
  • Seems angry, depressed or frustrated after using the computer
  • Avoids talking about what she does on the computer or about who they are talking to on the mobile phone
  • Secludes herself and avoids contact with family and friends or acts reluctant to attend school and social events
  • Grades begin to decline
  • Lack of appetite or has trouble sleeping

Click here to find out what to do it your child has been bullied and here to learn what you can do if your child is a bully

Tags: cyberbullying, warning signs, victims

"PureSight Owl 2011 can detect cyberbullying in IM, terminate the conversation, block the perpetrator, and notify Mom; impressive!.."

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