Definition of cyberbullying

Cyber Bullying is any form of bullying that uses technology to reach the person being targeted. It encompasses all types including verbal, the threat of physical and social. It is probably a good indicater your child is being bullied beyond just the texts or chat room.

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Girl experiencing cyber bullyingCyberbullying can be very serious.

What is cyberbullying ?

It can include computers and phones and take many forms.

  • Nasty, threatening texts
  • Anonymous scary calls
  • Putting lies or starting rumours on a message board or website
  • Putting embarrassing pictures online
  • Acting tough and threatening in social networking websites
  • Sending unwanted emails or texts
  • Writing stories online that are not true or pretending to be someone they are not
  • Taunting and making fun via phone, website, social networking or other online area
  • Blocking a person from joining a group
  • Sexual exploitation and black mail

This technology offers the Bully anonymity…or so they think. They can hide behind screen names and stop you from seeing who they are or their phone number. But there are ways to catch a cyber bully. It  allows them to pretend to be someone they are not . This element of the unknown can add to the feelings of fear for your child.

CYberbullying is relatively new

I don’t want to date myself but when I was growing up the only place we had computers was at school and we were learning DOS…For all us “old” people Cyber bullying can be difficult to understand because we don’t have the same dependence on technology or to be honest the same knowledge and understanding. My 13 year old daughter does all the connecting and plugging in, downloading etc in our home. Our children are growing up in a much different world than we did. Technology and the attached communication opportunities are huge.

WHY not just turn it off??

My first thought as a parent is...Just turn it off...

If only it were that simple.

A large part of  socialization today involves technology. Texting, tweeting, facebooking are all part of their social network. It would be like telling  us well just stop or "turn off" having friends. This type of networking is a "need" to them.

This makes this type of bullying especially cruel and invasive. If your child is experiencing this type of bullying it is probably true they have experienced verbal, physical and or social bullying personally. It is not to be dismissed or ignored and may indicate an escalation of the situation. 

Guidelines and boundaries

The answers are complicated. However, setting up guidelines and boundaries before the bullying starts or as a counter measure may lead us in the right direction.

The answer for you and I of course is to simply turn off the gizmo...

For our kids that is not an option.  So, we need to look at other ways to stop the Cyberbullying and set up some safety guidelines.

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More suggested reading:

Get an understanding of Cyber-language

Smartphone safety Tips

Is your child being bullied?

Check out other types of bullying


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