Cyberbullying presents one of the biggest challenges for a parent. The fear that your child is being undermined can be crushing. The statistics show that 34% of kids in the US have experienced cyberbullying at least once. Not to mention that bullies most often ridicule disabilities and mental problems like autism (75%), physical defects (70%), and learning problems (52%).
6 Tips to Help Children Cope with Cyberbullying
Parents of neurodiverse children face a real struggle with cyberbullying. Unfortunately, you can’t always prevent this from happening. What you can do is to learn the ways to help your child if they become a victim.
1. Recognize the signals of cyberbullying
First of all, you need to be sure that your child is experiencing this type of bullying. Several ways can reveal a victim of cyberbullying:
- Instant anxiety when they get a message or a notification
- Constant isolation
- Pushing you away if you try to talk to them about this matter
- Protective behavior towards their phone or computer
- Decline in grades
- Avoiding social situations, especially where their fellow students are
2. Show them love and support
Helping children cope with cyberbullying takes time and love. You can shower your child with affection each day, but in this situation, you need to be very direct.
Find a moment when your child seems calm and use it to express your support. Let them that no matter what they are experiencing, they’ll always have you. Don’t bring out the specific problem because they might get nervous and overwhelmed.
Tell them that parents’ unconditional love is there to help a child with any suffering. They need to understand that anything can be solved if you have someone to help you out and that someone is you.
Kind words such as these can help them to open up and share their struggles.
If they start talking about what is happening, ask short and simple questions. Don’t push them because you can easily scare them away.
3. Explain what is happening
They probably aren’t aware of how serious cyberbullying is, so it is up to you to explain that. Some children think that it is normal and that they deserve those unkind words.
Let your children know that what they are experiencing is a common problem. That bullies have insecurities, and they express their anger and dissatisfaction by hurting others.
Your child needs to understand that they are not the reason why that is happening. The only cause is bullies.
4. Talk to the principal or a teacher
When it comes to helping children cope with cyberbullying, you must have someone in the school who will be aware of the problem.
Maybe bullying has surpassed messages and social media. If they are getting bullied in school as well, you need to know about it.
A reasonable teacher, counselor, or principal can keep track of what is happening. Besides, they can talk with your child and let them know that they have someone to turn to if something goes wrong.
5. Monitor cellphone and social media accounts
Too much freedom with devices has led to this problem. If parents of bullies monitored their phones, they wouldn’t be doing what they do.
You can’t make other parents do their job, but you can monitor what your child is doing. Taking their phone away can backfire, so for starters, keep an eye on what’s happening.
Limit their usage of cellphones and encourage other activities that will keep them busy.
Fortunately, some apps can help you monitor and limit their screen time, so make the most of that.
6. Help find their safe place
Improving their self-image can be a hard task, but it is an achievable one.
Avert their attention from what is happening by enrolling them in some activities they might like. Becoming a part of something will make them feel accepted and safe.
Another useful tip is to browse through academic writing websites and find a writer that can help you create a special story for your child. The story can depict the situation he or she is going through and how one day it will all seem irrelevant if they stay strong.
Help Children Cope with Cyberbullying
Cyberbullying is one of the recurring issues of today’s digital world. Despite the effort of people and media to shed light on this problem, the alarming facts show that fight is far from over.
Use these actionable ways to help your child understand that all those bullies have are empty words. Teach them that the love and support of their loved ones can help them overcome any difficulty.