This month raises awareness around bullying and encourages kids to embrace kindness and inclusion. While bullying has always existed, cyberbullying presents new challenges. On social media, messaging apps, games, and other online spaces, cyberbullying can spread faster and feel inescapable for kids.
What is cyberbullying?
Cyberbullying is on the rise, with 1 in 4 teens experiencing it. It has serious consequences like anxiety, depression, and even suicide. Cyberbullying includes sending mean or threatening messages, starting rumors, posting embarrassing photos, trolling, impersonation, exclusion, stalking and more. It can happen on popular social platforms, messaging apps, games, and anywhere kids interact online.
Signs Your Child is Being Cyberbullied:
- Avoiding social media or messaging apps
- Appearing anxious or sad after using devices
- Hesitation to participate in online groups or games
- Changes in sleep patterns and appetite
- Abnormal lack of eye contact or withdrawn behavior
How Parents Can Prevent Cyberbullying:
- Educate kids on what cyberbullying is and that it’s unacceptable
- Set rules around online etiquette and spreading rumors/gossip
- Encourage kids to come to you if they’re being bullied
- Report cyberbullying to platforms and school authorities
This month, let’s commit to not only spreading kindness but also actively safeguarding our children in the digital world. By taking these steps, we can work together to make the online space a safer environment.