Cyber bullying – what parents should know

by Ramya Manoharan | Mar 17, 2017

Internet safety measures for children

The statistics on cyber bullying are appalling and show every sign of becoming even more drastic. To give you an idea, the Australian Government’s Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner has revealed that 45 per cent of children and teens surveyed said that they experienced nasty comments on social media, while one in three observed inappropriate or hurtful content.

Cyber bullying can include:

  • Harassment through abusive, insulting and unwanted messages, including hateful and hurtful text messages, emails, posts or instant messages that offend, humiliate or intimidate.

     

  • Flaming or trolling, including disagreements online between two individuals using aggressive or abusive language that escalates as a result of others joining in.

     

  • Denigration by spreading lies, rumours or gossip about someone to damage their reputation or friendship.

     

  • Impersonation

     

  • Stalking someone online, and

     

  • Sexting, which is sending or posting messages, videos or photos of a sexual nature.

     

    Cyberbullying impacts children in many different ways. Some signs of cyber bullying in children are:

  • Their inclination to keep to themselves

     

  • Behavioural changes, such as anger or exhibiting a negative outlook after spending time online

     

  • Being secretive, by minimising the screen or hiding device or deleting messages immediately

     

  • Being irritated and losing interest in online activities

     

  • Decreased appetite

     

  • Showing low self esteem

     

  • Using hostile language to show aggression towards the perpetrator

     

  • Making comments that indicate that they might be planning inappropriate behaviour online or offline.

If you notice such behaviour or that your child is withdrawn, it’s time for a conversation.

Social networking site Facebook, which has finally addressed the issue, suggests conversation starters to get your child to open up about cyber bullying.

Keep in mind that as important as the conversation is, you should take care not to jump into it without consulting your own feelings on the issue first. Manage your feelings and ease into the conversation, so your child doesn’t clam up because of a misstep.

To learn more about the issue, join us for a free webinar on 'Cyber bullying - what parents should know'. The webinar will be held on Tuesday, 28 March, and is facilitated by The Alannah & Madeline Foundation, who are experts in the field of cyber safety. The webinar will deal with the issue in detail, and provide you with tips and strategies to counter this menace.

Click here to register for free.

Follow #CyberBullyingWeb and #ASGWebinars on Facebook and Twitter for more information and updates on the event.

 

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