Cyber Bullying

What is Cyber Bullying?

When a young person uses the Internet or technology to harass, threaten, embarrass, or target another person, this person is called a cyberbullying. Typically, cyberbullying involves tweens and teens; but it’s not uncommon for adults to experience cyberbullying and public shaming as well. Even if someone deletes a mean post, chances are it’s still available in some form such as in a screenshot or a shared text message. Worse yet, those targeted by cyberbullies often don’t know who is bullying them, so they often have no way to bring it to an end.

Impact of Cyberbullying

If your child is being targeted by cyberbullying, it’s important that you work with them to report the cyberbullying and do everything you can to get the victimization to stop. Additionally, you should talk to their pediatrician or a mental health professional about what your child is experiencing. Expecting your child to cope with the cyberbullying on their own is not realistic. Cyberbullying also can lead to increasing levels of anxiety and depression. One study found that as many as 93% of kids victimized by cyberbullies reported feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and powerlessness.

Coping with Cyberbullying

  • Encourage your child to reclaim control. Cyberbullying can make teens feel like their lives are out of control. For this reason, you want to give them opportunities where they feel like they have some control. One way to do this is to encourage your child to use what they have experienced and turn it into something good like helping others going through the same thing.
  • Focus on learning from the experience. Whether your child needs a boost to their self-esteem or they need to learn to think positively, help your child identify what they can learn from this experience. You also can help them reframe their experience and focus on the good that has come from it rather than the pain that it caused.