These days kids learn a lot about bullying at school with many school districts devoting time to teaching kids how to know if they’re being bullied and why bullying is wrong. What many kids may not realize is that they can also be bullied when they’re online. Many are under the misconception that bullying can only be verbal or physical. In reality, it can take on an entirely new dimension when your child is being cyberbullied.
What is Cyberbullying?
Cyberbullying is any bullying that takes place when your child is on any type of device, like a tablet, computer, or even a cell phone. It can be in the form of texts, social media posts, or even in gaming forums where people play together and share ideas.
If someone sends or shares negative or harmful content about you online, then you are the victim of cyberbullying. When this happens within a public online forum, it can result in humiliation and even more cyberbullying as other people can also see these posts. It’s also important for kids to understand that once posts are put out into cyberspace they stay there. Although they can be erased or deleted, there are ways that people can find them.
It’s important to educate your child about what cyberbullying is so that they recognize if they’re being the victim. It’s also important to give them information so that they know how to avoid becoming a cyberbully.
What to do if Your Child is the Victim of Cyberbullying
If you discover your child is being cyberbullied or if your child comes to you and tells you they are a victim, tell them not to respond to cyberbullies online. Rather, they should print out any of the messages so that they have proof of what happened.
Have an open conversation with your child so the feel comfortable talking to you about what happened and how it makes them feel.
If your child is being cyberbullied by someone at school, contact the administration so they are aware. Many schools have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to bullying with teachers and principals taking immediate action. Some parents also try to contact the parents of the other child. That is up to your discretion. This can backfire as some parents become defensive and combative.
When there are any threats of physical violence, contact the police so that the appropriate action can be taken.
If your child is active in the online gaming community and you’re looking for a safe space for them to interact with their peers, contact MakerKids. We provide a variety of programs and camps aimed at teaching robotics, STEM, and Minecraft. Call us today at 1-844-MAKERKIDS to find out more information.