In this age of technology, bullying and teasing is no longer limited to just school and on the streets.
Bullying can now take place over various forms of social media, adversely affecting your teen’s identity. The effects can be devastating, leaving your teen feeling hurt, humiliated, angry, depressed, confused, and even suicidal. Bullying in any form should never be tolerated and, if you find yourself asking, “How can I get my teen help?” or “How do I stop a bully?” read on for tips to help you protect your teen online and deal with the growing issue of bullying.
An Invisible Stalker
When bullying occurs over social media, it is known as “cyberbullying.” Cyberbullying does not require any physical strength or in-person contact, and isn’t even limited to just one or two people at a time. Cyberbullies can come in groups, or individually. Unfortunately, the Internet allows them to be able to torment their victims all day, every day. They can follow the victim anywhere and make the humiliation visible to thousands with just a few clicks of the mouse. The statistics surrounding cyberbullying are astounding: 70% of students report seeing frequent bullying online. Nearly 43% of kids have been bullied online. 1 in 4 has had it happen more than once. 81% of young people think bullying online is easier to get away with than bullying in person.
If your teen is targeted by cyberbullies, it is important to remember to not respond to any messages or posts written about them, no matter how hurtful or false the claims may be. Responding will only make the situation worse, and gives the bullies the satisfaction of seeing the reaction they were hoping to provoke in the first place. Furthermore, while it may be tempting, do not let your teen seek revenge on a cyberbully. Not only will this make this worse, but it could result in dire legal consequences.
What To Do?
There are other ways of dealing with cyberbullying, such as:
- Saving the evidence of it to report them
- Reporting threats of harm or sexual advances to the police
- Blocking the bully’s email address and other ways of contacting your teen via social media connections
- Report the bully’s activities to their ISP (internet service provider), or to any web sites on which harmful posts or messages are being shared
Cyberbullying is an extremely serious matter, and could cause a myriad of mental and physical health concerns for your teen. If you suspect your teen is being bullied, whether it be over the Internet or in person, it is best to contact a specialty center, such as Elevations to sign your teen up for various forms of family and individual therapy. They will help you get your teen on the track to safety and regaining their self-worth.
Elevations RTC is a program that specializes in both therapy and excellent academics for teens. To find out more, call us at (855) 290-9681.