Bullying and harassment are unacceptable whether it takes place in person or online. First and foremost when it comes to cyber bullying, your adolescent should understand that it is not their fault. Bullying is not just an argument your adolescent was pulled into but it is repetitive and continuing cruel treatment. Some steps that your adolescent can take when experiencing this is to not respond in-the-moment. Your adolescent doesn’t want to empower a bully by engaging in this negative and aggressive dialogue. More often than not, it does not help the situation. It will often pull them out of character and potentially entice the bully to continue because they know the effect they are having over your adolescent. Encourage your adolescent to save and remember the evidence so it can be shown to someone to get help in the future, rather than just going with the initial reaction of responding.
If your adolescent feels comfortable with it, they can address the bully and make it clear to them that this behavior is unacceptable and they cannot treat your adolescent in this manner, but reaching out for help is really important. Being bullied is not something that your adolescent needs to or should have to deal with alone. Also encourage your child to speak with a friend, relatives, or any trusted adult, like you, to help them through this situation. It is especially important to get help when the bullying is really affecting your adolescent because they deserve the support. The cruel treatment is not something they have to deal with by themselves. The police can also become involved when physical threats are being made against your adolescent.
Social media platforms allow your adolescent to report and block users. Doing this will not necessarily stop the bullying completely, but your adolescent will not be seeing the abuse regularly which can help them cope with the situation. The last protective measure your adolescent can use on social media platforms is changing their privacy setting. Making sure your adolescent’s accounts are private which will give your adolescent the ability to choose who can comment, like, follow, and see your content.
These tips with more information to help when your adolescent is being cyberbullied can be found on connectsafely.org
Do you have any experience with your adolescent and bullying. Let us know how it was handled in the comments below.