Help Your Child Avoid and Overcome Cyberbullies After Moving
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In today’s world, technology is a very useful asset that helps us share information and experiences with our family, friends, and colleagues across the globe. Our children use it every day for both school and socialization. If you’ve moved, it can allow your child to stay in touch with old friends back home and make new ones in their new town or school. Technology can make even a cross-country move a little easier on your family in all kinds of ways.
Technology and how it can hurt your child even at home
Inevitably, though, some will use these resources in a negative way. With smartphones, tablets, and computers surrounding our children everyday, Broadband Search notes that cyberbullies are able to constantly bombard their victims no matter where they may be. Disparaging messages can be sent or posted around the clock, often for a large audience to see, and sometimes sent directly to the victim. Cyberbullies may be someone they know, or could even be anonymous.
Technology is so ingrained into every aspect of our lives it is impractical to avoid it, so how do we protect our children from these cyberbullies? Stay Home Blues has a few ideas.
Spotting and Preventing a cyberbully
Children are especially susceptible to bullying after a move. With a new environment and routine, they can be more emotionally vulnerable. Not all children will tell their parents they are being bullied online. As a parent, you must be on the lookout for some telltale signs that your child is being victimized by a cyberbully.
Be particularly observant of their behavior after you see them using their electronic devices. Do they appear to be upset after using their tablet? Are they anxious every time they receive a notification on their phone? Do they attempt to hide their online activity? These may be signs that they are being cyberbullied.
Have a discussion with your child about their online activity. It’s important to establish rules so they know what kind of online activity is appropriate for them. Talk to them about carefully considering what they post online. Safety.com suggests reminding them to never post personal information like their address or phone number.
Several social media apps have security tools that can help you protect your child from cyberbullying online. Many devices come with parental control software that allow you to monitor and deny access to certain apps or websites. Changing the privacy settings can help limit your child’s interaction with a select group of people. Using these tools can help you protect your child from cyberbullies.
Helping your child overcome a cyberbully
Although you can talk with your child and utilize tools to help protect them, there is still the possibility that they will encounter a cyberbully. If you discover that they have been victimized, tell them not to respond. You can use the parental software or block feature to prevent further communication on certain apps. If they know the cyberbully, have a mediator such as a school official help resolve the situation. Try to avoid confronting the bully or their parents personally, as this can cause extra tension during and after a resolution.
It is important to give your child a home where they can feel safe and stress-free. Children are very receptive to their parents and they can sense when you are tense. To help make your home feel more nurturing, try placing plants in each room. A scented candle can provide a relaxing glow and warmth at the dinner table while emitting a pleasant aroma. Try to keep your home tidy even if you’re very busy, as clutter can cause unnecessary stress for everyone.
If you have the space, have dedicated areas of your home for certain tasks like studying and relaxation. Having a desk somewhere for studying helps with concentration, and a space specifically for relaxing can bring a sense of calm when your child needs it — a quiet room with a comfy sofa, lounge, or even a rocking chair will do. The dedicated spaces don’t necessarily have to be in separate rooms, they can be in corners of a room, with plants or a curtain separating the sections.
Having a home environment that is free of stress will allow your child to relax and feel safe, which is especially important when they’re feeling attacked in the digital world.
Cyberbullying is a growing trend that unfortunately will not be going away. Educating your child on appropriate online activity is the first step to a positive experience. Using the parental controls, privacy settings, and other available tools in social media applications can help protect them as well. Ultimately, providing a nurturing, stress-free home will give them a safe, comforting atmosphere and help them grow up happy and healthy.