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How to Spot a Child Who is a Victim of Cyberbullying

February 13, 2012 at 10:42 AM

cyberbullyCyberbullying is the use of Internet technologies to tease, humiliate, and harass someone. It might be mean text messages sent at all hours of the day, or degrading comments about someone posted to a website. Cyberbullying can have devastating effects on children, so read below and learn about the issue and how to help your child deal with it.

Spot it: A child who is being cyberbullied may:

    1. Avoid using computers, and other technological devices

    2. Appear stressed when receiving an e-mail, instant message or text. Withdraw from family and friends

    3. Act reluctant to attend school and social events

    4. Avoid conversations about computer use

    5. Exhibit signs of low self-esteem including depression and / or fear Have declining grades

    6. Stop eating or sleeping

    7. In serious cases, consider suicide

Deal With it: If your child is cyberbullied, teach them to:

    1. Not respond

    2. Save the evidence

    3. Report it to the website and /or internet service provider

*Also you should meet with school administrators to discuss a plan of action and their bullying / cyberbullying policy. Talk about the situation with the bully’s parents.

Talk About it: Ask your child:

    1. Has anyone ever been mean with you online? How did you respond?

    2. Have you ever been mean to anyone online? Why?

    3. Is it OK to forward a text message making fun of someone? Why or why not? Do you know you school’s policy on bullying?

    4. Which teacher would you talk to if you were being bullied?

**You may view, download, and print the complete safety tip sheet show here.

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Tim Woda

Written by Tim Woda

Tim Woda is an Internet safety expert, and a passionate advocate for empowering families and protecting children from today’s scariest digital dangers. Woda was on the founding team of buySAFE, an Internet trust and safety company, and he started working on child safety issues after his son was targeted by a child predator online. While his son was unharmed, the incident led Woda to kick-start uKnow.com. You can follow Tim on Twitter or on his blog.

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