We have a guest writer, Janice Miller from SafetyToday addressing cyberbullying. We hope you find this information as educational as we have.
YOUR CHILD IS BEING CYBERBULLIED
How to Help
It’s painful to find out that your child is the target of constant attacks by a cyberbully. Your natural instinct is to shield him or her from the constant barrage of darts that wound self-esteem, confidence, and even health. But the nature of cyber attacks is such that a good name – your child’s – can be run through the muck in an open, public way online.
To make matters worse, maybe your family has recently settled in a new city and state and is still adjusting to the new town. Talking to your child may be ineffective at this point, as he still has to face the new and difficult changes of a new school while fending off the psychological attacks of the cyberbully.
Foster a Nurturing Home Environment
It’s important for your child to be able to take refuge in a home that is both loving and supportive. Having a space where your child can calm down, relax, and tune in with his intuition and, ultimately, come to terms with the highly negative experience of being a cyberbully victim, is vital if he or she is to overcome this toxic experience.
Every message from a cyberbully triggers a spike of anxiety, stress, and even thoughts of suicide. But with constant displays of affection, efforts to make your child laugh, and other thoughtful, nurturing acts, you can help your child overcome this ordeal as a thriving survivor.
Avoid petty discussions and parental nitpicking, which augment the effects of the bullying experience and can lead to anger, isolation, depression, and possibly even alcohol or drug abuse.
The peaceful home environment you secure will also help your child with the short-term feelings of insecurity, anger, and low self-esteem that may have arisen from the long-distance move.
If your child suffers from ADHD, which compounds the problem, and worsens reactions of irritability and belligerence, consider getting help from a specialist to help your child manage their symptoms and to avoid escalating the situation.
Have Adult Friends Serve as Role Models
As you tune up the nurturing frequency at home, invite especially mature friends or family members who are good with kids to hang with your child. Many kids refrain from talking to Mom and Dad about their problems, so being able to connect with a cool family friend or relative can allow your child to vent and openly talk about his problems.
Allow Them to Explore New Hobbies
You’re in a new community – explore it with your child and see what it has to offer in terms of after-school activities, specialized learning classes, and hobbies. By encouraging the creation of yet another safe space of “fun,” social mingling, and apprenticeship, you’re allowing your child to disconnect from the dark feelings of the nasty cyberbullying experience. Just remember to take steps to make this space — and your home — as relaxing and stress-free as possible.
Ultimately, your child will need a gradual build-up of an effective shield against these constant attacks. Whether it’s limited screen or phone time, meetings with teachers and school officials, or having a professional counselor or child therapist step in. Do your best to make sure your child feels safe, cared for, and has an outlet for their worries and anxiety when dealing with this sort of experience. It will give him the strength to move forward and do what he does best: be a kid.
Thank you for taking your time to read this article by Janice Miller.
God Bless you and keep you and your family safe.