The speed of communication today lends itself to creating an environment for cyberbullying. We hear stories in the news about girls creating fake Facebook pages and posting cruel comments. What isn’t always as obvious are the simple texts-whether done via a group or direct to an individual often comments made have a lasting negative impression. Often kids don’t even realize what they are saying in this context is bullying.
As parents it is more important than ever to learn about the issue and ways to handle it. In this post, we’ll dig in and discuss everything you need to know to keep your daughter safe – and signs that she may be being bullied with Snapchat, Vine, Instagram and other popular social media platforms.
Cyberbullying Statistics May Surprise you
Cyberbullying is the use of technology to harass, humiliate, or threaten any person under the age of 18 however it can often extend into college years. The following statistics were reported by Stomp Out Bullying:
- 43% of students say they are currently being harassed online.
- 18% of middle school students have been the victims of cyberbullying one or more times in the last few months.
- 62% of students that have been victims of cyberbullying have reported that the person who bullied them was a student from school. 46% of them said that the student from school was actually a friend.
- 17% of 6 – 11 year olds and 36% of 12 – 17 year olds said they have been threatened or humiliated by someone via technology.
- 19% of Internet users ages 10 – 17 have been a part of digital aggression. 15% were aggressors, 7% were victims, and 3% were both aggressors and victims.
- Recent studies reveal that girls are twice as likely to either be cyberbullied and to cyberbully others compared with boys.
Signs Your Daughter May Be A Victim Of Cyberbullying:
- Wanting to stay home from school
- Negative changes in grades
- Wary of using the Internet/computer
- Not wanting to see or talk to friends
What To Do if You Suspect Your Daughter Is a Victim of Cyberbullying:
If any of the above signs apply to your daughter, here are a few things you can do right away to address the situation:
- Talk to your daughter. – Communication is key. Ask her if she has been embarrassed, harassed, or threatened in social media or via text
- Google your her name and monitor social media. – See if anything negative is being said about your daughter on websites or on social media.
- Contact her school. This can sometimes be a delicate issue, as your daughter may ask not to make a “big deal” for fear of retribution. Reassure her that it is important that the school knows that it is happening and ask the administrators to partner with you and alert you right away if they see it happening during the day.
- Alert local law enforcement. If your daughter has been threatened or personal information has been posted, it’s important to contact local law enforcement as soon as possible.
- Save the proof. Save any proof of cyberbullying as it may come in handy down the road.
What To Do if You Suspect Your Child Is Cyberbullying Someone Else:
Parents can actually be liable for emotional damage their child causes another child.
- Help your daughter understand how cyberbullying could affect someone. The damage is permanent and the other girl or boy will carry the words with them forever. Change the conversation and tell her how much more important it is to be the one to stand up for others rather than putting them down.
- Take away phone and Internet privileges and monitor that she isn’t using someone else’s device.
Has your daughter received a text or post in social media by a cyberbully? We’d love to hear about your experience and how you handled it on our Facebook page.