Cyber Bullying

Amanda Hall, M.A.
Wishing Star Associate

With the 5th annual CKNW’s Pink Shirt Day coming up on February 29, 2012, I thought it would be a good idea to take a look at cyber-bullying and how it affects our kids. Bullying has been an issue that many kids have had to deal with. How bullying occurs, and the intensity of it, has changed over the years. It used to be that children or teens who were bullied would get a break from the social stress when they came home from school. With social media and with technology being such a big part of our daily lives, bullying can continue throughout the day.

Cyber bullying can be particularly harmful because it can reach hundreds of people in an instant, increasing the level of public humiliation. People are also removed from the consequences of seeing their victim’s reaction, which can give them a feeling of invincibility and cut them off from being able to empathize with the other person.

What to do if you think your child is being bullied on the internet:

  • Make sure the computer is in a common space in the house.
  • Have daily check ins with your child to see how thing are going in their lives.
  • Be familiar with your children’s online profiles; add yourself as a Facebook friend.
  • Teach your kids to never post something online that they wouldn’t want the entire world to see.
  • Encourage your kids to come to you if someone has posted something hurtful online.
  • Listen and be supportive.
  • Problem solve together, have your teens help you come up with solutions and what they think would make the problem improve, and what things might make it worse.
  • Encourage your child to take a break from technology.
  • Provide more opportunities for face to face, positive social connections with peers.
  • Save any hurtful texts, emails or posts on Facebook as evidence.
  • Contact the school administrators or the police if there are threats of violence.

This blog posting is not a form of psychological counselling, advice, therapy, or assessment and should not be used as such by any individual. This blog posting is provided only as an article intended to encourage thought and discourse. For specific psychology related services, please contact an appropriate healthcare provider.