Bullying may involve name calling, putting someone down, threatening to do someone harm or spreading rumours. Today with all the various types of social media out there, it’s become easier and easier for bullying to take place online in the form of cyberbullying.
Someone who bullies another person might feel jealous, angry, want to be in control, want to feel better about themselves or don’t know that what they are doing is wrong. Bullying is definitely upsetting, but it can also affect the person in other ways. They may have trouble sleeping or concentrating, feel physically sick, lose their appetite, have trouble with school work, feel unsafe or afraid, or they may even start to struggle with depression.
What is cyberbullying?
Cyberbullying is a form of bullying that takes place online. It can include receiving hurtful text messages, sending images or videos intended to humiliate someone or setting up fake online profile to intimidate someone. It can be even more distressing because it’s very public, it’s very difficult to remove content online and can easily get out of hand. If your child is being cyberbullied, it’s important to be supportive and empathetic and reassure them that it’s not their fault. Avoid stopping your child from going online at all, as this will likely result in them not telling you if it happens again.
Encourage them to report it, not get involved, leave the group or conversation and block the person. It’s also a good idea to talk to someone about it, such as a parent, teacher, Kids Helpline or a mental health professional, such as someone at Headspace.