How to Stop Cyber bullying
Although our world has greatly advanced in the last 100 years, some things just never change. Our world has undergone many changes, especially when it comes to medicine and technology. Nowadays, every kid out there has a smartphone, tablet, a computer, and half a dozen social media accounts. Yet, the way people interact with one another, especially the younger folks, it just hasn’t changed a single bit.
Of course, here we are of course talking about bullying. Back in the day, bullying took the form of a punch in the head and the stealing of lunch money, but now it can arguably be much worse. Kids are bullying each other on the internet, all over social media, and wherever else possible.
It leads to some pretty serious consequences, and at the very least, kids being cyberbullied are no better off than if they were being bullied on the playground. If you have a child who is being cyber bullied, it can be a painful thing to watch, which is why stopping cyberbullying is something that every parent needs to know about.
1. Ask Them to Stop
This is the first step anybody should take to try and stop cyberbullying. You can simply ask the bully to stop, and try and reason with them. At the end of the day, even bullies can often be reasoned with, especially kids. Now, simply asking bullies to stop is not going to work always, and more often than not, it actually won’t work.
If stopping bullying and abuse were as simple as asking it to stop, the world would be a much better place. Although in many cases this may not be effective, you never know, and it is worth a try. You might actually get through to the bully. However, in all reality, it might take a little more than this to get the cyberbullying to stop.
2. Refuse to Engage
If you, a child, or anyone is being cyberbullied, one of the worst possible things that can be done is to engage with the bully, respond, and retaliate. Responding is literally the opposite of what you should be doing. Bullies get off on the attention and they love when people engage with them.
It makes bullies feel important, it makes them feel powerful, and most of all, if you retaliate or respond to a bully, it makes them happy because they know that their efforts are getting to you. Simply put, there is absolutely no point in engaging with bullies. It’s an absolute waste of time with absolutely nothing to be gained whatsoever. If you let a bully do their thing without responding to them, eventually they will get bored and move on to a next potential victim.
As for retaliation, that’s a dangerous game to play. You may think that your retaliation has shut the bully down for good, but chances are almost 100% that they will come back at you harder than before. Don’t engage the bully, don’t respond, and definitely don’t retaliate either. This will only make the situation worse.
3. Use Social Media Tools to Your Advantage
With modern day social media accounts, there are various ways of keeping your kids safe and to prevent or stop cyberbullying. If you or a child is being cyberbullied by specific people, social media apps allow you to report them to the app and even block them.
Cyber bullies may have their accounts suspended or closed down for good if they do not stop their behavior. Even if the moderators of the social media app in question do not suspend or shut down the bully’s account, you can still block them.
If you block your cyberbully, it means that they can no longer contact you, tag you, or even find you on that specific social media application. Now, blocking the cyberbully on one account may not completely solve the problem, as there are so many social media apps out there, that it’s hard to battle bullying on all fronts.
4. Try Reasoning With the Parents
For the most part, cyberbullies are kids and teenagers, although this is not to say that there are no adult cyberbullies. However, chances are that there are kids or youths involved, as full-grown adults usually have better things to do than harass people online. Therefore, if you have a child that is being cyberbullied, and all other efforts have failed to stop it, you as a parent may want to consider talking to the parents of the cyberbullies.
Of course, this is easier to do if both parties live in the same area, but cyber bullies can be halfway around the world, in which case this may not be an option. That being said, if all else fails, telling the parent of the cyberbully about what is going on may help. You may not realize this, but many parents whose kids are bullies don’t actually realize that their kids are engaging in this type of behavior.
Sometimes they need to be told what their kids are up to. Sure, some parents may get mad, some may deny it, and some may scream at you. Everyone wants to think that their kids are angels, which is obviously not true. However, there are plenty of reasonable people out there too, so if you manage to get into contact with the parents, there may be some reasoning to do.
5. Call the Authorities
So, the cyberbullying is continuing, even after blocking the bullies on various accounts, telling the parents, and more. So, what is there left to do? Cyberbullying is a serious issue, and in most places, it’s something that the police take pretty seriously.
This is especially the case if there are threats of physical harm. The police can get involved here. Now, it’s uncomfortable and nobody wants to call the police, but sometimes there may be no other choice.
If the bully won’t stop and the bully’s parents won’t do anything about it, they might be inclined to listen to a uniformed officer complete with a badge and pistol. Authority figures can make a big difference, and chances are that under the threat of legal action, bullies might just get the picture and stop the bullying. This should be a last resort, but nonetheless, it’s always an option.
6. Always Save the Evidence
The beauty about social media, smartphones, tablets, and computers is the fact that everything is on record. You or your child can save posts, take screen shots, and more. What is very important in the case of cyberbullying is that the evidence is saved. The reason for this is because if you attempt to tell teachers, the parents of the bully, or even the police, you can’t just bring accusations to the table; you need evidence.
Accusations of this nature always require evidence as backup, so you better be sure to have it. Parents won’t believe that their kids are engaging in such horrible behavior unless they are shown proof of it, and police cannot take any action without evidence. Any instances of cyberbullying should be kept on record, especially if it keeps happening over and over again.
7. Ask for Help
Yes, this is a bit vague, but the fact of the matter is that asking for help often helps. If you or a child is being cyberbullied, just keeping quiet and trying to brush it off won’t do much good. It’s always a good idea to ask for help. There are parents, teachers, counselors, and authorities out there, all of whom may be able to help in some way.
Sure, it might seem like they can’t do anything to help the situation, but you won’t know until you try. Suffering in silence is not an option. It also helps if there are some friends around to help stand up for the person being cyberbullied. Even just being able to talk about the bullying and how it affects you (or your child) is a good step. Everybody needs someone to talk to, and although talking about it may not actually stop it, it certainly helps in terms of processing emotions.
Cyberbullying support groups are growing around the world, and you only need to do an internet search to find one. These groups can provide tips to help deal with the situation, as well as the emotional support that is often needed.
The bottom line is that some people are mean, and some people have issues which they take out on others. We live in a world full of people and bullying is always going to be a part of it, whether physically in real life or over the internet. Although bullying is not something that will ever go away, it is something that can be controlled to a certain extent, and with the right measures, individual bullies can be reasoned with, stopped, and brought to justice one way or another.