3 Ways to Prevent YOUR teen daughter from being cyberbullied online
As we all know this is the era of electronic devices and most people, especially teenagers are attached to electronic devices such as computer, smartphone, laptop, etc. most of their waking hours. This trend is growing on the daily basis as the new innovations of smartphones, tablet PCs, iPods, etc. are being introduced. Even though this technology has abundant benefits, it has some dark sides as well. Cyberbullying is a dark side of increased technological trend. Cyberbullying affects approximately 50% of the young people aged 10-24. Mostly, there are teenagers falling victim to this epidemic.
What is Cyberbullying?
Cyberbullying is when a child or a teenager is threatened, tormented, embarrassed, humiliated, or otherwise targeted by another child or a teenager using the internet, digital and interactive technologies or mobile phones. These include instant messaging, interactive gaming, text and video text messaging, etc.
Cyberbullying is much worse than real-world bullying because it does not rest. It can inflict pain, damage, and harm because it could happen to anyone and could be seen 24/7. It attacks directly the emotions of teenagers and as a result they feel isolation, fear, and hopelessness. If not stopped, it could even cause depression and or suicide.
According to Statistic Brain, 52% of teens reported being cyberbullied over the years, and approximately 84% of cyberbullying takes place on Facebook. 33% teens have experienced cyber threats online and approximately 52% teens don’t tell their parents when cyberbullying occurs. 20% of teens cyberbullied think about suicide and approximately 10% of them attempt it. Most of the victims of cyberbullying are females.
To prevent your teenage daughter form being cyberbullied, you need to establish some internet safety rules, and the subject of these rules should be cyberbullying.
It’s essential that your teen daughter knows the risks and dangers of online communication and should have knowledge to stay safe when using those communication mediums. As a parent, it’s important that you take the role of helping her stay safe until she is mature enough to make her own good choices.
Following are 3 effective ways to keep your daughter safe from cyberbullying:
Be social friends:
Firstly, check where your daughter is online most on the time. Social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, etc. are quite popular these days, so it might be a good idea for you to be there as well. Make a rule or policy requiring that your daughter and you “friend” each other on the social platform she stays active on. In this way, you would show her that you are also there and will provide a check and balance system to keep her safe online. Additionally, you can become friends with her contacts on social media and stay within her social media circles to properly monitor her posts and activities. Your daughter may resist this policy, but tell her that it is one of the conditions for you to allow her access.
Have Tech Talks:
It is very important that you tell her the dangers and risks of being online. You may feel like you are scaring her when mentioning the cyberbullying dangers to her, but is better for her to be scared than unaware. Have tech talks with her and discuss stuff with her that involves internet and its potential dangers when used carelessly. When she starts using the Internet more independently, having an open line of communication becomes even more crucial.
By educating and discussing with her on the subject of cyberbullying, you can help prevent many potential pitfalls that can result from her having an online presence.
Recognize online abuse and speak out against it:
Another way to prevent online abuse is to keep web tools and computers in a common area of your home where you can monitor her online activities. Keep such devices out of her bedroom.
Make her understand that while you respect her privacy, her safety is your main concern. Encourage her to tell you if something is wrong. Furthermore, you can review her social networking sites if you suspect anything bad.
Mostly cyberbullies use instant messages, emails, or text messages to taunt, embarrass, or hurt the victim emotionally. Teens these days are abusing other teens online by sharing teasing photos, videos and taunting on social networks, etc.
As a parent, you should teach your daughter how to respond to a cyberbully in case if she ever encounters one. Following are some ways to tackle cyberbullying:
- Ignore the messages, emails, or postings that use harmful language
- Do not forward bullying messages to anyone
- Ignore messages, postings, and emails from known bullies
- Block known bullies on social networks
- Show the bullying messages to trusted adults including parents, counselors, or teachers