Putting A Stop To Cyber Bullying

Almost everyone can remember a time in their life when they were being bullied as a child. Typically, this happened at school and under most circumstances presented a problem. Although bullying in the schoolyard or playground has been a common occurrence for the longest time, these days there is another kind of bullying a child can become a victim of. Cyber bullying has become very prevalent among today’s youths, and is causing a great deal of stress for those children who are affected by it.

More than intimidation, cyber bullying can present a real threat to its intended victim. Defining cyber bullying would be to say it is a form of harassment through electronically controlled means, typically through the Internet, or through texting from a digital phone. These days, children and teens have available access to the Internet, at home, in libraries and at school. Participating in chat rooms for example, although intended to be a positive experience, can present a problem if not carefully supervised.

Through cyber bullying, the accused feels more empowered to bully his victim through the Internet or other sources, rather than face-to-face. In this manner, he typically has more freedom to cause more emotional distress to his target. Whether it is through name calling, or actually threats, it should never be taken lightly. This problem needs to be addressed and a solution needs to be found if the child who has been victimized is to regain his self confidence and feel secure again.

Parents want to ensure the safety and security of their children, but often they are unaware of how to address the situation of cyber bullying. Generally, the first step that should be done is to keep a record, and save all messages, in the form of email, texts, etc. It’s important to tell the child not to delete any of the threatening notes, as it will provide documentation and also might be able to provide a clue as to who has been sending these messages.

Another step in handling the situation is to encourage the child to inform a parent of the situation. Keeping it private is not going to help to resolve the issue. If it has become a recurring issue that is causing the child a great deal of anxiety, every effort should be taken to put an end to the cyber bullying and harassment. Speaking to the child’s teacher to inform him or her of the situation is often a good idea.

One important thing that should be remembered is to assure the child there is no reason for him to feel embarrassed or ashamed. Cyber bullying is not a reflection on the victim, and he or she should not feel they have done anything to be ashamed of. If the child understands that most likely the person doing the bullying is typically afraid and feeling insecure himself, the intended victim will not feel a loss of self confidence or intimidation.

Another crucial thing to keep in mind is informing the victim never to reply to a threatening or bullying type of email message. This action can fuel the fire and potentially lead the bully to send more threats. Although for some children, it’s a natural response to reply, explaining why this is a bad idea would be best. The child should also be aware how to block the bully from sending further messages. Putting the sender on a ‘Blackmail’ list or otherwise preventing this person from having his messages being sent, could put an end to future attempts of writing more harassing messages.

Finally, one other factor to consider is reporting this to the authorities if it has become out of hand and seems threatening. This type of harassment should never be tolerated if it has caused emotional damage to the victim. Cyber bullying is not child’s play. It is not an innocent game. It is a serious threat and can ultimately lead to circumstances that can be detrimental to the victim.