October 5, 2022


When a child is being harassed, tormented, embarrassed, threatened or targeted in any form online or digitally, this is called cyber bullying. It could be on their phones, gaming devices, PCs, laptops, tablets or any other technology. People online can become even bolder with their efforts than they are at school. Teens have committed suicide because of bullying and not being able to get away from it means more suicide attempts and successes are largely because of cyber bullying. Studies have found that both the victim and the bully might suffer from depression. Resources like a mental health toolkit can be helpful for parents, teachers and other people in the community. 

Cyberbullying only going to increase

Most teens have some form of digital device nowadays. Most have their own phones. Have at least one kind of gaming device, and have a school laptop or PC. It is a great thing to be able to connect with people from all over, but it means the opportunities for bullying are also being boosted. Some of the forms it takes are as follows;

  • Harassment on social media platforms and instant messaging
  • Catfishing is where they create a fake profile, make friends with you, lie to you and then use personal information against you sometimes to humiliate you, sometimes to commit crimes against you
  • Exclusion is another form, which is notable when others do not include the victim in their messaging, deliberately leave them out of interactions and leave them feeling isolated and alone, a mental health crisis toolkit might be needed
  • Outing is when they get and then share private information, often to do with sexual orientation
  • Trolling is when they try to provoke you using insults in online forums and social media hoping to create reactions in their victims who are usually people who are more vulnerable
  • Fraping is when they steal your social media platform accounts and impersonate them and acts inappropriately
  • Girls are more likely to be the victim of cyberbullying than boys
  • Nearly a half of teens have experienced online bullying and 1 in 4 have had it happen several times or more
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Signs your teen is doing the bullying

  1. Does not talk about what they do online
  2. Laughs loudly and excessively when online
  3. Stays online into the early hours of the morning
  4. Gets irritated if they are interutped during their online time
  5. Closes windows or hides screens when you walk in or past
  6. Acts upset when they cannot go online

Signs your child is being bullied and you might need a mental health toolkit

  1. Gets sullen, upset, frustrated or angry after using their device
  2. Not eating well
  3. Suddenly stops using their device even though it is their time to be on still
  4. Becomes withdrawn from others 
  5. Does not want to do any activities they used to enjoy
  6. Being anxious, scared or jumping when instant messages or texts appear

 

Tips for parents to share with their children

As well as using a mental health crisis toolkit if you are concerned about suicide some things you should make sure your children know are;

 

  • Tell someone about the bullying and keep telling until someone does something
  • Save the messages so that they are there as proof when action happens
  • If you are being threatened you can tell the local police
  • While you can save the messages you do not have to open and read them
  • If it is at school or with another student tell the principal or a teacher they trust
  • Do not ever agree to meet with someone you meet online
  • Block bullies on instant messaging