The concept of bullying encompasses all physical and psychologically violent behaviors that a child inflicts on another child, who considers himself superior and strong, and considers himself weaker and weaker. While it used to be seen only in school corridors or street play environments, today the space is much larger, there is an almost limitless medium where children can be bullied.
So what happens when the word 'cyber' is added to your head? We can define cyberbullying as discrimination, humiliation, threats, in short, all kinds of psychological violence, 'online' i.e. online, through electronic communication tools such as phones, tablets or computers.
In what ways can it happen?
There are types of cyberbullying on social media, such as a message targeting a person, profanity, insults, threats, a sexually abusive comment or message, content intended to mock a particular person, excluding a person from a message group or game played. Isn't that a familiar phrase?
What are the consequences?
There are various statistics on incidence, but overall, on average, one in four children admit to being a victim, and one in six admit to cyberbullying at least once.
While the emotional effects such as anxiety, shame, introversion, depression are noted, there are examples that, in rare cases, unfortunately the exposed child may be an attempt to self-harm.
The situation is quite sad, but at the same time I think we should act as an alarm. So let's see what we have to do to protect our children, what should we pay attention to?
• In order to be aware of a possible threat, you must first of all have an open and trust-based relationship with your child. Otherwise, the child may refrain from telling his family what he is going through because he is afraid or afraid of restricting his or her possibilities (such as taking away the phone, the internet).
• Be wary of unusual situations that occur in your child. Symptoms such as introversion, loss of appetite, insomnia, avoiding using the internet, isolating yourself from social environments may indicate bullying.
• In order to catch clues and speak the same language, it is important that you also master social media and use technology. You should know the dangers and the precautions so that you can teach him.
• Warn him not to share his password for any social media account with anyone, even if he is a very close friend. You can talk about the possibility that his information could end up in the hands of malicious people, or that he might one day fall out with his friend as good as he is now.
• Any response to bullying may reinforce the behavior of the person who attacked and cause it to increase its severity. The first and most important piece of advice you give your child should be: immediately block that person and notify the nearest adult they can reach.
• When you notice the situation or he shares it with you, it is very important to reassure you that you are with him, to emphasize that he is not guilty and does not deserve this behavior. In fact, it is important not to hesitate to take legal action, because the situation may not always be so innocent as to be called banter between children. For this, I recommend documenting these violent posts by taking screenshots or recording them.
• If bullying comes from another child in the school, you should cooperate with the school. However, it is critical to do so in such a way that your child is informed before meeting with the teacher, principal or guidance service so that he or she does not have to go through the difficulty.
• If you prohibit your use of social media/the internet due to your legitimate concerns and with the instinct of protection, you are in fact only punishing your own child. Instead, it's possible to follow him one step further and make sure he's safe, using family-created security programs and internet filters without giving the impression that you don't trust him.
• Your child may not be the target of bullying, but also the child who performs the bullying. We should see this as a sign of an emotional problem, so we have to treat it very gracefully. It may be good to investigate what lies at the source of needs such as resorting to violence and demonstrating strength, and seek help from a specialist if necessary.
Finally, I would like to say that the solution for both parents and society lies in the concept of 'empathy'. If every parent can instill in their own child that the other person can have feelings of resentment, sadness, shame, inadequacy, it is not a problem that we cannot overcome. Remember, it's you parents who plant the seeds of all kinds of fruit from the child. If we can teach them to love, to be loved, to be sensitive and to socialize in the right ways, the future is possible to be brighter.
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