Social media is a great thing. Social media sites let you stay in contact with friends and family you wouldn’t otherwise see. You can connect with your community, join groups, play games, and simply shoot the breeze. It’s great.
There is a dark side to social media. The same social media sites you like to visit when you want to unwind create the perfect environment for a cyberbully to launch an attack against your child.
While it might not be possible to prevent your child from using social media sites, you can learn what signs you should watch for that will help you identify if they’re the victim of cyberbullying.
They’re Suddenly Withdrawn
Kids are always changing. They’re prone to mood swings. What they don’t normally do is completely turn their personality inside out. If you’re child has gone from being vivacious and outgoing to suddenly keeping to themselves, it’s highly possible that they’ve encountered a cyberbully.
They Start Behaving Strangely when they Get a Message
Today’s youth love their cellphones. It seems like they’re constantly on the phone. If your child starts looking sick or seems reluctant to check their messages, it could be a sign that they’re getting harassed by a cyberbully. This is especially true if the strange reactions to messages continues longer than a couple of days.
They Won’t Let you See Their Screen
Children, particularly teenagers, are notoriously shy about wanting to let their parents see their phone or computer screen. Younger children are different. They want their parents to see everything. If your child seems to be working overtime to make sure you don’t get a glimpse of their screen while they’re on the tablet or phone, it could be time to take action and check for a cyberbully.
A lack of appetite, headaches, constant upset stomachs. All of these things can indicate that you’re child is struggling to figure out how to deal with a cyberbully. Pay attention and see if the periods of bad health seem to worsen just before and after your child is on their phone/tablet/computer.
The better you are about observing your child’s behavior and identifying the early signs that they’ve encountered a cyberbully, the easier it will be for you to take action before your child does something potentially dangerous.