I was actually surprised to hear that even with all the publicity that bullying has received the statistics show that it is still on the rise. How can this be? The schools are more aware of the problem and students are encouraged to report any bullying incidents, there is even a website, bullying.org, where their slogan is “You are not alone.”
Recently it seems that the bullies have found a new platform for their intimidation and that is the computer. With most kids using email and msn to chat with their friends the bullies are using the Internet to continue their victimization while remaining totally anonymous. This type of bullying is called “cyber bullying” and research has shown that most kids are very reluctant to let their parents know it is happening.
If your child seems to be sad, depressed, withdrawn or showing signs of aggression to his younger siblings he may be he victim of a cyber bully. He may also suddenly lose interest in any social events and complain about headaches, and stomach aches so he can stay home from school. Any disruption in your child’s normal eating and sleeping habits could also be a red flag and parents should be aware of any changes.
Encourage your kids to come to you with any problems they may be having concerning the internet. Talk with them about cyber bullying and always reassure them that they can come to you if they are being bullied without repercussions. Assure them that you are there to help and most importantly take their concerns seriously. Never tell your child to ignore the problem.
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