An internet bully uses the internet to send threatening and intimidating messages to others. This is a kind of soft war against anyone. It may cause fear and depression on the victims. Its a very embarrassing thought for parents to think of their children being bullied on the internet. And some parents in addition worry about the fact that their own children could simply become internet bullies. Being the parent of a child on the aggressive end of internet bullying is something that must be taken very seriously. Here are a couple of signs that indicate that your child could be doing this to others, with considerations on what to do.
Be in the Know
Children in today’s world grow up very knowledgeable about electronics. Often, children are more aware of what is happening online than their parents. It’s vital to remain alert about the latest and greatest things in your child’s life if you want to come across as relevant to them, and keep them and those they interact-with safe. Learn about the online games they play and the apps they use to communicate. Talk to your child about what they are involved in, and stay aware of the latest cyber trends.
Monitor Your Children’s Internet Activities
Don’t allow your child unlimited freedom when it comes to online activities. Communicate to your child that you will be reading their texts, checking their online accounts and watching them occasionally as they participate in online games and forums. Be cautious about allowing your child to have internet access in their room, and study how your child interacts with others online. If it seems that your child is aggressive in their communications with others, is using foul language directed at others, or mocking them, you need to bring up the conversation with your child about their tendencies to behave like a bully. If you come across evidence that your child is bullying someone, take it seriously and deal with it immediately.
Install Parental-Control Tools on All Electronic Communication Devices
There are parental control tools that allow you to keep a close watch on your child when they are online. Instead of doing this secretly, make it known to your family that all online activities are subject to being viewed by parents at any time. This will prevent an erosion of trust between you and your child, and will help them to monitor themselves. Some of these parental controls will even monitor conversations between your child and those they are interacting with, and will pick up on abusive dialogue which will then be reported to you.
Keep an Open and close Dialogue with Your Children
Hopefully from the time your child was very young, you have been keeping an open dialogue with them about all areas of their lives. As they get older, this includes online activities. Talk about cyberbullying and its dangers. Ask them if they have ever been a victim of it, or if they have felt they were ever bullying someone. If you can maintain your composure while you engage in this conversation, your child may feel more able to open up to you about it. Online bullying is a huge issue today. There is great freedom of the internet and many ways in which a person can use their electronic devices. This gives the opportunity for bullies to escape consequences for their actions, and causes dangerous growth in the epidemic of internet bullying.
It is not easy to find out if your child is a cyberbully or to handle the information once you have acquired it, but it is necessary to work together to put a stop to it. By being a vigilant parent and making yourself aware of any cyber bullying your child may be engaging in, you are making the world a better and safer place for all.
Low self-esteem; the root cause of bullying habit
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Low self-esteem has its origins when we are young, typically before the age of six. It begins with someone saying or doing something that causes a child to get the idea that he or she is unlovable, unworthy, imperfect, flawed, or defective in some significant way. Whether the child buys into an unkind word or deed, perhaps experiences a bullying episode or an abusive situation of some sort, or misinterprets what others said or did in such a way that has them feel less than, not good enough, unlovable, or like they don’t belong, this initial upset has children begin to believe there is something wrong with them. They then scan for evidence to “prove” to themselves that their initial fear was correct…and, of course, they find plenty of episodes that reinforce that there is something defective about who they are as a person. Over the course of years and decades, they gather hundreds or thousands of pieces of evidence that they are imperfect, unlovable, and not worthy of all the good things life has to offer. Before long, they accept this negative self-image as FACT and soon become resigned to believing that’s just how it is… and there’s nothing they can do about it!
NOT having sufficient levels of Self-Esteem, will impact a child’s relationships, communication, personal effectiveness and ability to reach their fullest potential. Scientific studies show over and over the relationship between not having sufficient self-esteem and threats like:
- Being Insecure – creeping feelings of discomfort
- Procrastination – putting things off until you are doomed to fail
- Frustration – not getting the results you want, again and again
- Worrying – visualizing and expecting negative, self-fulfilling results without reason
- Anger – finding yourself in a state of upset all too frequently
- Bullying – exerting domination over others in unhealthy ways in order to create a false impression of power and superiority
- Depression – allowing yourself to be a victim, dominated by a mood of sadness often to avoid responsibility for making your life work optimally or to attract the pity of others
- Fear – the third most prevalent emotional response often due to a perceived inability to impact one’s situation
- Many other situations including Abuse, Addictions, School Drop outs, Poverty and even Suicide are also strongly linked to NOT having sufficient self-esteem!