What signs can you watch out for that a child is being cyberbullied?
One of most important things that you can do to protect your child online is to keep the lines of communication open. Chat to them as often as you can about what they are seeing and doing online. The more conversations that you have, the more you can coach them in positive and safe online behaviour. And it is also more likely that they will come to you if something goes wrong or at least you will spot a change in behaviour around their online use.
The following may also be indicators of cyberbullying or that they are dealing with a difficult online situation
- Seeming nervous about using their device, or stopping using it
- Appearing angry, stressed, depressed or frustrated after being online
- Avoiding discussion about what they are doing online or being unusually secretive especially when it comes to online activities
- Being uneasy about being at school or outside
- Being abnormally withdrawn from friends or family or suddenly wanting to spend more time with family, rather than their peers
- Appearing depressed, loss of interest in normal activities, or making comments about suicide.
- Oversleeping or not sleeping enough
Remember that the more you normalise talking to your kids about what they or their friends are doing, seeing, hearing and saying online, the easier it will be to spot changes in behaviour or attitude.