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Published On: Fri, Dec 15th, 2017

10 early warning signs of cyberbullying every parent should know

“Mom, am I fat?” might be not just a simple question of an insecure child but the early bird sign of cyberbullying.

Why? Because cyberbullying undermines self-respect and self-identity.

For the record, cyberbullying is teasing, mocking, intimidating, threatening a person online by using electronic devices. 71% of American teens are concerned about cyberbullying. Over 13 million of American kids will be bullied or cyberbullied this year, according to the Megan Meier Foundation. This online phenomenon results in depression, self-doubt, and even suicide.

Malory Grossman killed herself after being cyberbullied by a group of girls. For months, the girl was literally insulted via Snapchat, Instagram, and texting. She was called a loser. The girls even asked her ‘Why don’t you kill yourself?». Malory asked the school administration for help but they did nothing to protect her. Meanwhile, parents had no idea their precious kid was suffering from cyberbullying.

Unfortunately, cyberbullied children are not likely to confess about their struggles: only 1 in 10 victims informs a parent. So here are 10 early warning signs of cyberbullying which will help parents identify cyberbullying:

Fear of doing wrong things, not coping with something, not tackling the task.

When the child’s self-respect and self-identity are threatened, they are going to prove they are good enough. When they really do something wrong and you show your loyalty and love, they think they don’t deserve it.

Feelings of worthlessness and guilt.

Kids feel lost and insecure. It’s like feeling they don’t belong this world because other people said so.

This feeling might be identified when you assign some home chores or tasks and when your kid is facing some challenge at school. In a nutshell, they feel incapable, stupid, ugly, etc. Observe their talk. It speaks volume.

Insomnia as the result of hyper – anxiety and worrying.

Psychological struggles make it hard to fall asleep. In order to hide it from you, kids can pretend they are sleeping, wait for you to go to bed and then be awake the whole night.

Liability to go into hysterics, nervousness, irritability.

Children’s emotional state is very vulnerable. They can suddenly burst into tears. Any movement can stir meltdown or freak out.

Self-harm to punish oneself for not being good enough.

They need to sort of “bounce back”, rehab themselves in their proper and other people’s eyes. It happens unconditionally since their self-identity and self-worth are defeated.

Loss of interest in life and things that used to bring joy and satisfaction.

All the kids have hobbies, interests, even obsessions. For example, if your kid loves knitting or crafting and suddenly they drop it and feel disgusted to get back to it, it’s definitely a sign.

Overeating or loss of appetite.

The eating disorder might translate that something went wrong. There are actually many reasons for overeating or food refusal. And cyberbullying is definitely one of them.

Damaged things.

If your child is not likely to bite nails and damage things but now it’s happening, pay attention. Perhaps, this is how a kid is trying to get rid of negative emotions or pain.

Isolation.

A child refuses to socialize and avoids people. The communication hurts them more since their self-worth is injured. They feel uncomfortable among people. Kids are convinced that other people judge them and consider them pathetic.

School performance decrease.

A child has troubles with concentrating, making decisions, following teachers, and accomplishing tasks. They get hurt easily. All they can think about is to survive this.

Struggling, surviving, enduring is not the way out. It’s impossible to survive cyberbullying. The only solution is to expose and eliminate it.

To make sure that these symptoms belong to cyberbullying and not to the puberal growth stage, parents should use parental controls. Designed as monitoring tools, they can literally translate what’s going on in the child’s life. Since bullies use social media, anonymous sites like Ask.fm, messaging apps, parental controls can monitor those platforms and block them.

There are lots of apps in the monitoring market like mSpy parental control software. In a big diversity, parents can pick the most convenient one which meets the family’s needs.

Cyberbullying signs are easy to identify if you know them. Also, some apps’ assistance might be helpful as well. Only a complex approach helps identify and overcome cyberbullying.

Author: Ted Soluri

About the Author

- Outside contributors to the Dispatch are always welcome to offer their unique voices, contradictory opinions or presentation of information not included on the site.

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