Many people think of bullying as something that is face to face and physical. But that’s not always the case. In fact, cyberbullying in teens has grown considerably ever since the social media boom of the mid 2000s. It’s not an easy thing for many parents to confront. Your child can be bullied anywhere and at anytime thanks to cyberbullying in teens. This is a scary prospect. However, there are ways you can prevent cyberbullying in teens. Stopping cyberbullying before it starts is essential to your teen’s overall well being.
Preventing cyberbullying in teens
Being aware of what your teen is doing online is super important for their overall well being. Keeping track of who they’re speaking to, what sites they’re going on, and what they are doing on those sites can be done by “friending” your teen on social media (or asking them for all of their passwords) or through monitoring software. By monitoring your teen’s internet usage, you can take the first steps to prevent cyberbullying in teens.
You may think that might be enough–but that’s not true. Your teen can find a way around monitoring software and being your friend on social media. They can change their privacy settings that may prevent you from seeing what they are up to or they could figure out some loophole in the monitoring software that they probably know you are using (kids know a lot more than we think). Here are some extra steps you can take in preventing cyberbullying:
- Encourage your teens to tell you immediately if they, or someone they know, are being cyberbullied. The simple act of telling your teen that you are there for them if they need you could help them feel more comfortable to tell you about what’s going on.
- Make clear rules about technology use. Be sure to make it clear to your teen which sites they are allowed to visit and which they are forbidden. Set guidelines as to when they are allowed to use their devices.
- Remove their electronic devices at night time. Following along the same lines as step #2, taking your teen’s cell phone and laptop from them at night is a really good idea because that’s when a majority of teen online interactions occur. If your teen brings their devices into their room alone, you really have no idea about what’s going on behind their closed doors.
- Warn them not to put anything online that they wouldn’t want their classmates to see. Anything can be used as a target for cyberbullies, so it’s important for your teen to put out an image they would be comfortable with everyone seeing.
- Tell your teen not to send messages when they are angry or upset. This is super important because bullying usually starts with a teen who is upset and not thinking straight.
Solstice East can help
Solstice East, a residential treatment center for teen girls ages 14-18 struggling with emotional and behavioral difficulties, can help your daughter who has either been a victim of cyberbullying in teens or a cyberbully.
For more information about Solstice East, please call 828-484-9946.