How to Deal with Cyberbullying.

Bullying has probably affected every one of us at some point in our lives.  Whether it be at school, by other children, or maybe even a teacher.  Maybe in the workplace by colleagues or a boss. The fact is that it’s a huge problem within our society and it affects every social class.  It’s so ingrained in our society, it seems near impossible to stamp out.

As we move more and more into the world of technology, children today are faced with an even bigger issue.  This is something that many parents did not have to deal with when they were young. The advent of the Internet and CYBERBULLYING

Whilst the issue of Cyberbullying is about children being safe on the internet, the matter of “INTERNET SAFETY” is a far wider issue and one which I’d like to address separately as it’s an extremely important issue all by itself.

Many years ago, if a child were to be bullied at school, they’d be able to go home knowing they were safe. This could often diffuse situations, especially if it were friendship issues.  Having time apart gives children time to think about words they exchanged,  It allows them time to calm down.  Sadly, these days that’s much harder.

24/7 With No Down Time

The internet is piped pretty much into every home and more often than not, straight into the bedroom. Combine this with social media and suddenly we have a situation where there is no let-up, no timeout.  In the “on-line world”, it’s often safer to be “part of the pack” that is carrying out the bullying.  This is an age-old problem, it’s never been any different but combined with the 24/7 nature of instant access into another’s personal space, it is only gathering momentum.  With the stress and upset it causes, being off the scale..  The victim of bullying often threatened with worse to come if they tell anyone.  They can feel isolated, not knowing where to turn for help.

All too often, heart-wrenching stories make the news when a young person takes their own life, due to online bullying. Even when not pushed to such lengths, young people can feel an enormous amount of anxiety, many of them turning to self-harm.

And Still, It Grows…

In the UK during the past year, over half of 12 to 15 year olds have experienced some form of bullying.  It needs to be asked, what is happening in our society?  Why do people feel the need to treat others like this?  Every generation has experienced the problems that bullying creates,.  But this is the first generation that is having to deal with it in this manner.  Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, WhatsApp, the list goes on forever, with our inability or unwillingness to turn it all off.  The time away from these things which would have allowed feelings to diffuse is replaced with continual contact where small things easily escalate into bigger issues and feelings often spiral.

Some Common Forms of Cyberbullying

  • Mobbing.. Where a group target one individual

  • Emailing, texting threatening and intimidating remarks

  • Trolling someone

  • Harassing someone repeatedly

  • Intimidation and blackmail

  • Sexting or posting humiliating images without consent

  • Stalking someone

With the amount and variety of technology in everyday life, it is easy to target others with this sort of bullying and abuse.  Privately through numerous messaging app’s or publicly on countless social media platforms.

As children get older, reaching their teen years, it’s natural that they want more privacy. It’s important that this is respected.  But this doesn’t mean that they can do as they please.  It’s about ensuring they know that you acknowledge the fact that they’re getting older, giving them more responsibility for the way they choose to spend their time.

Teens of every generation have wanted to spend more time with their friends and less time with their parents.  Whilst this has not changed, the manner in which it happens has… With the outside world able to have direct access to your home, a constantly closed bedroom door is a reasonable cause for concern.

The important thing is to remember that if your growing teenage child feels that you’re being intrusive and not respecting their space, you’ll probably end up knowing less of what’s going on for them, because they’ll shut you out. Remember, it’s the quality of communication you have with them that will keep you informed. Giving them their personal space but being there in case they’re in need of your help, is always going to be a difficult balance.

Be Cyber Bully Savvy

Remember, the time that children spend in the home is the time in the home. The time they spend with their friends is exactly that. There’s always going to be a time when these two things cross into the other’s space.

It’s natural that they’ll want to stay out a bit later for something that’s happening on a school night, and you may need them to stay in on a night that they’d normally be out. 

Of course, with such things a compromise is normally found.  However, there has to be a point where the two separate. The same should be applied to time spent on the computer in the bedroom, doors open, closed or ajar.

All these things are dependent on their age, the time of day and whether you suspect any issues going on for them.

Having clear time out from their peer group can help stop situations from escalating when all parties actually need space to cool down.  The key for parents, is always communication!

So, that’s how you can take on the difficult task of keeping an eye on things, but what if the Cyberbullying is already going on?

What You Need to Remember

Keep everything as a record

If your child is being bullied via the internet, it’s important that they know they don’t have to deal with it alone. Never delete emails, text messages, messenger or WhatsApp messages.  All these things are digital and will only be lost  if you delete them.

Easy to Catch

Schools are taking Cyberbullying seriously, more and more. This is because there’s an increasing awareness of the terrible impact that Cyberbullying has.  Unlike the playground or outside the school gates, where it is one child’s word against another’s.  The digital trail that is left, makes it far easier to get to the bottom of who was responsible for what. This is why it’s important never to delete anything.

Better to Swallow Pride

If your child is suffering name calling or threats via the net, it’s quite conceivable that they’ll take that opportunity to retaliate. It’s really important that you make it clear to them, that regardless of how much their pride might be hurt, or how angry they are, they must not.  When the nastiness is clearly one way, the school will feel more confident taking any action.

Parents Must Never Get Involved with Messaging

Sometimes, the hardest thing for a parent to do is not get involved when they see their child suffering at the hands of a bully.  Verbal or otherwise.  It is of the utmost importance that as a parent, “you” do not get involved with any messaging, as it would enable the bully to look like the victim. Remember, clear identification of who is doing what, will help the school bring things to a far swifter and more final end.

No Legal Definition of Cyberbullying in UK Law, but…

Anyone making threats across the internet could be committing a criminal offence. Whilst there is no actual law that makes cyberbullying a criminal offence, dependent on the nature of the cyberbullying, it could be covered by the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 or the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994.

  • REMEMBER, DO NOT DELETE ANYTHING UNTIL THE SCHOOL OR POLICE HAVE CHECKED ALL PHONES & COMPUTERS.

If there’s anything in this blog that you relate to and want help with, I have developed a 10-week programme called the “POSITIVE PARENTING A TEEN” Programme. This is a one-to-one programme which is designed to help parents increase their knowledge, skills and confidence.  A programme that empowers parents to better manage and reduce emotional and behavioural issues, that are affecting the home without the need for additional outside support.

To know more of what our programme consists of and how it can help, you can download your free copy of our brochure here.

If you’d like an initial consultation regarding our programme, you can make an appointment using the booking calendar here.

The one hour consultation fee of £147 will be deducted if you invest in our programme

For information on Individual Counselling Sessions click here.

How to Deal with Cyberbullying.

Bullying has probably affected every one of us at some point in our lives.  Whether it be at school, by other children, or maybe even a teacher.  Maybe in the workplace by colleagues or a boss. The fact is that it’s a huge problem within our society and it affects every social class.  It’s so ingrained in our society, it seems near impossible to stamp out.

As we move more and more into the world of technology, children today are faced with an even bigger issue.  This is something that many parents did not have to deal with when they were young. The advent of the Internet and CYBERBULLYING

Whilst the issue of Cyberbullying is about children being safe on the internet, the matter of “INTERNET SAFETY” is a far wider issue and one which I’d like to address separately as it’s an extremely important issue all by itself.

Many years ago, if a child were to be bullied at school, they’d be able to go home knowing they were safe. This could often diffuse situations, especially if it were friendship issues.  Having time apart gives children time to think about words they exchanged,  It allows them time to calm down.  Sadly, these days that’s much harder.

24/7 With No Down Time

The internet is piped pretty much into every home and more often than not, straight into the bedroom. Combine this with social media and suddenly we have a situation where there is no let-up, no timeout.  In the “on-line world”, it’s often safer to be “part of the pack” that is carrying out the bullying.  This is an age-old problem, it’s never been any different but combined with the 24/7 nature of instant access into another’s personal space, it is only gathering momentum.  With the stress and upset it causes, being off the scale..  The victim of bullying often threatened with worse to come if they tell anyone.  They can feel isolated, not knowing where to turn for help.

All too often, heart-wrenching stories make the news when a young person takes their own life, due to online bullying. Even when not pushed to such lengths, young people can feel an enormous amount of anxiety, many of them turning to self-harm.

And Still, It Grows…

In the UK during the past year, over half of 12 to 15 year olds have experienced some form of bullying.  It needs to be asked, what is happening in our society?  Why do people feel the need to treat others like this?  Every generation has experienced the problems that bullying creates,.  But this is the first generation that is having to deal with it in this manner.  Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, WhatsApp, the list goes on forever, with our inability or unwillingness to turn it all off.  The time away from these things which would have allowed feelings to diffuse is replaced with continual contact where small things easily escalate into bigger issues and feelings often spiral.

Some Common Forms of Cyberbullying

  • Mobbing.. Where a group target one individual

  • Emailing, texting threatening and intimidating remarks

  • Trolling someone

  • Harassing someone repeatedly

  • Intimidation and blackmail

  • Sexting or posting humiliating images without consent

  • Stalking someone

With the amount and variety of technology in everyday life, it is easy to target others with this sort of bullying and abuse.  Privately through numerous messaging app’s or publicly on countless social media platforms.

As children get older, reaching their teen years, it’s natural that they want more privacy. It’s important that this is respected.  But this doesn’t mean that they can do as they please.  It’s about ensuring they know that you acknowledge the fact that they’re getting older, giving them more responsibility for the way they choose to spend their time.

Teens of every generation have wanted to spend more time with their friends and less time with their parents.  Whilst this has not changed, the manner in which it happens has… With the outside world able to have direct access to your home, a constantly closed bedroom door is a reasonable cause for concern.

The important thing is to remember that if your growing teenage child feels that you’re being intrusive and not respecting their space, you’ll probably end up knowing less of what’s going on for them, because they’ll shut you out. Remember, it’s the quality of communication you have with them that will keep you informed. Giving them their personal space but being there in case they’re in need of your help, is always going to be a difficult balance.

Be Cyber Bully Savvy

Remember, the time that children spend in the home is the time in the home. The time they spend with their friends is exactly that. There’s always going to be a time when these two things cross into the other’s space.

It’s natural that they’ll want to stay out a bit later for something that’s happening on a school night, and you may need them to stay in on a night that they’d normally be out.

Of course, with such things a compromise is normally found.  However, there has to be a point where the two separate. The same should be applied to time spent on the computer in the bedroom, doors open, closed or ajar.

All these things are dependent on their age, the time of day and whether you suspect any issues going on for them.

Having clear time out from their peer group can help stop situations from escalating when all parties actually need space to cool down.  The key for parents, is always communication!

So, that’s how you can take on the difficult task of keeping an eye on things, but what if the Cyberbullying is already going on?

What You Need to Remember

Keep everything as a record

If your child is being bullied via the internet, it’s important that they know they don’t have to deal with it alone. Never delete emails, text messages, messenger or WhatsApp messages.  All these things are digital and will only be lost  if you delete them.

Easy to Catch

Schools are taking Cyberbullying seriously, more and more. This is because there’s an increasing awareness of the terrible impact that Cyberbullying has.  Unlike the playground or outside the school gates, where it is one child’s word against another’s.  The digital trail that is left, makes it far easier to get to the bottom of who was responsible for what. This is why it’s important never to delete anything.

Better to Swallow Pride

If your child is suffering name calling or threats via the net, it’s quite conceivable that they’ll take that opportunity to retaliate. It’s really important that you make it clear to them, that regardless of how much their pride might be hurt, or how angry they are, they must not.  When the nastiness is clearly one way, the school will feel more confident taking any action.

Parents Must Never Get Involved with Messaging

Sometimes, the hardest thing for a parent to do is not get involved when they see their child suffering at the hands of a bully.  Verbal or otherwise.  It is of the utmost importance that as a parent, “you” do not get involved with any messaging, as it would enable the bully to look like the victim. Remember, clear identification of who is doing what, will help the school bring things to a far swifter and more final end.

No Legal Definition of Cyberbullying in UK Law, but…

Anyone making threats across the internet could be committing a criminal offence. Whilst there is no actual law that makes cyberbullying a criminal offence, dependent on the nature of the cyberbullying, it could be covered by the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 or the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994.

  • REMEMBER, DO NOT DELETE ANYTHING UNTIL THE SCHOOL OR POLICE HAVE CHECKED ALL PHONES & COMPUTERS.

If there’s anything in this blog that you relate to and want help with, I have developed a 10-week programme called the “POSITIVE PARENTING A TEEN” Programme. This is a one-to-one programme which is designed to help parents increase their knowledge, skills and confidence.  A programme that empowers parents to better manage and reduce emotional and behavioural issues, that are affecting the home without the need for additional outside support.

To know more of what our programme consists of and how it can help, you can download your free copy of our brochure here.

If you’d like an initial consultation regarding our programme, you can make an appointment using the booking calendar here.

The one hour consultation fee of £147 will be deducted if you invest in our programme

For information on Individual Counselling Sessions click here.