If you’re going to ask, “Why is any kind of bullying such an issue?” Well, bullying itself is associated with many negative outcomes. When it’s spotted on act, it’s important to respond quickly and be the one to stop it. According to our child and youth counseling courses mentors, most children and teens don’t tell their parents that they are being bullied. These parents will most likely realize it when it’s a little too late. Any kind of bullying, including cyber bullying is a huge problem as your child:
- may develop mental health problems like depression, anxiety, and self-harm.
- may be more likely to abuse substances such as alcohol and drugs.
- have fewer friendships leading to poor self-esteem.
- will be less likely to be accepted by their peers.
- will be wary and suspicious of others.
- have problems adjusting to school, and won’t do as well.
- will be more likely to commit suicide.
It can be easy to assume that while bullying is unpleasant, it’s a ‘normal’ part of childhood and isn’t necessarily a huge case. Current research suggests that suicide attempts among adolescents have nearly doubled since 2008, making it the 2nd leading cause of death for individuals around 10-34 years of age. With nearly one in five children being bullied each year, it’s a statistic that parents should not ignore.
Why is cyber bullying problematic for parents?
Our children have grown up in a world of technology. At a young age, they possess almost all sorts of gadgets that can easily expose them to the outside world unguarded. Their reliance on technology and social media give them easy access to connect to people they don’t really know. Thus, influencing them to change their ways in order to “fit in” or “belong” in a society they want to be involved in. Cyberbullying can happen on apps and social networks that you don’t even know exists. It can occur over gaming platforms and in extreme cases, could be threats or blackmail over the dark web.
It’s important to maintain good communication with your child. It helps you to pick up on any changes in their attitudes and behaviour more quickly. Another thing you could do is study child and youth counselling online, not only will education look great on your resume, but it helps you spot the warning signs in your own children and respond to it quickly and appropriately. Modules include anger management, child counseling, grief psychology, and more to help you analyse a certain behaviour or situation. Every parent can benefit from studying child and youth counselling courses, as it gives them the necessary skills and knowledge to spot the early signs of bullying.
1.They become uneasy or withdrawn.
As children enter adolescence, it’s common for their behaviour to change. They’ll crave independence and privacy, and will likely spend less time with their parents and more with their friends. These normal changes in behaviour can make it a little tricky to spot warning signs, so it’s best to always keep an eye out. If you’ve gone down the route of studying child and youth counselling courses, it can be easier to tell what ‘normal’ behaviour is. Isolation is often a critical warning sign, so be aware and keep an eye out for this in your child.
2. They don’t want to go to school.
The only thing that both children and teens don’t want about school is waking up early in the morning. If you notice they are picking up a fight over waking up for school,, then this can be a sign that your child has something else on his/her plate.
3. They spend more or less time online.
Again, kids and teens like to spend a lot of time online, so it can be difficult to predict. But any major changes to their behaviour when it comes to being online should be taken as a warning sign. This could involve spending much more, or much less time on their devices than they normally would.
4. They seem upset or angry after being online.
Does your child’s mood change when they’re online? Becoming weepy, anxious, irritable or enraged after spending time online is likely a sign that something isn’t quite right. If you study child and youth counselling online, there are various modules which will educate you on how to approach things in the right way.
5. They get nervous or jumpy.
Do you notice that your child is acting tense, angry, or worried lately when they’re on their smartphones? It can appear as a mere disagreement with a friend, or worse, a result of cyberbullying. If this is an ongoing issue you’re noticing, then it’s time to take action and communicate with your child.
Understanding your children and working through cyberbullying is crucial for their wellbeing. You might find that after going through this yourself, you can easily recognise the signs and use it with those who experience the same. Do not hesitate to expand your knowledge on this matter, as it will be both useful to your family and others.