Kids Cyberbullying from Home While Social Distancing
Now that the kids are homebound for social distancing they might be spending a lot of time online with other kids. Serious cyberbullying could be happening right under your nose.
I came across a really great article at KidsHealth.com where it made sense of even the slightest shift in your child's attitude, response or personality. Kids are really good at hiding what they are feeling, and it's not until you are in a full-fledged talk with them when you may be able to sense something is off or not quite right.
I've read at least a hundred articles on the subject and what I thought was really smart in this particular piece was how they touched on a few signs that you don't see on the typical "look out for a bully" one-sheet that you see posted in today's middle and high schools.
Below KidsHealth highlights what to really keep an eye out for in your child.
Signs of Cyberbullying
Many kids and teens who are cyberbullied don't want to tell a teacher or parent, often because they feel ashamed of the social stigma or fear that their computer privileges will be taken away at home.
Signs of cyberbullying vary, but may include:
- being emotionally upset during or after using the Internet or the phone
- being very secretive or protective of one's digital life
- withdrawal from family members, friends, and activities
- avoiding school or group gatherings
- slipping grades and "acting out" in anger at home
- changes in mood, behavior, sleep, or appetite
- wanting to stop using the computer or cellphone
- being nervous or jumpy when getting an instant message, text, or email
- avoiding discussions about computer or cellphone activities
The article goes on to address the possibility that your child is part of the problem and being a bully to others. Finding out that your kid is the one who is behaving badly can be upsetting and heartbreaking. It's important to address this head on and not wait for it to go away.