How to Spot and Stop Cyberbullying

With a new school year just around the corner, it’s important to discuss the issues facing kids in the digital age. Cyberbullying is bullying that occurs via the internet. Often, this type of cybercrime takes place on social media platforms or online chat rooms. The warning signs of cyberbullying can be subtle. As a parent, it’s tough to strike a balance between protecting your child’s safety online and respecting their privacy. 

How can I tell if my child is being cyberbullied?

While there are several reasons your child may be secretive with their device when you are around, it can indicate something more serious beneath the surface. If this behavior begins suddenly or becomes more obvious, it may be time to have a conversation with your child about what’s going on. 

Cyberbullying is especially insidious because it can happen at any time. A survey conducted by The Children’s Society found that one in ten young people reported always using social media between the hours of midnight and 6 am. Your child may be experiencing cyberbullying after hours, causing excessive sleepiness the next day.

When children are cyberbullied, they may feel as if they are alone in their situation or feel uncomfortable reaching out for help. It is important that your child feels safe coming to an adult with these concerns, otherwise, they may become withdrawn from these interpersonal relationships. 

What can I do to help?

If your child is dealing with a cyberbully, has resource help and immediate action steps. Visit our resources for cyberbullying victims for more information. For more in-depth help and general internet safety, visit our curated page of resources for children, teens, and young adults. These resource pages will help you report the crime, recover from the incident, and reinforce your child’s cybersafety going forward.

For more information on how to spot cyberbullying, visit The Cyberbullying Research Center’s parent resource page. This site also provides preventative measures that you can take right now to mitigate your child’s online safety risk. The most important preventative measure that you can take is creating an open conversation. Start the dialogue about internet safety and bullying to ensure that your child feels comfortable coming to you with their concerns.