Bullying used to be a solely in-person or over-the-phone problem, which, while severe, also limited a bully’s options. With today’s technology, it’s easy for bullies to cause extreme harm through text messages, chats, forums, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, websites and other forms of online bullying in Lubbock, TX. Additionally, it’s especially difficult to get bullying content removed from the internet, due to its ease of reproduction. With a few right clicks or the snap of a screenshot, embarrassing photos and cruel words can persist forever. The goal is to humiliate and socially isolate the target, and it can be accomplished in a variety of ways, from spreading private photos to starting vicious rumors.
If you suspect your child is engaged in bullying or being bullied online, you must take swift action to prevent further harm. Here are our top tips to deal with cyberbullies:
- Teach your child to talk to you: It can be very difficult for some children to admit that they’re being bullied, especially if it involves things they don’t want their parents to know about (like sexting, for example). Tell your child that you promise not to judge them (and make sure to keep that promise), only to help them find solutions—but they need to come to you immediately.
- Never engage: No one should engage with the bully, including you. Have your child block their number or other means of communication. As the parent, you should take screenshots and gather evidence, but resist giving the bully a piece of your mind or allowing your child to get defensive, as that can be fodder for more poor treatment.
- Contact the authorities: Depending on what kind of bullying occurred, you should notify the proper authorities: report bullying on apps, or to local law enforcement, should your child be threatened with physical harm. Counsel your child never to agree to meet someone in person, and to travel in a group as much as possible.
Most importantly, teach your child about the dangers of the internet, without resorting to fearmongering. Let them know that there are risks involved in being online, and while the rewards will often outweigh them, it is important to protect their privacy and let a trusted adult know if anything goes awry. You should also encourage them to be kind to others, and avoid spreading information about others that could be harmful. The last thing a parent wants is to realize their child has turned into the type of person you were hoping to protect them from.
Have you or a family member been a victim of cyberbullying? The Law Office of Rob Biggers can help you report cyberbullying in Lubbock, TX or defend against accusations of cyberbullying. We practice West Texas values and bring expert, reliable legal representation to clients facing a wide range of legal issues. We specialize in family law, criminal law and DUI/DWI, and always strive to achieve the best possible legal outcomes for our clients. Get in touch with us today to arrange a consultation.
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