Cyber bullying is one of the cruelest forms of bullying for children. The victim tends to read what is written about them several, if not many times. This leads to the victim believing that there could be some truth to the words they are reading, even if none of it is true. Why does this occur?
When people read something, it is their own voice they tend to hear in their head. When a person bullies someone in person or via telephone, it is easier to identify the bully and put a face/voice to the instigator of trouble. But when a child “hears” his or her own voice and they repeatedly reads the attack, it is as if they are attacking themselves.
Reducing the damage from Cyber Bullying
Children lessen the blow of a cyber bully by avoiding reading the attack more than once. The victim feeds the bully what he or she wants by responding to the attack. Children who avoid engaging in communications with the cyber bully become boring to the bully. Ultimately, the bully may seek another victim who clearly displays their annoyance, fear or anger.
It can be scary or infuriating when the victim does not even know who is writing these things on social media about them. Naturally anyone would want to know who is creating this problem, but what is known is that the anonymous person is acting very cowardly by hiding their identity. All the more reason to make sure children are not engaging in any dialog with the cyber bully because they are at a disadvantage. Encourage the child to spend very little time playing detective to unmask the villain. The last thing a bully wants is for the intended victim to avoid any communication with them.
Parents Getting Involved
Parents are encouraged to be made aware of cyber bullying attacks, but they too need to be cautious when reading an attack. If the child or parent has a low self-esteem, they may start believing the lies that are written. This is exactly what is wanted from a bully.
Focus on building the child’s self-esteem and it will reduce the affect any bully will ever have on them. If the attack appears to include physical threats, take this seriously and have the local school or police informed.
Block any person who tries to harm via cyber bullying. If the bully opens up a new account, block the new account and continue to not engage. Bullies get excited when they see their target is being affected. They get bored when they don’t get the reaction from the intended victim. Bored bullies typically move on to someone more interesting.