It is difficult for the parents and teachers to spot cyberbullying as the younger generation prefers hiding it and confronting it on their own, even if it is negatively affecting their lives. This behavior may be caused by several factors, including the fear of being perceived as helpless and weak by the grown-ups and the fear of being ostracized out of their social group. Since, if a member involves an outsider (adult) in the affairs that pertain exclusively to their social group it could be seen as an act of treason (snitching) and this could cause the ousting of the child in question.  


It could be tricky to know if your child is a victim of cyberbullying, but it would be wise to stay alert and watch out for any significant behavioral changes like becoming withdrawn and quiet.  


It is of critical importance to know what to look for when you are supervising your child’s online activity. Studies have shown that gaming is a more common venue for cyberbullying when it comes to boys, while girls experience it more on social media.  


Some game-changing tools, such as the Netethic app could help you monitor your child’s online activity, and these help you keep your child out of harm’s way. These tools have the benefit of operating unnoticed in the background, and they will send you regular reports on your child’s online activity and safety.

How to deal with it  

A reaction that people seem to have when they have been the victim of cyberbullying is to delete certain apps or stay off-line for some time. However, staying off-line is not a long-term solution, and it is becoming more difficult by the day as the Internet is embedded in all the facets of our lives making it unavoidable. Furthermore, this may even send the wrong signal to the cyberbully, thus encouraging his unacceptable behavior.  


Teaching your child his way around the different tools available to them on each social platform could be very empowering. Knowing how to restrict access, report, block, mute, and being aware of general online safety guidelines could be the difference between a cyberbullying victim and a safe and protected child. In addition, it could be helpful to educate your child on the importance of collecting evidence (e.g., screenshots, text messages, social media posts, etc.) to stop cyberbullying.  


Raising your child’s awareness of emergency services numbers (e.g., police, emergency hotlines, etc.) they could contact if they are in immediate danger is of absolute importance.  


Many countries have a specially dedicated helpline you can contact for free and anonymously reach out to a professional who can help you. Please visit United for Global Mental Health to find help in your country.