22 Jul Cyber Bullying: Hard to Measure but Easy to Spot
Bullying is something that is hard to measure but we all think we’d know it if we see it. Some folks have experienced bullying first-hand and others may have been a witness to it. Adults and parents today may think of bullying as purely physical and in-person. However, as advancements in technology have brought us further, there is also a more troubling side to technology. Cyber-bullying is one of the unfortunate results of an online world.
Thankfully, WTLC has made it a priority to inform parents and the Orange County community about bullying and cyber-bullying. The community services program has given several presentations that shed light on bullying, how it affects children, and how to help both the child being bullied and the child doing the bullying. Many parents have often been surprised at the extent to which bullying and cyber-bullying can cause harm, however, after our presentations they often feel a sense of relief knowing that they are better informed and equipped to spot bullying and intervene. When providing a presentation on bullying at a parent committee for a school in Orange County, several of the parents in the audience were flooded with questions and concerns after finding out how bullying has evolved from their own childhood. Questions like, “Can I call the police if my child is being ‘doxxed’?” and “What are schools doing to address this problem?” came up.
While there is no clear answer to some of the questions asked, WTLC was able to provide tools and tips to better equip parents, adults, and teachers to identify bullying and address it. If children are withdrawing socially, not interested in going to school, or spending more or less time on the internet, those are signs that they are possibly being bullied. If children are spending excessive amounts of time online, trying to hide their online activity, or highly concerned about their image or popularity, those are signs they could be bullying someone else. Intervening when these signs are apparent is important in order to prevent the situation from escalating to physical harm like suicide or retaliation. Adults should provide support to children and teens WHO they think are being bullied or are doing the bullying, they should let the child open up at their own pace and validate any feelings. If the bullying escalates or continues, the adult should help the child make note of the incidents of bullying (texts, emails, social media posts, incidents in person, etc.) to be able to bring up these concerns to school officials or law enforcement if necessary. These are some of the many tips and suggestions provided in presentations on bullying offered by WTLC.
If you or your agency is interested in learning more or scheduling a presentation, please contact us at [email protected] or our 24/7 helpline at 1-877-531-5522.