10 November 2020
What is cyberbullying? Supporting your child with a negative experience online
We want all children to have a safe and positive experience when they go online, but sometimes a child might be sent an image, video or message without their consent that upsets or confuses them. It can be hard to know what to say or do in these types of situations and that’s completely normal.
What is cyberbullying?
Cyberbullying happens online and can take place any time or anywhere. And because kids spend so much time on their different devices, if it’s happening to them, it’s really hard to escape it.
Cyberbullying can happen in different ways but some examples might be:
- Sending unkind messages or comments.
- Sharing images or videos of someone without their permission.
- Excluding someone from a group chat or other online activity like gaming.
- Pressuring another person to say or do something that makes them feel uncomfortable.
- Setting up groups or accounts to encourage others to be mean to someone else.
Some types of cyberbullying are more subtle and make it harder for parents, teachers and other adults to know when something might be upsetting a child. For example:
- Liking images or videos on another person’s account to irritate or upset them.
- Liking or re-sharing images that someone finds embarrassing.
- Continuously sending another person emojis or messages even though they’ve asked you to stop.
What are some of the signs of cyberbullying?
Being bullied can make kids feel ashamed and scared and they might not always feel comfortable asking an adult for help. Here are some of the signs you should look out for:
- Not wanting to go to school or take part in normal activities
- Getting anxious or angry if you go near their device
- Feeling withdrawn, upset or angry at home
- Problems sleeping or eating
- Having angry outbursts that seem out of character
- Spending more (or less) time online