If you don’t understand the concept of cyber bullying, it might be difficult to protect your children from it. According to Cyberbullying Research Centre, it has been prevalent in the country because 25% of individuals experience cyber bullying which later has a negative effect on their mental, social and physical well-being.
However, if this act is not curbed, the threat turns to weeks, months and might linger for years. As parents, it is our responsibility to be informed that cyber culling may take place in our home without our understanding. So, you must do your best to protect your children from cyber bullies.
Nowadays, the internet has turned to be the way of life, and everyone has become addicted to it. The need to get a meaningful life, to get in touch with family and friends, to meet deadlines and to be informed. So, walking away from the internet might be extremely difficult.
Cyber bullying is the sharing of embarrassing, humiliating and damaging contents via the internet or cell phones or text or picture messages. It has resulted in ruined friendships, skipped school, damaged mental health, demeaned self-esteem and in some cases suicide. Chances are that your children are experiencing cyber bullying; but what can you do about it?
- You need to maintain an open and honest communication with your children. This will enable them to speak up on whatever is going on in their life.
- Mentor them on the pros and cons of internet safety and cyberbullying.
- Develop and build their self-confidence. This will make them challenge whoever is trying to bully them.
- Monitor their activities online. Read meanings to their captions when they post contents. Then, ask them questions to clarify such meaning.
- Cultivate the habit of listening to your children because it encourages them to keep talking and get beneath surface chatter.
- Teach them the four P’s of the internet. They are privacy, predators, pornography and pop-ups.
- You can find out about their online friends; who they are and how they treat your children with respect.
- Discuss the potential dangers and consequences of online bullying. Make them understand before they become a victim.
- Enforce some rules by taking a strong stance against bullying. This will help your child to know where you stand on the issue.
According to the Nigerian Constitution, Chap 4 Sec 34, Subsection 1(a) “No person shall be subject to torture or to in human or degrading treatment”. Cyber bullying has been a problem and it separates children from the society thereby causing depression, low self-esteem, loneliness, insecurity and school failure. It is rampant in this recent age among kids who moved from physical assault in school to bashing through different social media and online platforms. Also, it can be done by known or unknown individual.
Therefore, parents need to be close to their children to understand them. Also, lecture them, so they can enjoy the educational and fun part of the internet.
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