Almost everyone knows the term. This refers to insulting, exposing or threatening people via the Internet and smartphone, e.g. via apps such as Snapchat, WhatsApp or Instagram. But not every message or post on a social media profile with the content “Martin is dumb!” endangers your child’s development.
Bullying has not just existed since social media came into existence. But since almost everyone has a smartphone these days, it doesn’t stop for them when they get out of school in the afternoon. Children and young people are in quasi constant contact with each other, e.g. via class chat on WhatsApp.
Bullying is mostly cyberbullying at the same time, because some people dare to spread mean thing about others and insult them more via cell phone. Sometimes disputes or bullying start in class or in the schoolyard and get worse via communication on the net.
There are people who behave less socially on the Internet than usual. If you show your child that rules of friendly interaction also apply online, hopefully others will behave in the same way. You can talk to other parents about making certain rules apply to everyone.
When children and young people communicate with each other, there are always times when insults are used. This does not have to be bullying, but is often just a joke. They use it to test how far they can go. However, this limit is different for each child.
Regularly ask what your child is doing online, talk to him about possible risks. Be responsive when it encounters problems. Show him ways to block individual users in the apps. On portals like juuuport, your child can get in touch with peers if he or she is afraid to tell you about problems online.
If you notice that your child withdraws and no longer meets friends, you should carefully ask what is behind it. If you are concerned about being bullied, you can contact the classroom teacher. If it really is bullying, be sure to preserve the evidence on your child’s phone, such as screenshots. Certain behaviors associated with bullying – such as threatening, defaming, and disseminating photos of others – are even punishable by law.
In case of massive threats, you should definitely go to the police. You should also report bullying incidents on the platforms where they occurred.