No parent wants to believe their child is capable of internet bullying–but this type of denial often leaves the child to self-destruct and continue this problematic behavior into adulthood. Internet bullying behavior isn’t incurable, it’s something that can be helped with the right methods. The Washington Post recently published an article discussing ways parents can help combat internet bullying behavior in their children.
Combating internet bullying
In the article, what causes teens to engage in internet bullying was discussed. Research shows that it probably has something to do with behaviors modeled at home, like traditional bullying, but not in the way you first think. They’re not saying that every internet bully is bullied themselves at home–it’s more what’s encouraged and what’s not at home. Let me explain.
The priorities that you set at home will probably influence what priorities your child carries with them to school and out into the world. So, if you’re very into your child’s social status–whether they’re the prom queen or not–it can heavily influence how your child perceives themselves and makes friends. Instead of seeking out meaningful, healthy friendships, your child could develop a sense of “rivalry” with other students and form “fake” friendships just for the sake of popularity.
Remember, the teenage years are extremely volatile and influential. This is the time many individuals are shaping how they’ll be for much of the future. Having an emphasis or obsession with popularity can most certainly breed internet bullying. It’s the perfect platform to begin false and mean rumors in order to climb up the social ladder–this is frequently the case in internet bullying. I’m sure you’re thinking right about now, “That’s all awful, how do I stop it?”
For one, understand what social media platforms your child is using. I’m not saying try to control every aspect of their online life (I guarantee that won’t end well), but just be involved. If you’re worried, talk to them about your worries and actually try to listen to them with an open mind when they offer an explanation. Make sure they know that you’re there for support and that their social status doesn’t matter as long as they’re happy. By doing these things, you can help your daughter decrease her risk of getting involved in internet bullying behavior.
Asheville Academy can help your family
Asheville Academy is a therapeutic boarding school for young girls, ages 10-14, struggling with anxiety, depression symptoms in teens, ADHD, and other behavioral or emotional issues.
For more information about how Asheville Academy can help your daughter, call 800-264-8709 today.