Why do young people bully each other?
Who knows why young people do anything? When it comes to cyberbullying, they are often motivated by anger, revenge or frustration. Sometimes they do it for entertainment or because they are bored and have too much time on their hands and too many tech toys available to them. Many do it for laughs or to get a reaction. Some do it by accident, and either send a message to the wrong recipient or didn’t think before they did something.
Because their motives differ, the solutions and responses to each type of cyber-bullying incident has to differ too. Unfortunately, there is no “one size fits all” when cyber-bullying is concerned.
A new survey, commissioned by legal experts Slater and Gordon and the Anti-Bullying Alliance, reveals that over half of children and young people in England (55.2%) accept cyber-bullying as part of everyday life, yet parents the people they are likely to turn to for help, feel ill-equipped to deal with the problem.
- Do not post personal information – keep information general.
- Think carefully about posting pictures online – once it’s there, anyone can see it or use it.
- Do not share your passwords – keep your personal information private!
- It’s not a good idea to meet up with anyone you meet online – you don’t really know who they are!
- Try to think carefully before you write things online – people can get the wrong end of the stick.
- Respect other people’s views – just because you do not agree with them, it does not mean you have to be rude or abusive.
- What can you do to stop it?
You shouldn’t feel ashamed about being bullied. It’s not your fault – But it is important that you get help.
- Tell someone you trust
- Report any cyber-bullying, even if it is not happening to you
- Never respond or retaliate as it could make matters worse
- Block the cyberbullies from contacting you
- Save and print any bullying messages, posts, pictures or videos that you receive
- Make a note of the dates and times they are receive
- Have fun…but surf the internet safely!
You don’t have to put up with being bullied. Always remember that it is not your fault.
ADVICE FOR PARENTS
Be open – Bullying is a difficult subject to broach with your children, but being open, honest and approachable will make it easier for them to discuss their feelings.
Don’t fly off the handle – You might feel angry if you discover your child is being bullied. But for some young people bullying brings on feelings of guilt and shame, so adding your own anger to the mix won’t help.
Praise them for opening up – It’s not easy for children to admit out loud that they are being bullied, so praise them for taking that important step. Now they have spoken to you, you can support them in getting the help they need.
Reassure them – Despite so many children going through it, there is still a huge stigma associated with bullying and sometimes youngsters feel as though it’s their own fault. Reassure your child that they are not alone – lots of celebs have been bullied, including Beatbullying ambassador and boxer Joe Calzaghe. They may also worry that the bullying may get worse if the bully finds out they have told someone, so reassure them that you want to help them and make things better.