Bullying is nothing new in our society although there is a new platform around that can be just as dangerous. Cyberbullying has added a whole new dimension to how mean girls and trolls can get to those they wish to intimidate. Instead of pushing around someone in person, there are people who will say and do anything they wish to harass another person from behind their device’s screen. Having anonymity or not having to deal with confrontation face to face gives those hiding behind their keyboard the courage to say what they want to regardless of another’s feelings. Cyberbullying can take place over text, email, direct messages, social media posts, forums, or gaming chat where people can view, engage, or share content. By sending, posting, or sharing personal, negative, untrue, or harmful information to someone else in hopes of shaming, humiliating, or embarrassing them is what cyberbullying is all about. With digital media flowing as free as oxygen these days, as a parent it may be hard to determine your cue to step in. Since you cannot see or hear what is going on and they will probably will not tell you what has happened, you may have to rely solely on the changes that you see in your teen which can be difficult to gauge with normal teenage behavior. Educating yourself on the signs of cyberbullying can help you to act before it is too late.
- Unexplained weight loss or weight gain.
- Changes in sleep patterns through oversleeping or trouble sleeping at night.
- Abruptly turning off their devices and walking away.
- Isolation from friends and family.
- Onset of anger or depression especially when online.
- Sneaky about the information on their phone or computer.
- Physical pain such as headaches and stomachaches that stem from anxiety.
- Pretends to be sick or uneasy about going to school.
- Seems nervous when receiving a text, email, or notification.
- Has suicidal thoughts or attempts.
If you see any of the signs taking place before your eyes, you should try to talk to your teen about what they are experiencing. Try to stay calm and have an unemotional tone in your inflection because if they are being cyberbullied, they are going through something that is miserable and degrading in which they could really use your support. Not only could this affect the bully in the public nature that they are choosing to negatively communicate, but your teenager’s reputation could be affected for future endeavors.
Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center has a program that can help the whole family to begin to heal. We offer essential recovery support skills to show the teen and their family how to implement a strong network that can reinforce healthy living.
Call us today to start living in recovery: 662-598-4214