How do I know if my child is being bullied online?

This is sometimes referred to as cyberbullying. It can be particularly difficult for children as their bullies can reach them through their personal devices, meaning in can happen anywhere and at any time. A child experiencing online bullying may feel like it’s impossible to escape.

You may not always know this is happening if they don’t directly tell you or ask for help. Some of the signs to look out for are:

  • Emotional anger
  • Changes in mood
  • Problems sleeping and eating
  • Low self-esteem
  • Self-harm
  • Withdrawal from online activities
  • Sudden changes in behaviour
  • Bullying others

But these reactions could relate to a range of issues and other children may not show any outward signs. The best way to know if your child is experiencing cyberbullying is to regularly talk to them about their experiences online.

What can I do if my child is being bullied online?

If your child is being bullied online, then you can support them by:

  • Encouraging them to save the evidence and show you – by doing this you can better understand exactly what has happened and is upsetting them. You also have the proof needed if you want to report it.
  • Helping your child to block the person bullying them and then report it.
  • As tempting as it might be, don’t reply. Most of the time the other person is looking for a response, so blocking and reporting them is the most effective way of dealing with it.
  • Don’t stop your child from going online – many children tell us that they’re reluctant to tell their parents or carers about cyberbullying as they fear that their phone, computer or tablet will be taken away from them.

If you find out that it is your child is bullying others online, then you may want to look together at what makes a good online friend?