Cyber bullying is the act of harassment or threatening a child who is in teens or preteens by another child of the same age. This act is done using internet, some digital technology or mobile phone. Legally, for this act of cyberbullying, on both sides teens should be involved. In case of adult on one side the nature of the offense changes. Children who themselves have become victims of cyberbullying generally indulge in the practice of bullying other children, especially girls. In certain extreme cases when the children get involved in an act of cyberbullying as offenders or victims, they have been reported to have gone to the extent of murdering others or committed suicide.
Generally cyber bullying is resorted time and again and is not a onetime communication unless it is a death threat or some other serious threatening message. When the parents of the threatened child come to know of the fact that their child is being bullied, they resort to legal action resulting in consequences as prescribed by the law of the land.
Schools can play an effective role and on their own, or in collaboration with parents, stop the students indulging in such activities. They can impart education to the students to make them aware of their rights and liabilities when using cyber-space. They can also be instrumental in teaching the children about cyber ethics and law. The children can be made aware of the consequences of indulging in the illegal activity of cyberbullying.
Cyber bullying works in two ways. These are direct attack in which a message is directly sent to the child and the second being cyber bullying by proxy. In proxy method someone else is used to cyber bully the victim child. In this type of act generally an adult is involved.
Why do kids involve in cyber bullying ?
Kids indulge in cyberbullying out of anger or revenge or frustration. In some cases children who basically have a negative attitude indulge in the act of cyber bullying out of fun or for entertainment purposes, thinking about the reaction of the recipient. They use the technology to recreate not knowing of the consequences. Children who are power hungry indulge in bullying, using cyberspace to fulfill their ego by tormenting other children. Many girls also indulge in such activity. Generally girls who have been abused indulge in activity of cyber bullying to fulfill their sense of frustration or as revenge for wrongdoing done to them.
How to prevent cyber bullying for kids?
Being done by different children out of different motives, separate methods need to be employed in response to activity of cyber bullying. One school of thought suggests tough measures against those children who indulge in cyberbullying. This is just another form of bullying. However, education is considered the best method to stop children who have started to indulge in wrongful activity. Both parents and schools can play an important part in this regard. In the first instance the child should be coolly and calmly explained about the consequences, both like losing internet service and mobile phone used for this purpose and also can be threatened of consequent police action.
What should parents do?
Parents should try to persuade their child not to indulge in activities which could be termed as criminal acts. Steady counseling will be a way out. In case the child is stubborn and adamant, services of a trained counsellor could be availed to persuade the child to move away from such activity. The parents could limit the access of the child to technology. Computer at home used by the child for the purpose of sending e-mails may be place in a room frequented by other family members, and the parents should, in the presence of the child, open the computer and ask the child for his password. Though difficult to get but the child could be persuaded.
The parents should continuously monitor the behavior of the child. In case they notice some major variance in attitude in a short time, they should be more careful and watch his activities closely. They can also keep a tab on the friends of the child. In some cases you may be required to be firm towards the child.