10 Ways We Can Prevent Cyber-Bullying in Kenya.
Better safe than sorry! No one asks to be bullied but thanks to a few tips we can effectively break the cycle. In many cases, bullied people often turn into bullies themselves if they do not receive the appropriate help. Thanks to our Whiz Kid Program for tweens and teens and the Unplugged program for Digital Parents, we address cyber-bullying from both the child’s perspective and the parents.
Tips for Teens & Kids Who Experience Cyber-Bullying
1. Never Blame Yourself
When a person chooses to repeatedly attack or confront you online, always know that it is not your fault. Sometimes you may may disagree and argue with your friends or classmates, but continuous targeting is cyber-bullying and it is wrong.
2. Retaliation Is Not A Solution
When you respond to a bully and get lost in the aggression, you end up turning yourself into a bully too. If you come across a hurtful post or text and you get emotional, take a deep breath and stop yourself from responding immediately by thinking positively.
(PS: Try counting backwards or distracting yourself until you are calm enough to act appropriately)
3. Keep Records Of Everything
In case you did not know, the internet is forever. If you receive texts that you feel are bullying you ensure you save them as proof in case the situation worsens. For social media posts, taking screen shots and saving the posts also works as well.
4. Ask Them To Stop
Feel free to politely ask whoever is bullying you to stop. If you feel strong enough to talk to them, make sure you are clear and confident when you pass your message. You can try practicing with your friends or family before you do it.
5. Use Available Technology Tools
Most platforms today have blocking and reporting features. Save yourself unnecessary heartache by blocking the individual and reporting them though this is not a guarantee it will stop. If the threats are harmful or physical in nature or even sexual, ensure that your parents and or guardian are aware and ensure you report the matter to the police.
PS: Here is a pro Cyber Security Tip: NEVER EVER share your passwords with anyone even your best friends.
Tips for Parents & Guardians To Help Deal With Cyber-Bullying
1. It Pays To Observe Your Child
Most teenagers and kids often choose to hide problems like bullying from their parents whether online or offline. So if you notice that your child is losing sleep or doesn’t seem as enthusiastic about school as before or appears to get stressed when on his or her computer or phone; ask them why as calmly and as open-heartedly as possible. Feel free to ask if it has anything to do with mean behavior or social issues. But even if it does, don not assume it’s bullying. You won’t know until you get the full story, starting with what your child is thinking and feeling.
2. Think Before You Leap
Whatever course of action you take must be well planned out. You must fight your inner “mama bear” or “daddy bear” and hold yourself back from any rash actions. This is because despite your intentions, you may end up worsening the entire situation if you do. Cyber-bullying is mostly psychological and involves putting down and excluding someone. It is modern day marginalization at it’s worst. Bullies often get a kick out of this and feel like it empowers them or improves their status. That is why discretion and tact are key.
3. Listen and Learn
It is important to offer a listening ear to your child and learn as much as you can about what happened. It is vital to note that despite how sincere they may be, their account is only one side of the story. And often times online, a lot can happen or be misinterpreted. Be patient and gather all the facts in order to form a clear picture of what happened.
4. Helping Them Heal
Not all scars are visible, some run deep inside our beings. Cyber-bullying can do that to any person, young or old. When dealing with a child who has been bullied, they often have low self confidence and self esteem. Your role as a parent is to remind them of their worth and help restore their confidence. This requires patience and understanding and most of all love.
4. Helping Them Heal
Not all scars are visible, some run deep inside our beings. Cyber-bullying can do that to any person, young or old. When dealing with a child who has been bullied, they often have low self confidence and self esteem. Your role is to remind them of their worth and help restore their confidence. This requires patience and understanding and most of all love.
5. Remember There Are Always Silver Linings
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. The same applies to your kids. Nothing lasts forever and when they overcome this hurdle, as they sure will they will be much stronger than before.