Cyber bullying is the modern way that bullies ply their trade. To me, the biggest difference between what my kids may have to deal with and what kids were up against when I was younger is the Internet and Social Media. Whereas in the past bullies were fairly limited in their potential audience – say the kids in the school yard or a classroom – in 2019 they can use technology to reach hundreds of other people. This means that the victim of the bullying suffers from knowing that a wide range of people will know that they are the victim.
With one click a bully can cause anxiety and depression in another child. Over time this can also cause suicidal thoughts and self-harming behaviours. It is crucially important that parents, from JK to high school aged children, are involved in their kids’ lives and are open to their kids when they are bullied. Laws in Canada allow principals to get involved even when the bullying doesn’t take place at school. And there is hope!
One downside of technology for the bully is that they will often leave a footprint. Hateful messages can be saved as evidence and proof. Login information and IP addresses can be used to trace the source of hateful posts and to try and stop the bullying.
Counselling is also a way to help build resiliency in a child who is being bullied. It can also be used to help a bully find other ways to behave. I’d be happy to talk to you and see if there is a way for me to help your family.