Cyber bullying affects many adolescents and teens on a daily basis. Cyber bullying involves using technology, like cell phones and the Internet, to bully or harass another person.Cyber bullying can take many forms:
- Sending mean messages or threats to a person’s email account or cell phone
- Spreading rumors online or through texts
- Posting hurtful or threatening messages on social networking sites or web pages
- Stealing a person’s account information to break into their account and send damaging messages
- Pretending to be someone else online to hurt another person
- Taking unflattering pictures of a person and spreading them through cell phones or the Internet
- Sexting, or circulating sexually suggestive pictures or messages about a person
Cyber bullying can be very damaging to adolescents and teens. It can lead to anxiety,depression, and even suicide. Also, once things are circulated on the Internet, they may never disappear, resurfacing at later times to renew the pain of cyber bullying.
Many cyber bullies think that bullying others online is funny. Cyber bullies may not realize the consequences for themselves of cyberbullying. The things teens post online now may reflect badly on them later when they apply for college or a job. Cyber bullies can lose their cell phone or online accounts for cyber bullying. Also, cyber bullies and their parents may face legal charges for cyber bullying, and if the cyber bullying was sexual in nature or involved sexting, the results can include being registered as a sex offender. Teens may think that if they use a fake name they won’t get caught, but there are many ways to track some one who is cyber bullying.
Facts on bullying:
- Imbalance of power. Typically those who engage in bully-like behaviors use their strength, popularity or power to harm, control or manipulate others. They will usually target those who are weaker in size or may have a difficult time defending themselves.
- Intent to cause harm. A bully is a person who does not do things by accident. The bully intends to physically or emotionally injure a person or group of persons.
- Repetition. Typically incidents of bullying are not a one-time thing. Bullies target the same person or group over and over again.
It is important for parents to discuss the facts on bullying with their children to help teach them how to watch out for bullying and to avoid being bullied. There are several signs parents can look for when evaluating if your child is a victim of bullying.
- Comes home with unexplained injuries or with damaged or missing clothing or other belongings
- Has change in eating habits
- Makes excuses not to go to school
- Has fewer friends
- Feels helpless
- Talks about suicide
- Acts out of character
- Avoids certain places or playing outside alone
- Feels like they are not good enough
- Has trouble sleeping
- Blames themselves for their problems
The facts on bullying also provide information on what types of signs to look for in children who might be bullying others.
- Becomes frequently violent
- Has trouble controlling anger
- Is manipulative and controlling of others and situations
- Is quick to blame others
- Does not accept responsibility for their actions
- Needs to win or be the best at everything
Understanding these warning signs can help parents prevent their children from becoming bullies or help them not become a victim of a bully. Counseling or therapy are good methods in helping to treat a child who exhibits symptoms of bullying. Children who are victims may also need some kind of support or counseling to help resolve underlying issues of emotional feelings of inadequacy. Children who are confident and have higher self-esteem are less likely to fall prey to the attacks of bullying.
Sources: mychildsafety.net, http://www.stopbullying.gov/
Often, but not always, a person may show certain symptoms or behaviors before a suicide attempt, including:
Having trouble concentrating or thinking clearly
Giving away belongings
Talking about going away or the need to “get my affairs in order”
Suddenly changing behavior, especially calmness after a period of anxiety
Losing interest in activities they used to enjoy
Performing self-destructive behaviors, such as heavily drinking alcohol, using illegal drugs, or cutting their body
Pulling away from friends or not wanting to go out
Suddenly having trouble in school or work
Talking about death or suicide, or even saying that they want to hurt themselves
Talking about feeling hopeless or guilty
Changing sleep or eating habits
Arranging ways to take their own life (such as buying a gun or many pills)
- A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia.-source
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