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How to deal with cyber-bullies?

A survey of almost 3,400 students – conducted in 2014 by the Singapore Children’s Society and the Institute of Mental Health – found one in nine adolescents have been victims of cyber bullying (1).

This is a key issue that affects the young. If your child ever becomes a victim of cyber bullying, what should he or she do?

Why is cyber bullying so prevalent among young people?

Often, cyber bullying happens because young people do not know how else to resolve conflicts.  After all, in today’s digital age, typing on a keyboard is easier than saying (things) in person (2) especially if they are allowed to remain anonymous on the internet. Furthermore, many youths have been conditioned to view cyber bullying as a norm.

Parents, do ensure your children are open to you about their online experiences, as victims are often afraid of seeking help.  Here are some tips which you can share with them.

  1. First, tell your child to stop contact with the cyber bully immediately, and block him or her from their friends’ list to prevent further communication.
  2. Be empathetic so your child can come to you or a trusted adult to talk about their problems.
  3. Regardless of whether your child is a victim or witness of cyber bullying, do not circulate the content. Don’t be a bystander – don’t just remain silent and allow the bullying to continue. Instead, save the evidence and report it to the authorities.
  4. Teach your child that cyber bullying is not acceptable. They should neither be hurting someone online nor tolerating acts of cyber bullying by others.