ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Cyber Bullying, A Parent Guide

Updated on May 10, 2013

No More Bullying!

The caption says it all
The caption says it all | Source

Be the Change You Seek

You are reading this article for one of three reasons. It is possible that you have a child who is currently being bullied. You are parenting a child who has been known to be a bully. You are a member of the general public who is concerned about bullying. While there may be other rationale for your interest in this subject, these are, generally speaking, the three main objectives of a person’s inquiry into cyber bullying.

I, myself come at this from an educator’s point of view. I am also the parent of a school aged child. Way back when, when MySpace was the rage, I learned about cyber bullying. I was teaching a class of lower income students, some of whom had access to computers. I directly experienced a young lady’s anguish over being threatened and slandered by others in her class. I saw the tears, the rage and the eventual withdrawal from a promising academic career, all caused by cyber bullying. When parents were brought in to address the situation, they were astounded that “my child” would ever do something as hurtful as putting inflammatory remarks into the cybershpere. Of course, I also dealt with the parents who said “Not MY child!” until they were confronted with the evidence.

Cyber Bullying- Definition

According to the organization STOP Cyber bullying, this type of bullying occurs to school aged children. The age range is generally from ten years of age to the teen aged years. This places the child in grades five through twelve. Bullying of this nature concerns torment, fear, threats, targeting, humiliation, and public harassment or embarrassment. It is important to note that the way the target feels about the situation and their perception of the situation is critical. This is not “just kids being kids”. This behavior is meant to be hurtful and damaging.

Because we are using the term ‘cyber’ it is important to understand that the Internet, Social Media, interactive media and any other digital type technology should be included in the methods of bullying. Minor children are the people involved in this behavior. Understand that this behavior is a violent behavior. It is meant to hurt. It is related to children’s’ future mental health issues. The United States Center for Disease Control refers to this as electronic aggression. There are studies, linked in this article, that suggest school phobia, chronic absenteeism, and school behavior problems may be associated with this kind of violence. According to the Character Education Partnership, “160,000 children skip school every day because they fear being attacked or intimidated by other students.”

Children who are victimized in this manner may also have difficulties in other areas, and may be the targets of emotional abuse by caregivers. Appreciating that off- line victimization is not uncommon as well, it can be understood that cyber bullying has a ripple effect over the entire life experience of the victim. The ripple begins as a raindrop and expands into a hurricane of ear, desperation and ultimate destruction of self worth.

Why Kids Bully

To answer this question would be akin to finding all the cures to all the cancers in all the patients of all the wards around the world. It is reasonable to assume that basic needs are not being met when children bully. From the parenting perspective, the need for belonging, which may evidence itself in the lack of family supervision, is evident in these children. From the school point of view, there may be a power need fulfillment in the bullying act. Bullies may perceive themselves to have a higher status with their peers. This may in fact be rewarded, which then fulfills the need for fun, even though it is in a very perverted way. Corrosponingly, children of low social status may find that bullying provides a deflective mechanism regarding their own torment. This relates to the need for survival.

Following is a list of possible reasons for the bullying behavior we see at schools, malls and on line:

  1. Peer bullying
  2. Sibling bully behavior
  3. Parents who model this violence.
  4. Parental modeling of the behavior at stores or in the home
  5. Attention seeking behavior

Signs Your Child Is Being Bullied

After researching the signs that a child might be experiencing violence or bullying behavior, the following is a list of symptoms to be aware of. It is a “Top 10” list and not meant to be all inclusive. .

  1. Marks, scrapes and bruises that cannot be explained by the usual “we were playing on the playground and I got bumped” explanation.
  2. Fear of attending school
  3. Sudden mood change. From exuberant to sullen. From bright eyed to withdrawn.
  4. Nightmares, talking in the sleep, sleep walking
  5. Unusual physical symptoms. More symptoms than usual. Headaches, stomach aches,
  6. Frequent calls from the school related to your child’s behavior and or nurse office visits. The schools call this the “Frequent flyer syndrome”
  7. Change in academic achievement. Generally downward spiraling.
  8. Sibling violence. Rage behavior.
  9. Inability to accept compliments, or expressions of not being good enough as a human, not merely as a basketball player or reader……”

10. Suicidal ideations or verbalizations.

Again, these are merely some of the warning signs that parents and staff need to be aware of. There are certainly others. When in doubt- trust your gut. As a parent, these children are the most precious jewels in our crown. Moms, especially, seem to have a sixth sense about these things.

What to Do If You Suspect Bullying Behavior/Working with the School

It is crucial that parents remember that they are the consumers. When one suspects that their child is being harassed it is devastating. It is scary. Why is it important to have the consumer mentality? Simply put- we pay the bills. We pay the salaries. We deserve to get what we pay for.

You should expect the following behavior from school personnel when you lodge a concern. Here is a list to know that you are being heard.

  1. Is school communication timely?
  2. Are actions taken within 24-28 hours?
  3. Does the staff speak ‘educationese’ or real words?
    1. ‘Educationese’- “Thank you for the concern, that’s interesting, we’ll certainly look into that”.
    2. Real words- “I hear your fright. That must be terrible for your whole family. How can I help you, parent to parent?”
  4. Is the situation confronted clearly?
  5. Do you have a memory of how the situation was dealt with?

What to Do If You Suspect Bullying Behavior

  1. Ask direct questions. Then LISTEN!
  2. When driving, listen to the back seat conversations. LISTEN.
  3. Be aware of body language when you talk to the child. LOOK
  4. Walk the Talk. If you say you are always available to listen, always be available to listen. LISTEN! DON’T TALK.
  5. Believe YOUR child. Their perception is also their reality.
  6. Advocate for your child.
  7. Listen and allow your child problem solve the solutions.
    1. Hint: the old “just walk away” doesn’t solve the problem.
    2. Address feelings. Talk feelings. Listen to feelings.
    3. If the child asks a direct question of YOU, give a direct answer to THEM.

Here’s the bottom line. We live in a dangerous and violent and sexualized society. In many ways, our children are experiencing the demise of the Roman Empire. Anyone who differs with the last statement only has to read history. We are responsible for this. We watch the cable TV. We glorify the movies. We pay the bills.

The parents who raised us are responsible for our own moral decay. That in NO WAY excuses us from keeping our own children safe. It does not excuse schools and youth organizations form their responsibility to respond to all children and all parents with loving kindness and compassion. The buck stops on my kitchen table. The end starts with you hugging your child and shielding them as much as possible from the muck of present day life. How we proceed will determine whether or not our children have a world to live in, or a cage to survive in.

can you relate?

Is this your child? Is he in YOuR class?
Is this your child? Is he in YOuR class?

please let us know

Has your child been bullied?

See results

a victim speaks

Share your comments please

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Abundant old soul profile imageAUTHOR

      Abundant Old Soul 

      5 years ago from united states

      Super sir! I plan on doing a series of these.

      When I receive feedback from people like yourself it means a lot because I get your hubs each day.

      Feel free t share. That's what we are here for.

    • breakfastpop profile image


      5 years ago

      This is a very important piece. As a grandparent I worry about this a good deal. I am going to print this informative article and give it to my daughters . Voted up useful and awesome.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Excellent message my friend. Delivered powerfully with just the right amount of fact and moral outrage. I especially love the last paragraph...the buck stops on my kitchen table.

      Well done!

      Have a great weekend. You earned it after this fine piece of writing.


    • Abundant old soul profile imageAUTHOR

      Abundant Old Soul 

      5 years ago from united states



    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)