Signs Of Cyberbullying In Children

Children today spend a lot of time on social media raising the risk of being bullied online. The effects of this are no less serious than being bullied in real life.

Photo: Pixabay

Cyberbullying includes receiving threatening emails, offensive images and mean messages through different platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Children can be victims of more than one online bully, have their embarrassing images shared with many people and called unpleasant names. All these actions can leave children feeling extremely depressed and isolated.

Why doesn’t your child talk to you about it?
Parents will ask themselves this question and the first reason could be that a child may not understand what online bullying means. Cyberbullying doesn’t equate with physical marks (bruises, scratches) or getting something taken so teachers and parents find it more difficult to detect. This makes the culprit more confident and the bullying carries on. On the other hand, children are afraid to report the bullying as they believe it will get worse and they don’t want to be banned from social media.

Children who tend to get into these situations are often academically inclined or have something unique about their personality and could be loners. They also love social media as a way of communication and therefore, become targets.

Signs of cyberbullying

  • They seem stressed after using a device and withdraw from friends and family
  • They hide what they’re doing when you walk, refuse to add you on Facebook / Instagram, and won’t let you see what they’re doing online
  • They look nervous and guilty when receiving messages and notifications
  • Avoidance becomes a form of defence, e.g. one-word answers like ‘fine’ or good’ when parents ask how school is going. Or they may make vague comments like, “I’m tired of school” or “There’s so much drama in class”.
  • Grades drop and they may even try and skip class
  • They may start losing or gaining weight, have trouble sleeping and eating

Cyberbullying is a real problem and can lead to severe consequences. Children and teenagers often take the bullying comments seriously and struggle to cope with the humiliation and hurt. This causes emotional and mental problems that have long-term effects. At its worst, this type of bullying can drive children to self-harm, withdraw from the real world, become aggressive / sad / worried and in extreme cases, even commit suicide. Parents must be aware and take action as soon as they suspect or realise what is going on. Calmly discuss the situation with the child, talk to other parents and school staff, and if necessary, involve the authorities.

This article has been republished with permission from Hello Doktor.

Tags: Features, Cyberbullying, Schools, Hello Doktor
What You're Reading


STEM Is Not Enough

Setting your child on STEM's straight path might be providing him or her with a one-dimensional education.


Mélodie Barthoux - Course Director, Alliance Française de Kuala Lumpur

The earlier the better but it’s never too late – learning French at the Alliance Française de Kuala Lumpur.


Nexus Global Goals Action Day 2019

The recent 5th Nexus Global Goals Action Day saw more than 800 volunteers participating in 24 activities which addressed the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals.


Explore, Extend and Excel with the Best of Australian Education

If you’re thinking about an Australian education for your child, the Open Week at the Australian International School Malaysia (AISM) is the ideal opportunity to find out more.


Benefits of Being Bilingual

Learning more than one language will give your child a head start academically and even offer the chance of better employment in the future.


ISKL Receives Prestigious Green Excellence Award

New Ampang Hilir Campus awarded The Edge Malaysia-Pertubuhan Arkitek Malaysia (PAM) Green Excellence Award 2019 for sustainable design, innovation and relevance to the community.