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Is my child getting bullied online?

 Is my child getting bullied online? (Photo: iStock)

Hi Chris,

I think my daughter is being bullied online. She is suddenly more anxious and secretive, and won’t let me near her phone. What do I do?


Chris says,

Hi Cyber-bullying!

It used to be that coming home from school gave children a break. Not anymore. Scary texts, posts, and embarrassing photos on social media sites can get to your children all the time.

So how can you confirm that your daughter’s being bullied? Unfortunately, she probably won’t tell you because she feels ashamed and worries about being thought a tattle-tale.

Instead, you will have to watch for the classic signs of bullying, such as changes in eating and sleeping habits, frequent or faked illnesses, an unexplained falling out with friends, declining grades or not wanting to go to school or to socialise.

You should talk to her if you are seeing more than one of these. Be supportive, and take screenshots to make a record of everything. Cyberbullies often pose as someone else, so they can be difficult to trace. And deleting their posts is next to impossible once they have spread.

But if it is happening on a social media site, you can ask them to take down any content that violates its rules. Facebook, for example, will generally take a young person’s word for it, so encourage her to report any abusive material.

And tell her never to reply to anything harassing. If the problems continue, suggest she takes a break from the internet for a while, though that might be a tough sell!

Above all, stay closely involved in your daughter’s life. Give her lots of love and attention. Know where she is at all times, and who her friends are.

Try to keep her from viewing too much stuff online, make sure you know what she’s watching, and talk to her about it. Monitor her overall time on the internet, and talk to her about that too.

Above all, have the sort of relationship where she can talk to you about anything. Then you’ll always be able to help, no matter what happens.

All the best,


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