How to Recognize Signs of Cyberbullying

Bullying can result in negative outcomes for children and students. Bullying comes in many forms, none of which are acceptable. Cyberbullying, for example, continues to increase among teens and is a growing concern for parents, schools, and communities.

What is Cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying involves using electronic communication and digital devices to bully a person, typically by sending messages of an intimidating or threatening nature. Cyberbullying includes sending, posting, or sharing negative, harmful, false, or mean content/information about someone else, causing embarrassment or humiliation.

Traditional bullying and cyberbullying are closely related: Those who are bullied at school are often bullied online, and those who bully at school often bully online. Cyberbullying can negatively affect the mental health of those involved, including increased anxiety levels and lower self-esteem. Additionally, the increased time spent on social media by today’s kids reduces barriers for cyberbullying and increases children’s exposure to online violence.

Signs of Cyberbullying

  • Your child becomes upset, sad, or angry during or after being online or using a personal digital device.
  • Your child frequently withdraws from family and/or friends.
  • Your child expresses reluctance or refusal to participate in activities they previously enjoyed.

Resources to Learn More About Cyberbullying

To learn more about cyberbullying warning signs and parental tips, check out PFSA’s Common Digital Dangers booklet.

As we all continue leaning on the use of digital technology, parents and adults should be aware of the dangers accompanying these technologies and begin creating safe and healthy interactions throughout the digital world. It is especially important that adults model this healthy behavior for our children who are being raised with more access to digital technologies than any generation before them.

PFSA recently launched our Family Digital Wellness initiative to support parents in raising safe and healthy kids in the digital era. This initiative includes an online Family Digital Wellness hub providing related resources for parents and professionals as well as up-to-date news and media stories.

To learn more, visit PFSA’s Family Digital Wellness webpage to access updated resources and news stories. Don’t forget to download the FREE Parent Toolkit to learn more about raising safe and healthy kids in the digital era and stay up to date on new information regarding PFSA’s Family Digital Wellness initiative.

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