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How to spot the signs that your child is being cyberbullied

Experts say cyberbullying is one of the most damaging consequences of social media. News4Jax reporter Brianna Andrews speaks with an anti-bullying non-profit about preventive measures for parents.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Social media connects us to millions of people across the globe in an instant.

But those fighting cyberbullying say this access comes with consequences like anxiety, depression and low self-esteem.

“If you notice that your child has anxiety when they receive a text or have to respond to an email, or if you notice if your child is afraid of going to school or doing things that are not them. Talk to your kids more. Find out what’s going on,” said Sherrika Myers, anti-bullying activist and founder Every 1 Voice Matters.

Myers points to data that reveals kids are 64% likely to be cyberbullied on Tiktok, 79% likely on YouTube, 69% likely on Snapchat and 49% likely on Facebook, according to the Cyberbullying Research Center.

Sherrika Myers urges parents to monitor social media access for their children.

“You want to make sure that you know what your child is seeing, who your child is talking to especially because of covid our child is spending more time on the internet,” said Myers.

It’s important for parents to:

  • Limit kids’ screen time and replace with other activities (eg. volunteering, reading, riding a bike)
  • Start and end each day with check-in
  • Put parental monitoring controls on all digital devices
  • Instill the importance of having their own minds and not follow others
  • Encourage kids to speak up and to not suffer in silence

If you notice any changes in your child’s behavior like avoiding socializing, failing grades, losing interest in activities that gave them joy, those may be tell-tale signs they are victims of cyberbullying.

For more resources visit: https://cyberbullying.org/.

About the Author:

This native of the Big Apple joined the News4Jax team in July 2021.