How To Deal With Cyberbullying: A Parent’s Guide

The digital world holds immense potential for our children, offering connection, knowledge, and endless possibilities. Yet, within this bright panorama lurks a hidden challenge: cyberbullying. This pervasive form of harassment can inflict lasting emotional harm, leaving parents feeling both vulnerable and uncertain. This guide aims to demystify cyberbullying for you, providing insight and support every step of the way, empowering you to protect and guide your child through this difficult experience.

Choose The Section You Want


According to the Cyberbullying Research Center, in 2023, the most common forms of cyberbullying experienced (among those who were cyberbullied) included: 

  • Someone posted mean or hurtful comments about me online (77.5%)
  • Someone spread rumors about me online (70.4%)
  • Someone embarrassed or humiliate me online (69.1%)
  • Someone intentionally excluded me from a group text or group chat (66.4%)
  • Someone repeatedly contacted me via text or online after I told them to stop (55.5%)

The insidious nature of cyberbullying leaves lasting scars on both victims and perpetrators. 

Victims often experience:

  • PsychologicalAnxiety, depression, low self-esteem, social isolation, fear, helplessness, suicidal thoughts or attempts.
  • SocialDamaged reputation, exclusion from social groups, difficulty trusting others, academic decline.
  • Physical: Headaches, stomachaches, sleep disturbances, changes in eating habits. (Source: National Bullying Prevention Center)

Perpetrators also face consequences, though often unseen:

  • Psychological: Increased aggression, risk of depression and substance abuse, lack of empathy, potential future criminal behavior.
  • Social: Difficulty forming healthy relationships, damaged academic and professional prospects, legal repercussions.
  • Moral: Difficulty understanding the harm they cause, potential for internal conflict due to guilt or shame.

Preventing Cyberbullying

Unlike traditional bullying’s limitations, cyberbullying knows no boundaries. It follows your child wherever they venture online, its anonymity emboldening aggressors and its permanence leaving lasting scars. Recognizing the early warning signs is vital: watch for changes in behavior such as withdrawal, anxiety, sleep disturbances, or hesitancy towards online interactions. Open communication and, if appropriate, parental control tools can offer valuable insights. Remember, trust is your most potent weapon; cultivate a safe space where your child feels comfortable confiding in you without fear of judgment.

Knowledge is your child’s shield. Educate them about responsible online behavior, the weight of their digital footprint, and the potential dangers of cyberbullying. Set clear boundaries through screen time limits, app restrictions, and open dialogues about online interactions. Foster empathy and responsible communication, equipping them to be positive digital citizens who navigate the online world with awareness and respect.

Age-Specific Signs: 

  • Elementary School: Sudden decline in schoolwork, withdrawal from social activities, nightmares, unexplained physical complaints like stomach aches or headaches, secretive online behavior.
  • Middle School: Increased social media anxiety, changes in mood or sleep patterns, avoidance of specific online platforms or groups, self-deprecating comments, loss of interest in hobbies.
  • High School: Cyberstalking, impersonation on social media, hurtful rumors spread online, exclusion from online groups, threats of violence or blackmail.

Online Platforms:

  • Gaming platforms: Hostile chat messages, targeting in online games, exclusion from virtual communities.
  • Social media: Mean comments, “liking” or sharing embarrassing content, creating fake profiles to spread rumors.
  • Messaging apps: Sending hurtful texts, group chats used for exclusion or harassment, sexting threats.
  • Anonymous forums: Cyberbullying under the cloak of anonymity, spreading rumors and lies to damage reputation.

Strategies for Open Communication & Boundaries: 

  • Regularly discuss online activities and experiences.
  • Set clear expectations for responsible online behavior, including kindness and respect.
  • Establish screen time limits and negotiate device-free zones.
  • Teach digital citizenship skills like critical thinking and online privacy.
  • Use parental controls and monitoring tools cautiously, focusing on open communication and trust.
  • Practice open communication to create a safe space for your child to confide in you about any cyberbullying they experience.

My Child Is Currently Being Cyberbullied

Should your child fall victim to cyberbullying, remain calm and prioritize emotional validation. Gather evidence with screenshots, logs, and detailed accounts of the incidents. Report the bullying immediately on the platform where it occurred. In severe cases, consider filing a police report. Seek professional support for your child to address the emotional impact and develop healthy coping mechanisms. Remember, you are not alone; utilize resources like, Cyberbullying Research Center, and National Bullying Prevention Center for additional guidance and support.

Preserving Evidence:

  • Screenshot hurtful messages, posts, or comments.
  • Save copies of threatening emails or texts.
  • Note down dates and times of incidents.
  • Keep evidence secure and confidential.

Reporting Mechanisms:

  • Report directly to the platform where the bullying occurred.
  • School officials should be notified if the bullying involves classmates.
  • Consider filing a police report for severe cases or threats of violence.
  • Report to websites like Cyberbullying Research Center or National Bullying Prevention Center for anonymous reporting and resources.

Legal Options:

  • Seek legal advice for potential options like harassment restraining orders or civil lawsuits (depending on the severity and local laws).
  • Remember, legal action might not eliminate the online bullying, but it can send a strong message and deter future harassment

How Do I Help My Child Who Has Been Cyberbullied

Cyberbullying should not define your child’s journey. Work together to develop a digital safety plan, focusing on password protection, privacy settings, and responsible online practices. Advocate for online safety in your child’s school and community. Remember, your courage and unwavering support will empower your child to navigate the digital world with confidence and resilience.

Specific Coping Mechanisms:

  • Mindfulness exercises: Deep breathing, guided meditations, focusing on the present moment to manage anxiety and emotional distress.
  • Creative expression: Journaling, drawing, music, or other activities to process and express emotions constructively.
  • Social support building: Encourage communication with close friends, family members, or a therapist to build a network of support and understanding.
  • Physical activity: Engaging in sports, exercise, or outdoor activities can release stress and improve mood.

Resources for Professional Help: 

  • School counselors or therapists can provide individual or group support.
  • Mental health professionals specializing in trauma or cyberbullying can offer targeted interventions.
  • National hotlines like the Crisis Text Line provide immediate support and resources.

Addressing Long-Term Emotional Impacts: 

  • Be patient and understanding; healing takes time. 
  • Validate your child’s feelings and offer emotional support.
  • Monitor for signs of depression, anxiety, or self-harm and seek professional help if needed.
  • Focus on building self-esteem and resilience to empower your child to navigate online challenges.

Is Technology Still Good?

This guide serves as a starting point, not an endpoint. The digital landscape is constantly evolving, demanding continuous vigilance and adaptation. Seek out additional resources, engage in ongoing conversations with your child, and most importantly, remember: you are not simply a protector, but a partner in your child’s digital journey. Together, you can face the challenges of cyberbullying with understanding, support, and the unwavering belief in your child’s strength and resilience.

For additional support and tools to empower your child’s digital safety, consider exploring Troomi Wireless. Its advanced parental control features, including screen time limits, app restrictions, and monitoring capabilities, can provide valuable insights and peace of mind. Troomi’s commitment to creating a safe and positive online environment for children aligns perfectly with your own desire to protect and guide your child as they navigate the digital world.

By combining your unwavering support with tools like Troomi, you can build a strong foundation for digital safety, empowering your child to navigate the online world with confidence and resilience.