According to the National Center for Education Statistics in the US, girls are three times more likely to experience cyberbullying than boys. While boys are prone to physical bullying, girls are more inclined to relational bullying.
This means that girls are more likely to be socially aggressive, using peer exclusion to ostracise others from activities and social circles.
Spreading rumours is another form of bullying more commonly used by girls. Overall, relational bullying is subtle and can go unnoticed for a long time.
"It's important to make your teen girls aware of cyberbullying and equip them to deal with it if needed," says local author, Despina Senatore.
Senatore is the author of Soar!, the guidebook that seeks to help teen girls navigate adolescence through practical examples and resources.
"Things have changed since we were children and our kids are bullied in invisible ways that can leave them despondent, depressed or suffering from anxiety".
Below she provides some tips to help your teen girl cope with bullying, cyber anotherwise.
It's not you, it's them
Most bullies pick on others because they are often unhappy with themselves and are trying to hide their fears and insecurities. Even though it's not comforting at the time, your teen girl should remember being bullied is not her fault nor is there something wrong with her.
If she's getting bullied, she should confide in a trusted adult. Sharing will help her feel less alone and scared, and an adult can help her to report the bullying.
Social media security settings are important
She should keep her passwords safe and not share them with anyone. Tighten up security settings to make sure that only her friends can engage with her content.
Likes on social media posts aren’t the be-all and end-all. She should never share personal information like her phone number or email address to social media.
Keep a record
If someone is cyberbullying her, she should take screenshots and keep it in a safe place. This will come in handy if she wants to report the bullying.
Don’t respond or retaliate
It’s tempting to want to respond, but the best thing is not to. Bullies often want a reaction from their victims and will leave them deflated if they don’t get any.
Block the bullies
There’s no shame in blocking anyone on social media or WhatsApp if they are sending hurtful messages.
Report the bullies
All social media sites have policies against abuse, and victims can report abusive accounts directly to the sites.
Stay off anonymous sites
Teenagers should stay away from anonymous websites. It’s a paradise for bullies and trolls because they can hide behind their fake online personas.
Submitted to Parent24 by Purposeful Woman.
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