Technology and social media have enabled bullies to take their teasing and harassment to another level. According to a study, 1 in 5 Canadian teens have witnessed online bullying and 51% of all teens have had a negative experience with social networks. The research also reveals that 38% of girls report being bullied online, while 26% of boys have experienced the same thing. Cyberbullying has become a serious problem as it has led to social isolation, anxiety, and even suicides. If your teenage child is currently experiencing online bullying, it’s imperative to help him or her cope with it in positive ways.

How cyberbullying works

While 90% of parents are familiar with cyberbullying, it’s still important to know how it works. Teens may use the Internet or other devices to post text messages or images to hurt or embarrass others. The most common form of online bullying is posting a private email, message, or photo and posting the communication publicly in order to humiliate someone. Others may gang up and make physical threats, post false statements, start rumors, make sexual remarks or name call online.

The harassment, intimidation, and threatening of teens through the Internet goes on 24/7, and as a result, those who are being cyberbullied may have lower self-esteem, mental health and trust issues, and even suicidal thoughts. While it may be difficult to stop online bullying from happening, you can learn to cope with bullying and emerge from it as a stronger person. Here are 3 positive ways teens can cope with cyberbullying.


Taking a break from Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram may not stop the bullying, but it’s one way for your teen to stop exposing him or herself from the teasing, stalking, or hurtful messages online. Encourage your child to take up a hobby, such as painting, dancing or learning an instrument. If your child is a victim of cyberbullying, advise him to leave the online conversation and to pursue his interests in the real world.

Speak up

Remind your child that telling is not tattling, especially if the cyberbullying has escalated in such a way that your teen feels frightened or threatened for her life. Encourage your child to report threats, assaults, or sexual exploitation to the local police. The latter, which pertains to sharing intimate images of a person without the consent of the person in the photos is an offense under Canada’s Criminal Code. Keep in mind that distributing an intimate image without consent can result in imprisonment for up to five years.

Don’t respond

Your teen may be tempted to respond by saying something mean to the online bully or retaliate by doing the same thing, but it can make matters worse. Tell your child to ignore the messages and change his privacy settings on his social media accounts. He can also block the cyberbully and report the user to the appropriate social media platform.

Anybody can be a victim of cyberbullying, and parents should teach their children to deal with it in the right way. Moreover, coping with the situation in positive ways can help to make your child stronger and is the way to making things better. If your child is being bullied online, let him know that you’re there, that you’re taking it seriously, and will be supporting him through it all. The consequences of cyberbullying can be damaging, but know that you can help your child to overcome the worst.

Article provided by Jackie Edwards