My teenager was cyberbullied and this is what she did

We’re raising children in a digital landscape where cyberbullying has become more prevalent than offline bullying. In fact, the studies indicate that 1 million Canadian kids are cyberbullied each month. 

My teenage daughter was cyberbullied in the fall from someone she was friends with in the past. The thing is, the way she was cyberbullied wasn’t the way I thought cyberbullying went down.

In my mind, cyberbullying was something that happened when you post a photo on social media and someone comments something negative about it. This wasn’t what happened in her case. In fact, the way she was bullied wasn’t on social media, however, it was happening through an app called, What’s App in group messages that she saw on her phone.

The messages coming from someone she “thought” was a friend were very hurtful and this person was relentless. The messages wouldn’t stop! These messages were hateful, very negative, and they were always based on her weight and appearance. This person even went as far as pasting inappropriate images of genitals on a photo of her face!

When my daughter told us about this we told her not to engage, and to speak with the principal or counselor at the school immediately.

The thing is, she was afraid of being “a rat”. She knew this person would most likely get in trouble and then she was afraid this would cause more drama and hate toward her.

Despite the anxiety, she felt about it, she did end up telling the school counselor. Although it was the scary thing to do, she did it because this person needed to know that what they were doing was not OK.

This type of online bullying behavior is not tolerated, and this person’s parents were informed and the person was suspended from the school. In addition, this person was no longer allowed to participate in the school’s sports team they played on.

The bullying messages stopped. My daughter eventually overcame the way the negative comments were making her feel, and the person who bullied her online apologized for their behavior and thankfully, hasn’t done it again.

Am I happy this happened to my daughter? Absolutely not. I hated watching how sad and upset it was making her. I am, however, happy that she was courageous enough to talk to us, and to the school officials about being cyberbullied.

Here are the things she did when she was a victim of cyberbullying:

  1. Told her parents what was going on.
  2. Stopped engaging in the messages (reading them, and replying).
  3. Saved the messages for evidence
  4. Overcame the anxiety and worry of possibly being called a “rat” if she “told” on this person who was cyberbullying her.
  5. Approached the school counselor to let them know this was happening.
  6. Continued speaking with us and the school counselor about the way the situation made her feel.

Did you know Cyberbullying is happening on a variety of apps?

In my daughter’s situation cyberbullying happened to her through online What’s App messaging. There are countless apps out there teens are using that perpetuate online bullying.

I came across this list below of apps teens are using that parents need to know about. I was in shock! I’m sharing them with you because I think every parent needs to be informed.

Snapchat and Instagram are clearly not the only apps we need to be aware of.

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Have you read this post I wrote about Keeping our children safe online? : 

https://stylingtheinside.com/2014/11/26/keeping-our-children-safe-online-the-dangers-of-role-playing-on-instagram/

My daughter is just one of the one million kids who has been cyberbullied each month in Canada. The effects are long-lasting, and it’s impossible for one single person to eradicate this negative online behavior.

This is why I’ve taken the TELUS WISE Digital Pledge. 

“By signing this pledge, you’ll stand with countless Canadians to help keep your digital neighbourhood safe. For every pledge taken, we will donate $1 to support #EndBullying programs across Canada. Together, we can create a friendlier world online.”

Take the pledge here!  

Our entire family has taken the pledge!

Education- Telus Image1

Together we can #EndBullying with TELUS

“Telus is supporting youth with education and initiatives to make a safer, friendlier world online. Through the TELUS Wise® program and partnership with WE, they’re helping to raise awareness and empower youth to rise above cyberbullying.”

 

 

*Thank you to Telus for creating programs that give back & for sponsoring this post and it’s the important message.

I’m a very proud TEAM TELUS advocate. All opinions expressed are my own. 

 

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One thought on “My teenager was cyberbullied and this is what she did

  1. Thank you for sharing the story about your daughter. My daughter is only 2 but this is something I constantly worry about. I was bullied in high school and it is an awful feeling!
    Reading this hopefully will encourage parents to have conversations with their kids about bullying.

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