Cyberbullying Awareness: National Block It Out Day

Bullying used to be something that required you to be in the presence of the bully for it to happen. Yet with the rise of technology, a bully can invade your home, and their target is likely to be your child.

As most teens—and many younger children—use social media, the impact of cyberbullying has grown, with Instagram being the top platform for cyberbullying, though kids report cyberbullying on all social media platforms.

But, all this cyberbullying is not going unnoticed. A national nonprofit called Stomp Out Bullying has organized National Block It Out Day.

What Is National Block It Out Day?

National Block It Out Day was created two years ago by Stomp Out Bullying. This initiative was designed to bring awareness to cyberbullying and encourage others to block out cyberbullies so that they can no longer engage with their targets.

For this year, National Block It Out Day will be on November 14, 2019. On this day, participants around the nation will join together to shed light on the destructive nature of cyberbullying and block out their cyberbullies—as well as encourage friends who are being cyberbullied to block their cyberbullies.

Everyone is invited to join in National Block It Out Day, and the participants range from individuals, schools, sports organizations like the New York Jets.

Why Take Cyberbullying Seriously

It can be easy to dismiss cyberbullying as “Stick and stones can break my bones, but words can never harm me.” However, it’s not that simple.

When it comes to cyberbullying, there is no escaping from the bully by just going home or leaving a shared location. Cyberbullies can reach their victims at any time of day, no matter where they are as long as the bullied victim has access to the internet.

Also, it is not uncommon for cyberbullies to rally others who may even know the person being bullied. If the child has any visible differences—minority race, disabled, LGBTQ, etc.—they are far more likely to be bullied even by strangers.

Research has also found that children who are cyberbullied are far more likely to engage in self-harm and suicidal behaviors. So, to protect our children, parents and educators need to step up and take cyberbullying seriously.

Ways To Protect Children And Teens From Cyberbullying

You don’t have to just accept that cyberbullying happens. It should not be a normal part of growing up. Instead, you can take steps to protect your children.

  • Encourage your kids to block bullies - Some kids avoid blocking their bullies online and through their phones, thinking that this means the bullies win or that your child rather know what the bully is saying. But in reality, when a bully can’t reach your kid, they often lose interest, as there is no feedback for the bullying. So, always encourage your kids to block out their bullies.
  • Connect with your children online - It may not be “cool” to have your parents as part of your social media connections, but by connecting with your children online, you can see if overt bullying occurs. While there are private forms of bullying, such as through private messaging functions, those messages can be easily blocked. And if you do see something nasty comes up, you can be ready to help your kid address the issue.
  • Install a remote-wipe app - Should your child’s smartphone or tablet is lost—or stolen—it can be highly helpful to have a remote-wipe app installed. That way, you can remotely erase all of their data so that if a bully finds it—or stole it as a means of bullying—the device is useless.
  • Set technology rules - Rather than having instruments for bullying on them, you can set technology rules, such as no technology in the bedrooms, and set a bedtime for when your kids are expected to be off their tech.

However, there is also the other side of bullying—what if you find out that your child is the one bullying others?

If your child has been engaging in bullying—and other poor behaviors—and refuses to change his behaviors, he may benefit from attending a residential treatment center for troubled teens. With the help of trained therapists, supportive staff and teachers, your son can work toward overcoming his struggles and become the young man you know he can be.

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