Once upon a time, one of the worst fears a parent had when their child started school was whether they’d face bullying. Now, with children and adolescents using social media and other online platforms at younger ages, that fear has turned towards cyberbullying.

Unfortunately, cyberbullying (and its devastating real-life effects), still remains misunderstood and veiled in mystery. Countless questions still abound online.

What actually is cyberbullying? How does it impact my child? And what can I do to protect them from this ugly side of the internet?

Canyon Creek strives to answer all these questions (and more) in our parental guide on what you need to know about cyberbullying. By the end of this article, you should feel empowered to take active steps in protecting and supporting your child.

What Is Cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying involves the use of digital technology (such as smartphones, computers and tablets) to harass, threaten, embarrass, or target another person online. With such an abundance of social media platforms, messaging apps and online forums, it is easier than ever for someone to be the victim of cyberbullying. And since most digital platforms enable people to make posts anonymously, it is easier than ever for those with nefarious intents to engage in cyberbullying activities with little to no repercussions.

Another issue with cyberbullying is that it gives the bully 24/7 access to their victim, meaning the victim never knows if or when the next attack may take place.

Examples of cyberbullying

Cyberbullying can encompass a number of different malicious activities. Some common examples of cyberbullying include:

  • Sending threatening or mean messages via social media, text or email
  • Spreading rumors or posting hurtful comments online
  • Sharing embarrassing or private photos or videos without consent
  • Creating fake profiles to harass someone
  • Engaging in online activities that humiliate or isolate a person

In addition to this, the popularization of AI tools is adding another layer to the cyberbullying problem. Now, cyber bullies can use AI tools to create fake/doctored embarrassing or private images of their target, exacerbating an already critical issue.

The Impact of Cyberbullying

As the studies show, cyberbullying is a real problem and concern.

The effects of cyberbullying can indeed be devastating, leading to emotional, psychological and even physical distress. Common effects of cyberbullying include:

  • Increased anxiety and depression
  • Feeling unsafe
  • Feeling always ‘on guard’ or alarmed, inability to relax
  • Decreased confidence, self-worth and self-esteem
  • Increased likelihood of suicide attempts and contemplation
  • Ongoing trauma
  • Difficulty concentrating or sleeping
  • Physical distress, including headaches and stomach aches
  • Increased likelihood of eating disorders (especially when cyberbullying acts revolve around the victim’s weight)

Recognizing the signs your child may be dealing with cyberbullying early on is critical to help you step in to support and protect them.

How to Stop Cyberbullying

If your child comes to you with cyberbullying concerns, it’s important to know what steps to take to respond effectively. Here are some steps to take:

1. Document and report

Encourage your child to save evidence of cyberbullying. Take screenshots and keep a record of dates, times, and descriptions of incidents. Report the bullying to the social media platform, website, or app where it occurred and consider contacting the school if classmates are involved.

2. Block and unfriend

Teach your child how to block or unfriend bullies on social media and messaging platforms. This can help reduce exposure to harmful interactions and prevent future attacks from happening.

3. Communicate with the School

If cyberbullying is affecting your child’s well-being at school (or involves classmates), inform the school administration immediately. They likely have policies in place to address the behavior, support your child and take disciplinary actions if another student is involved.

4. Legal Action

In severe cases, where threats or harassment are involved, it may be necessary to contact law enforcement. Familiarize yourself with local laws regarding cyberbullying and seek legal advice if needed.

How to Prevent Cyberbullying

Since cyberbullying is so prevalent in the online sphere, it is important to take proactive steps in preventing your child from dealing with it. Here are some strategies to consider:

Cybersecurity Tips for Parents

  • Educate your children about the importance of keeping personal information private online.
  • Encourage them to think critically about what they share on social media.
  • Set up parental controls and use monitoring software to keep track of your child’s online activity.
  • Discuss the consequences of cyberbullying and the importance of being respectful to others online.
  • Participate in cyberbullying awareness programs and events.
  • Share resources and information with other parents and educators.
  • Advocate for comprehensive cyberbullying policies in schools and communities.

Canyon Creek Is Here To Help

Teaching children how to navigate the digital world with resilience is crucial. Help them understand that their self-worth is not defined by online interactions and that seeking support when needed is a sign of strength, not weakness.

As we continue to navigate an increasingly digital world, it’s our collective responsibility to promote cyberbullying awareness, advocate for positive change, and ensure that the internet becomes a safer space for everyone.

Canyon Creek Behavioral Health, of Temple, Texas, is here to help. If your adolescent is dealing with the emotional impacts of cyberbullying and needs additional support, our mental health services for adolescents provide a comprehensive approach to treatment. Our programs promote healing, the development of healthy habits and the implementation of positive coping strategies in your daily routine.

Give us a call at 254-410-1819 or complete this form to get started on your mental health journey today.

If you think your teen is experiencing a mental health crisis, call 988 or get to the nearest emergency room.

For medical emergencies, call 911 or get to the nearest emergency room.


Canyon Creek Behavioral Health

Canyon Creek Behavioral Health is a facility that services the behavioral health needs of adults, adolescents and older adults. We provide inpatient and outpatient treatment, where we serve people from all backgrounds. Our team of highly qualified and skilled therapists are prepared to meet your individual needs. This includes treating those facing mental health issues and mood disorders such as bipolar disorder and depression.

Here at Canyon Creek we believe it’s possible to live a life of stability and purpose. Some of our services include our adult inpatient program, adolescent inpatient services and more. Located in Temple, Texas, we’re committed to being an active member of the Temple community and improving its understanding of mental health.

To schedule a no-cost, confidential assessment, please give us a call at 254-410-1819 or fill out the form on our contact page here.