Teenagers encounter so many influences that cause their self-esteem to plummet, from body image and peer pressure to racism and sexism. Teens are constantly seeking out approval from others, to make sure they are valued and cared for. As they go through adolescence, negative feedback about themselves can really cause their self-esteem to diminish. It’s no wonder that one of the most significant impacts on a teenager’s self-esteem is bullying and cyber bullying.
What is Cyber Bullying?
Cyber bullying is harassment and humiliation done using electronic technology. Generally it is done by peers of the victim, but the worst thing about it when compared to traditional bullying is that cyber bullying can be done anonymously and reaches a much wider audience. Examples of cyber bullying can range from sending threatening emails to posting fake profiles on social media and then sending messages purported to be from the victim. Other examples include spreading rumors and lies about the victim via social media or posting embarrassing pictures.
Effects of Cyber Bullying
The destructive psychological effects of cyber bullying on teens is only just now starting to be understood. Bullied teens are statistically more likely to deal with depression, loneliness, lack of sleep, anxiety, stress and low self-esteem. These behaviors can seriously affect home life, school performance and their social interactions. Because many teens are afraid to report cyber bullying to an adult, they hide the abuse and the problem grows worse.
What Parents Can Do To Reduce the Effects of Cyber Bullying
There is plenty of advice from experts on what to do about stopping cyber bullying, but after the immediate problem is taken care of, parents still need to focus on the psychological damage from the incident. It’s very important to work on building up their teen’s self-esteem once again. Helping a bullied teen feel valued again is difficult, but there are definitely steps that parents can take to restore their view of themselves.
Here are 5 things parents can help their teens do to boost self-esteem after cyber bullying.
- Spend quality time with friends and family.
- Get counseling from a trained adolescent therapist.
- Learn new hobbies, develop talents and devote time to interests.
- Gain a wider perspective of the world beyond their school or town.
- Time for growth, friendship development and achieving goals.
Cyber bullying is just one of many things that tear down a teenager’s self-esteem, and unless the teenager gets the proper support from parents, it’s possible that their self-esteem can drop so low that it introduces a whole new set or problems that can follow them well into adulthood.