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Cyber-punks: When kids harass your child online

Bullying is something most children go through at one time or another. Children have to learn how to work together and get along despite differences, so there are bound to be conflicts along the way.

Bullying can have detrimental effects, though, especially on children who face several bullies or long-term bullying. Psychologically, and sometimes physically, bullying takes a toll.

As a parent of a teenager, you want to make sure your child isn't bullied, but you also know that they have to work out some problems themselves. However, one thing you shouldn't let slide is harassment from social media or online sources.

Cyber harassment: Bullying on a different level

Unlike bullying in school, bullying online can be perpetual. It may never truly go away, since viral videos, digital messages and webpages can all stay online for years. Your child may not be safe from bullying even after they come home from school, and that's a problem.

What should you do if a child is harassing yours online?

If it is a schoolmate, then it's time to talk to the principal of the school. In most cases, reprimanding the student is helpful in making them stop. However, it can encourage some students to go even further due to getting in trouble. For those cases, speaking with the parents, and potentially a lawyer, can be the right move. Actions have consequences, and even younger teens need to know how seriously their actions are being taken.

What can you do after you've reported the harassment?

If your child tells you that it has stopped, then you should be wary and keep an eye out for changes in behavior, but otherwise be satisfied that the problem was resolved so easily. If the bullying and harassment continues, then it's time to approach the school and bullying child's parents with an attorney.

You can request that certain websites take down webpages or information about your child. You can also block people from contacting your child and use parental controls to limit their ability to get online.

Being strict for a short time may be what's needed to prevent your child from being bullied further, at least until the situation can be cleared up and it is safe for your child to go online or to use digital devices. There are legal options, too: You should do what you have to do to prevent your child from dealing with more stress at home due to the actions of children online.

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