With the prominence of the smartphone and tablet computers, many parents are concerned about cyberbullying. Teens are likely to encounter this issue at some point: 95% of teens are online, and 37% of them have experienced cyberbullying. Discover some of the signs of cyberbullying in teens, and reach out for help from Venture Academy today.
Six Signs of Cyberbullying in Teens
It can be challenging to know when your teen is a victim of cyberbullying. Nevertheless, some of the warning signs of teen cyberbullying are outlined below:
- Anxiety about attending school or extracurricular activities: Teens who previously enjoyed classes or hobbies like sports suddenly refusing to go or becoming upset when they have to attend could be cyberbullying victims. Your teen may attempt to avoid something they used to love or become irritable, anxious, or upset as it’s time to leave for the activity.
- Angry outbursts after an online session: Outbursts of anger after being online, or gaming, can signify teen cyberbullying. When experiencing bullying, some teens withdraw from social circles and turn to online socialization or gaming instead. However, this increases isolation, which in turn makes them feel worse.
- Unexplained physical symptoms: Other signs of bullying are unexplained physical symptoms such as stomach aches, headaches, weight loss, or weight gain.
- Increased secretive behaviour: Teens who experience bullying may withdraw from their parents and hide their online activity. Your teen may feel ashamed and won’t want you to see their social media accounts. They may even start hiding screens when you’re nearby.
- Disturbed sleep patterns: Victims of teen cyberbullying may have difficulty sleeping at night, and then appear exhausted during the day. Falling asleep in class could mean your teen is struggling to sleep because of cyberbullying.
- Mentions of destructive behaviours: Some teens who experience cyberbullying make passing remarks about suicide or other destructive behaviours like self-harm or alcohol. This is an immediate danger sign and should not be ignored.
Although cyberbullying in teens affects both boys and girls, statistically, girls are more likely to become online bullying victims. Teen cyberbullying can take many forms, including:
- Abusive texts or online messages
- Fake accounts pretending to be your teen
- Embarrassing pictures posted and shared
- Accounts dedicated as ‘hate accounts’ appearing
- Exclusion from groups or games
- Sex-related abuse or sexting
Everyone is at risk of cyberbullying, but some of the vulnerable groups include LGBTQIA+ teens, ethnic minorities, and people of colour. The photo-sharing site Instagram is the social media platform where most young people report cyberbullying.
Teens are more likely to use the report function on social media sites than to discuss the issue with a trusted adult. Nevertheless, having regular discussions about social media and internet safety can encourage your teen to reach out.
The majority of teens have witnessed cyberbullying but did not want to intervene. However, many teens would if they could do so anonymously.
Reach Out to Venture Academy
At Venture Academy, we treat every teen as an individual. We offer excellent education alongside our treatment programs, and we have a focus on education as a way to move forward. Some of the treatment programs we offer are:
- Behavioural treatment program
- 30-day assessment and intervention
- Drug and alcohol treatment program
- Electronic addiction treatment program
- School and education programs
Venture Academy currently runs three beautiful facilities in British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario. With our 99% program completion rate, you can be sure your teen is in the best place to rebuild their life.
With holistic therapies, peer support, and experiential learning, your teen will flourish in our care. We understand that seeing your teen in pain is heartbreaking, but Venture Academy is here to help. If you need to discuss cyberbullying, call us today at 866.762.2211.