Listed below are some points which could be a sign of children being threatened or bullied online :

  • Any drastic change in usual behaviour.
  • Lack of sleep.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Indifference towards activities that previously interested them.
  • Trouble concentrating in studies and duties.
  • Moodiness, anger, irritability, crying, paranoia, anxiety or fear.
  • Excessive secretiveness about online activities and phone calls.
  • Nervousness or losing confidence in self.
  • Withdrawn or isolated from friends and family.
  • Stealing or asking for money without explanation.
  • Having new things that were not purchased by you.
  • Sexualised talk or behaviour not appropriate for age.
  • Sudden change (increase or decrease) in the usual amount of time spent online.
  • Having an inappropriate understanding of sex or sexual activities.
  • Having a lot of strangers as friends in their social media account.
  • Having a new ‘friend’ whom they are very secretive about.
  • Bullying or shaming others.
  • Onset of alcohol or substance abuse.
  • Self-harming behaviour or suicidal tendencies.
  • Return of old habits like bedwetting or thumb sucking.
  • Spending a lot of time on the device, especially at night time and in closed rooms.
  • Excessive possessiveness, fear or irritation when someone takes their phone or other devices.
If you observe such signs in your child, do not hastily take away their phone/gadget. Instead, be calm and sit with them to have an open conversation. Let them know that you are there for them and that you will help them through the situation.

Article by : Salma Jennath