Photo has been used for illustrative purposes.
Imran Mojib, Special Correspondent
Being a parent was never easy as it involves constantly worrying about the child. However, it became even more challenging in modern times when various digital threats came to the stage. Such dangers as cyberbullying emerged with their ability to provoke stress, depression and social isolation. However, all can be prevented by maintaining prompt communication with a child and giving them a right stance regarding the Internet.
According to “Responsible Digital Parenting” survey, 56% of Emirati parents claim that cyberbullying is a top concern when it comes to worries about their children. It is no surprise as this Internet phenomenon have already caused such problems as decrease in social activity and social isolation (40%), decreased self-esteem (39%), negative impact on child’s performance at school (36%), ongoing stress (31%) and depression (31%).
Additionally, 32% of children in the UAE have actually come across cyberbullying, be that being bullies themselves, seeing cases among their friends or being bullied. This impressive number should have made parents think about the ways to prevent the proliferation of this phenomenon, however, not all the parents are aware of this.
Particularly, 32% of parents haven’t discussed the ethics of the Internet with their child, while a quarter of them have not discussed safety rules on the Net.
“There has always existed a certain threat landscape for parents, however, now it includes digital ones which can often be invisible as not every child tells their family about ongoing cyberbullying, for instance. According to our survey, 20% think something threatens their child on the Internet while 19% find it hard to say if there are potential dangers, thus not communicating enough on the topic. It is quite disturbing statistics,” commented Andrey Sidenko, Head of Child Safety at Kaspersky Network.
In this context, it is crucial to take special measures in order to safeguard the child’s Internet presence. Parents need to be more involved in their kids’ online life. Befriend them on social media platforms, communicate to learn more about modern trends and tendencies in social media.
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Cyberbullying, a downside of technology and the digital world, aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic, could be overcome with parents and other older family members being the role models for their children or wards.
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