My daughter: the cyber-bully

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

My daughter: the cyber-bully thumbnailMobile Phone misuse

THE Kilkeel mother of a teenage girl who was cyber-bullying another child has asked other parents to be aware of the dangers that exist online.

Speaking to The Outlook, the mother said her 14-year-old daughter cyber-bullied another child through Snapchat.

This is a mobile app that allows users to capture videos and pictures that delete themselves after a few seconds.

The Mourne mother was made aware of the disturbing news that her daughter was a cyber-bully after police visited her home a month ago.

"These members of the PSNI explained the horrific cases they are dealing with on a daily basis involving young children bullying online. It was such a shock that something like this was going on but they were so professional and told me they were dealing with cases like this every day and we have no concept of the scale." As a result of her actions, the girl's mum has banned her from using her mobile phone for 10 days and going forward, she isn't allowed her phone in school or in her bedroom at night.

She added: "I hope that my daughter received the shock effect from her actions that I did after finding out what happened.

"Some parents also spend all their time on their phones and I think what kind of message is that sending out to young people? "To be a teenager itself is not the easiest time in life, they need protection and love, not isolation and negative influences.

"We, as parents, need to stop and take a good look. Are we replacing people with things that are less important, such as mobile phones?" "Already we are allowing our children to un-socialise. This is not human. We need other real people to relate to, to respect and learn from." The mother says she hopes when her children are older they can make more correctly informed choices.

"Often what children do online is completely out of our hands. My daughter has had her phone since first year at secondary school.

"The worse case scenario through cyber-bullying is suicide and this is the terrible choice vulnerable young children make when they feel so alone." The mother contacted her daughter's school to discuss the "sad societal norm" and was informed that they did not want to participate in raising awareness of the matter.

She continued: "I have since raised this issue with local councillors to see if they can help raise the issue that children should not have unlimited access to the cyber world.

"These children are so inundated with the data flow and what they can do online with the various apps that are available online." The mother became unwell following the shock news that her daughter was involved in a cyber-bullying incident and fainted the day after police visited her home.

She reached out to her local GP and the Parent Advice Council for support.

The mother said she would like to advise other parents going through a similar situation that support is available.

She said the Parent Advice Centre on 0808 801 0722 is a completely confidential service.



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