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Dr.Susan
Dr.Susan , Child Professional asks:
Q:

Is cyberbullying REALLY such a big deal?

Parents ask me every day how they can tell if their child or teen is being cyberbullied, or is a cyberbully and if they need to be so worried about it.

I have some thoughts (see my answer) But what do you think?? And take a look at the link to the article just now convicting nine teens of cyberbullying another one until she hanged herself. Your thoughts? suggestions for other parents?
In Topics: Children and cell phones, Children and the internet, Cyber bullying
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Dr.Susan
Apr 1, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

Yes! cyberbullying is a big deal. In fact, along with regular bullying it is responsible for many of the self esteem, social and anxiety and depression issues suffered by kids and teens.

If you think your child is being bullied or cyberbullied take action even if your child asks you not to (bullied kids are often afraid that parent intervention will make things worse, but it won't). If the cyberbullying is happening in school, speak to an administrator, don't give up--save evidence from your child's phone or computer. If it is happening outside of school, speak to the bully's parent: don't be intimidated--bullies sometimes have bullying parents. Be polite, don't yell, but stand up for your child. If necessary change your child's cell phone number. Check the computer frequently.

Teens are no less vulnerable to cyberbullying than younger kids. Teach your teen not to tolerate cyberbullying. It often comes in the form of fake screen names and blocked cell phone #'s.

if your child becomes sad, depressed, withdrawn or in any way changed, don't ignore it. Bullying can be very destructive to a child's self esteem.

If you find out that your child is a cyberbully, DON'T become defensive or ignore it. Take action! Help your child understand how hurtful this behavior is. Issue appropriate consequences (take away the cell phone or computer for a period of time, write an apology letter). However, don't assume it has stopped. Remain vigilant and don't be in denial--you wouldn't want your child in the position of the kids in the article below!

Any other thoughts, ideas, and tips that work for you would be great. The cyber world is tough to negotiate, we all need as much help as possible!

Dr. Susan Bartell
JustAsk Expert
www.drsusanbartell.com
Twitter @drsusanbartell
NEW book! "The Top 50 Questions Kids Ask"
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Additional Answers (5)

TeamJacob
TeamJacob writes:
Cyberbullying is a big deal it is a huge deal cyber bullying is as bad as face to face bullying. I am younger and it is a huge target not only in the school but to the people around them. I think parents should monitor what goes on in things like myspace accounts and facebook even websites and text messaging.
> 60 days ago

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dgraab
dgraab , Parent writes:
Thank you, Dr. Bartell, for asking this important question and providing your tips for parents. While my daughter isn't yet 'connected' online or via mobile phone, I still appreciate this valuable information to prepare for when she is old enough to be exposed to this modern form of bullying.

I also want to share another resource for parents seeking to learn about cyberbullying, a special edition that Education.com has compiled: http://www.education.com/special-edition/bullying/cyberbullying/
> 60 days ago

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sarahkay
sarahkay writes:
I am studying it so I can help my students.
> 60 days ago

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Louiseasl
Louiseasl , Child Professional writes:
In my opinion Cyberbullying is a big deal for adults and children.

We all need to monitor our own social media habits to be sure that no comments or intent is misconstrued.

As a parent, I also am responsible for teaching my child about diversity, tolerance, acceptance and kindness to others.  

Just say'in.

Thanks for asking-

Louise Sattler, NCSP, Psychologist
Owner of Signing Families™
> 60 days ago

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helper13
helper13 writes:
Hi I am a teen and I know people who have been cyber bullied and I myself and had a bit of an experience with it.I want you to know it is a HUGE deal.I'll tell you why from my point of view.The people who do it are spineless jerks who are to chicken to say stuff to the persons face but when there online they can do ANYTHING.They can tell you anything they can swear they can send you porn I mean ANYTHING.I had  a girl make an account in my name and pretend to be me being mean to other people.She also emailed me nasty things.The thing is when this happened I blocked her and I deleted her.Some of these people aren't doing that there just getting bullied not telling anyone and not blocking anyone.It sucks really bad when someone cyberbullys.So from a teens point of view(my friends are here to) we think its a HUGE deal.TAKE IT SERIOUSLY
> 60 days ago

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