How a Parent Should Respond to Cyber-Bullying
There are two things that we can do as parents when our child has been cyber-bullied. The first is to take a breath. We need to realize that how we react to the situation can determine if our child will continue to come to us with these types of problems.
There are many reactions we can have. The first is to treat it like it is not a big deal. We need to remember that to our child it is a big deal and we need to not blow off their feelings. Another response is to overreact. If the things that are said about our child are not true, our child may be fearful that we will believe them and shut their world down. Our child may also fear that we attempt to take matters into our own hands. This can be a very delicate situation because for some, the rumors may be true and the parent has been unaware of it. In this instance we also have to be very careful how we respond to our child because even though they may have messed up they are still being bullied.
The appropriate response is to first lend a listening ear. Then we can slowly begin to advise our child on how to handle it. If we are over reactionary at first then our child will be less apt to listen to our advice. Keep in mind the victims of this type of bullying feel so alone and that every one is out to get them. It is very important that family is there to surround them with comfort and support.
Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on cyber-bullying.