School is starting soon.  You’ve probably starting putting the kids to bed earlier so they will be in sync with school hours, maybe having them read an hour a day to get them used to books and not other kinds of texts?

Unfortunately, phone texting is all too familiar with students and is here to stay.  In some cases, that’s fine, but it’s one easy tool that allows for invasion for the cyberbully   Each school year brings fresh, nasty messages that don’t stop at recess but are ubiquitous.

Know The Signs of Cyberbullying

But many who experience cyberbullying don’t tell anyone about it.  They’re afraid that the bully will retaliate if punished, that they will be regarded as causing the harassment.

Did you know that cyberbullying impacts at least 1out of 5 middle and high school students, according to the Cyberbullying Research Center?

If your child will not tell you that he/she is being bullied, how are you supposed to know?  Here are the telltale signs provided by

Does your child unexpectedly stop using his telephone/computer?
Does he/she appear to be angry, depressed or frustrated after going online?
Does he/she appear uneasy about going to school?
Does he/she become abnormally withdrawn?
Does he/she avoid discussion about what he/she is doing online?
Does he/she become unusually secretive, especially secretive, especially when it comes to online activities?

What to Do If Your Child Is Bullied

Talk and listen.

Get facts such as how long the child has been feeling this way. Has there been a past conflict between your child and student?  Ask for evidence.

Encourage the child not to retaliate but tell the offender how he/she is feeling.

Tell someone at school.  All U.S. schools should have a bullying policy that covers cyberbullying.

Contact police if there are physical threats.

Use caution in contacting parents of the bully.  They may be bullies themselves and will just make the student even angrier.

You can meet with the school administration if the bully and your child attend the same school.

Follow up.  Ask for a follow-up conference if there was a meeting between the bully and the victim.  What were the results of the meeting?  How will the school monitor and support the victim?

Take measures online by setting up privacy controls.  Block the bully on all social media.

When Your Child is Gay

When Your Child Is Gay: What You Need To Know

For more detailed advice, see book, co-authored with a mother of a gay son and a psychiatrist, Jonathan L. Tobkes, M.D.

Wesley Cullen Davidson

Wesley Cullen Davidson is an award-winning freelance writer and journalist specializing in parenting as well as gay and lesbian content. For the past two years, Wesley has concentrated almost exclusively on the lesbian and gay community, specifically on advising straight parents of gay children on how to be better parents and raise happy, well-adjusted adults

Leave a Comment