about 15 percent of high school students in the last year. It is so prevalent
that the Centers for Disease Control calls it a public health issue.
Occurring over email,
text, or social media, cyberbullying is a form of aggression. It’s used to
embarrass, humiliate or cause psychological distress to a peer.
physical and mental health problems. Depression, thoughts of suicide, and
substance abuse are common. It even causes somatic symptoms, which are physical
feelings of pain or fatigue without a physical cause.
Bullied teens are likely
to have trouble sleeping, abdominal pain and frequent headaches. Victims and
witnesses may experience feelings of trauma.
Parents have a role in
reducing children’s chances of getting involved in bullying. Parents can
collaboratively work with their teen to safely navigate the internet. Studies
show this approach is effective to protect against cyberbullying than. Implementing
restrictions without their children’s input isn’t as successful.
Experts recommend that parents:
- Set clear
expectations for online behavior.
acceptable or unacceptable websites to visit and time limits.
- Talk to
teens how to treat others online.
anonymity and privacy online. Reinforce that your child should never share
personal information (passwords, home address).
Children say they don’t tell parents about cyberbullying
because they fear losing internet privileges. Including children in
conversations about internet rules can help increase their trust.
Teens are skilled at protecting privacy of electronic
communication. This makes parental intervention difficult. Also, parents underestimate the amount
of time teens spend online and the number of negative interactions.
Parents were best able to identify threatening social media
posts with the assistance of their teens, according to a study. Parents who
collaborate with their adolescent understand what is threatening online. They
are better equipped to protect them.
If you or your child has been bullied, tools are available to
Your health plan offers coverage for mental health. It can
help strengthen confidence and give tools for dealing with stress, anxiety, and