Dr. Mark Allen

    Cyber Bullying

    8/15/2017 12:00:00 AM

    Healthy Living – August 15, 2017
    Mark R. Allen, MD – Acadia Hospital
    Dr-Mark-Allen-high-res.jpg
    The internet has tremendously advanced civilization, but it also has a dark side. Social media provides a powerful medium for bullies to extend their harassment to the after-school hours. Nearly 43% of kids have been bullied online, and 1 in 4 has had it happen more than once. It is important for parents/guardians, teachers/school administration, and health care providers to join together to combat this form of abuse.

    Cyber Bullying Stats:
    • 70% of students report seeing frequent bullying online and view it as a serious problem
    • 81% of young people think bullying online is easier to get away with than bullying in person
    • 90% of teens who have seen cyber bullying say they have ignored it
    • Only 1 in 10 victims will inform a parents or trusted adult of their abuse
    • Girls are about TWICE as likely as boys to be victims and perpetrators of cyber bullying
    • Victims of cyber bullying are 11.5 times more likely to report suicidal thoughts!
      • They are also 1.9 times more likely to attempt suicide or die by suicide compared to those who have never been bullied
    • Victims of cyber bullying are almost always bullied in other ways (verbal and/or physical)
    Warning Signs and Symptoms of Cyber Bullying:
    • Avoiding school (more truancy and absences, leaving school due to reported health problems)
    • Worsening academic achievement
    • Lower self-esteem and increased depression and/or anxiety
    • Reporting health problems (e.g., stomach aches, headaches)
    • Trouble sleeping or frequent nightmares
    • Social isolation and detachment from friends
    • Irritability and sudden anger/rage
    • Self-injurious behavior such as cutting
    What can parents/guardians do?
    • Focus on supervision and stay involved and interested in the lives of your children
    • Build resiliency in your children
    • Keep the computer in a common area of the home
      • Do not allow it in your children’s bedrooms
    • Monitor their online usage and use parent controls
    • Become social media savvy (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, etc)
      • Ask your children to show you their profile pages, then friend or follow them
      • For emergency purposes only, obtain the password to their account
    • Talk regularly and specifically with your children about online issues and let them know they can come to you for help if anything is inappropriate, upsetting, or dangerous
    • Build trust with your children and set internet/cell phone usage expectations (have them involved in this process to empower them and make them more likely to avoid secrecy)
    • Tell your children not to respond to any cyberbullying threats or comments online
    • If they are being bullied, be supportive and understanding
      • Find out how long the bullying has been going on and ensure that you’ll work together to find a solution
      • Let your children know they are not to blame for being bullied
    • Talk to your school’s guidance counselors so they can keep an eye out for bullying during the school day
    • If there are threats of physical violence or the bullying continues to escalate, get law enforcement involved
    What can kids do to stay safe online?
    • Think before you post -- don’t post or send anything that may pose a problem in the future (especially photos)
    • Don’t respond to (or forward) any online or text messages sent by cyberbullies
    • Save and print out all the messages as proof and evidence of cyberbullying
    • If you are being bullied, tell an adult immediately to get help solving the problem
    • Focus on posting positive messages on news feeds to help boost online morale

  • Cyber Bullying 08/15/2017

    Read More

  • Autism Myths and Facts 04/18/2017

    Autism Myths and Facts

    Read More

  • Eating Disorder Warning Signs and What To Do 02/28/2017

    Eating Disorder Warning Signs and What To Do

    Read More

  • How to Beat the “Winter Blues” 01/10/2017

    How to Beat the “Winter Blues”

    Read More

  • How to Approach Team Sports Participation 10/11/2016

    How to Approach Team Sports Participation

    Read More

  • How to Talk to Your Kids about the Election 09/27/2016

    How to Talk to Your Kids About the Election

    Read More

  • Welcome Back to School: Does My Kid Have ADHD? 08/30/2016

    Welcome Back to School: Does My Kid Have ADHD?

    Read More

  • The Pokémon Go Phenomenon – should we let our kids catch ‘em all? 07/26/2016

    The Pokémon Go Phenomenon – should we let our kids catch ‘em all?

    Read More

  • Managing Eating Disorders in the Summer 06/28/2016

    Managing Eating Disorders in the Summer

    Read More

  • How to Help Your Kid “Adult” After High School 05/18/2016

    How to Help Your Kid “Adult” After High School

    Read More

  • Concussions in Youth Sports 03/29/2016

    Concussions in Youth Sports

    Read More