Tag Archives: cyberbullying

Spotting and Addressing Cyberbullying in Teens: A Parent’s Guide

cyber bullying pic

(Photo via Pixabay)

Spotting and Addressing Cyberbullying in Teens: A Parent’s Guide

The life of a teenager is fraught with peril. From a changing hormonal makeup to the establishment of potentially lifelong identities and the formation of their own sense of morality, it is a time of personal upheaval and confusing change.

Making this time even more stressful for many teens is the existence of bullying in one’s life. While bullying in the traditional sense remains, it has also taken on a new form. The prevalence of the internet and social media in young people’s lives has meant a rise in cyberbullying, which in many ways can be worse than traditional bullying. Parents must be aware of the signs that their child may be the victim of cyberbullying, and how they should go about preventing or resolving the problem.

Spotting a Problem

If you ever see your child exhibiting behavior which you believe qualifies as bullying, sit them down and explain to them the damage they may be inflicting upon those who they are treating improperly. However, this article will focus primarily on the effects that cyberbullying takes on its victims.

One of the factors which most indicates a child will be at-risk for cyberbullying victimhood is the amount of time they spend online. If your child spends what you consider to be a disproportionate amount of time online and/or on social media, consider that this is putting them at risk for victimhood.

Gossip and rumor-spreading have been found to be the primary behaviors which constitute cyberbullying, and many victims either ignore or pretend to ignore the problem. However, in many cases a child’s behavior will change drastically. While 40% of internet-using youth in the United States reported being cyberbullied, only 10% said they would tell their parents about the problem, making vigilance by parents of their child’s changing demeanor crucially important.

Victims of bullying tend to be more submissive by nature, but this may be exacerbated by active bullying. In addition, victims tend to be withdrawn, isolated, uncooperative, less sociable, and lacking in friends. If your child exhibits these traits, consider that they may be the result of persistent cyberbullying, and urge that they open up about any problems they may be experiencing.

Addressing a Problem 

Once you have noticed behavioral changes or deficiencies in your child, sit them down for a serious yet empathetic discussion. Ask if they are dealing with a bully, and if not, urge them to tell you what is contributing to their changes in behavior. Assuring the child that you too have dealt with bullying, and that you are there to be a sounding board for their personal problems is very important.

If cyberbullying is, in fact, the root of your child’s problems, begin by restricting internet use. Of course, explaining to them that it is in their own interest will reduce the amount of likely backlash. Then, reporting the problem – preferably with evidence of bullying in hand – to the school’s administration is the next step in stymieing the problem. Approaching the bully’s parent in a calm, reasonable way may also be an option to end the bullying, as parents often are the most influential force in that child’s life.

Lastly, inform your child about how to stand up for themselves. Tolerating the forms of microaggressions – specifically microinsults, microassaults, and microinvalidation – is in many cases an open-door for further bullying. These forms of less overt insults and slights should not be tolerated, and equipping your child with the verbal tools to combat even the most mild forms of bullying is a key to lifelong coping.

Conclusion

Technology has bred new forms of bullying. While the effects are similar to those of bullying, some unique differences – primarily the ever-present threat which social media poses on cyberbullying victims – means that bullying may be present in the home without parents even being aware. However, with consistent awareness of a child’s demeanor, open communication in discussing problems, and well-informed solutions to resolving any issues which may arise, parents can do their part in combating cyberbullying.

Written by Laura Pearson Edutude.net | laura@edutude.net

 

 

 

 

How Childhood Trauma Could Be Mistaken for ADHD

Some experts say the normal effects of severe adversity may be misdiagnosed as ADHD. Inattentive, hyperactive, and impulsive behavior may mirror the effects of adversity, and many doctors don’t know how—or don’t have time—to tell the difference.

adhd-kids

When speaking to traumatized children inappropriately diagnosed with ADHD, Dr. Heather Forkey, a pediatrician at University of Massachusetts Memorial Medical Center, offers them a reassuring explanation of their behavior. The body’s stress system, she says, developed long ago in response to life-or-death threats like a predatory tiger. The part of the brain that controls impulses, for example, shuts off so that survival instincts can prevail.

“What does that look like when you put that kid in a classroom?” Forkey asks. “When people don’t understand there’s been a tiger in your life, it looks a lot like ADHD to them.”

Forkey’s goal is to remind doctors that inattentive and hyperactive behavior can be traced back to any number of conditions—just like chest pains don’t have the same origin in every patient. Ideally, the AAP will offer pediatricians recommendations for screening tools that efficiently gauge adversity in a child’s life. That practice, she says, should come before any diagnosis of ADHD.

While there are few recommendations now for clinicians, that will likely change in the coming years. The American Academy of Pediatrics is currently developing new guidance on ADHD that will include a section on assessing trauma in patients, though it won’t be completed until 2016.

Excerpt from: The Atlantic article – “How Childhood Trauma Could Be Mistaken for ADHD”

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/07/how-childhood-trauma-could-be-mistaken-for-adhd/373328/

Lifelong Impacts of Childhood Trauma

Big Think and the Mental Health Channel are proud to launch Big Thinkers on Mental Health, a new series dedicated to open discussion of anxiety, depression, and the many other psychological disorders that affect millions worldwide.

The Adverse Childhood Study found that survivors of childhood trauma are up to 5000% more likely to attempt suicide, have eating disorders or become IV drug users. Dr. Vincent Felitti, the study’s founder, details this remarkable and powerful connection.

According to Child Help every year more than 3 million reports of child abuse are made in the United States involving more than 6 million children (a report can include multiple children).

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention list suicide as the 2nd leading cause of death for children 15-24 and 3rd leading cause of death for children 10-14. 

You and I have the power and the responsibility to help our nation’s children and hopefully end these frightening statistics.

Learn more at:

http://mentalhealthchannel.tv/show/big-thinkers-on-mental-health

http://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/leadingcauses.html

https://www.childhelp.org/child-abuse-statistics/

http://www.davidsonlifeline.org/

[Transcript – What we found in the ACE study involving seventeen and a half thousand middle-class adults was that life experiences in childhood that are lost in time and then further protected by shame and by secrecy and by social taboos against inquiry into certain realms of human experience—that those life experiences play out powerfully and proportionately a half century later, in terms of emotional state, in terms of biomedical disease, in terms of life expectancy… ] Read Full Transcript Here: (http://goo.gl/F7vNgV).

Where in the world is Cara Zara?

carmen-sandiego1

Where in the world is Cara Zara? Two quick videos answer that and I’m looking forward to sharing when the time comes… 🙂

 “Ideas are scary, messy, and fragile, but under the proper care, they become something beautiful.” I enjoy the GE commercial’s message that ideas that are nurtured and brought to life through innovations that make the world better.

And in this TED Talks video the idea that telling someone your goals makes them less likely to happen. After hitting on a brilliant new life plan, our first instinct is to tell someone, but Derek Sivers says it’s better to keep goals secret. He presents research stretching as far back as the 1920s to show why people who talk about their ambitions may be less likely to achieve them. 

Handling Bullies: 3 Nevers

This 1987 commercial with the tag line “Never let them see you sweat” is cool advice in general – but especially when dealing with a bully. Below is the original commercial and here’s how you can change the words to make it fit bullying:Never let a bully see you sweat