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Tips for Identifying and Preventing Cyberbullying

Tips for Identifying and Preventing Cyberbullying

October is National Bullying Prevention Awareness month, and to help alleviate the harmful effects of cyberbullying, experts from the YMCA have released tips to help parents prevent cyberbullying at home.

“Cyberbullying is proven to have a range of serious and negative mental, physical and behavioral effects in young people, which can include and lead to problems such as anxiety, substance abuse, self-harm and even suicidal thoughts or actions,” said the YMCA of Greater New York.

Indeed, students who are continuous victims of bullying have been proven to face challenges that make learning difficult. In order for children to properly develop and get the most out of their education, identifying and helping to prevent bullying is particularly important.

“Between texting, social media sites and live video streaming, cyberbullying is easier than ever, but the signs are often difficult to spot,” said Yoko Liriano, Director of City-Wide Teen Programs. “While we can’t prevent all bullying, we can help parents and families understand and recognize the issue, and give them tips to help their kids cope with others’ hurtful actions.”

One of YMCA’s suggestions is to spend time without the devices that cyberbullying occurs on—it recommends parents and children have old-fashioned conversations on a daily basis while putting down cellphones, tablets, laptops and the like to facilitate this.

In doing so, parents also be more likely to identify the signs that their child is the victim of bullying.

“A child who is being bullied may have a loss of appetite, may lose interest in favorite activities and may withdraw socially and emotionally in other ways. Watch for changes in behavior and seek help if you suspect something is wrong,” the YMCA said.

The experts also insist to not place blame on the child for “not fighting back.” Instead, “[i]t can be helpful to share one or two your own personal stories so they know they the only ones to experience this kind of behavior or feel the way they do.”

As a side note, for those who are looking to get involved in community efforts to raise awareness, tomorrow is Unity Day, and PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center has a list of several ways parents, students, teachers and community members can help raise awareness. Check that out here.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

10/20/2015

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