Showing posts with label bullying. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bullying. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bullying. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bullying. Show all posts

When your Child is Being Cyberbullied

What To Do If Your Child Is Being Cyberbullied

Your child being bullied is every parent's worst nightmare. Naturally, you want to do whatever you can to stop it and protect your child from the bullies. What will you do when your child is being cyberbullied?

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Cyberbullying is a concern of recent decades. Cyberbullying plays out online, in texts, and on social media, and takes a different form than physical bullying. This makes cyberbullying far more difficult to monitor and manage. It's a lot easier to spot a child being harassed in a classroom than in their Snapchat messages. How can teachers and parents police kids' cyber-lives? How can you even tell if your child is being cyberbullied? 

Here, we break down a few signs that your child may be the victim of cyberbullying, and what you can do about it. There are loads of groups you can turn to for help, whether you are dealing with Cyberbullying in UAE, America, or elsewhere. If your kid is the cyberbully get help here.

When your Child is Being CyberBullied

Spotting the Signs

There are some common signs that your child is being cyberbullied, including:

1) Nervous, anxious, or jumpy when receiving a text, email, or message on social media, or when using it generally.

2) Very reluctant to tell you about what they do online. 

3) Upset, angry, or stressed after online gaming or another online activity. 

4) Suddenly leaving their console, phone, tablet, or computer after using it, or suddenly closing the device before an activity is completed.

5) Disrupted sleep patterns: Your child struggles to sleep at night and/or has become tired and irritable during the day.

6) Doesn't want to go to school or spend time with friends, and withdraws from family and friends in real life. 

7) Sudden, unexplainable changes in health such as weight gain or loss, change in appetite, headaches, stomachaches.

In particular, be alert for changes in behavior that suggest your child is depressed. Any comments that indicate suicidal feelings are an immediate red flag. 

What You Can Do

Parents often feel powerless when they think or know that their child is being cyberbullied. Bullying is bad enough, but cyberbullying lives in a space that is unfamiliar to many parents and out of their reach to help. Don't worry, there are plenty of options out there for you. 

1) Talk to Your Child

Children often feel embarrassed or ashamed when they are being bullied, cyber or not. Talk to them calmly and just listen to their response. Don't make excuses for the bully or minimize what is happening. Validate your child's feelings and consider how they want this resolved.

2) Take Action

Collect evidence of the cyberbullying - encourage them to take screenshots and save messages, conversations, and emails. If your child's bully goes to their school, the school will be able to deal with the child in question based on the proof you provide. Also take notes of how your child seems at the time of cyberbullying, any background to the bullying, and the views of any witnesses. 

Some cyberbullying can rise to the level of criminality, so you can take it to the police if you believe the bullying is severe. Consider this, particularly if the bullying is based on race, gender, sexual orientation, or disability.

3) Avoid the Bully's Parents

Many parents naturally want to confront the bully's parents, but this is unhelpful. They can become defensive if confronted about their child's actions, which won't help resolve the bullying. Only engage with them if the school or another authority is mediating.

4) Consider Counseling

The effects of bullying can be long-lasting and traumatic. Consider seeking out a counselor for your child as soon as they feel ready. A mental health professional can help them process what they are going through. 

Offer Support

Reassure your child that this bullying will not last forever and the issue will get resolved. Tell them you're there for them no matter what's happening. This will help to bolster their mood while the matter of is worked through. Hopefully, these helpful tips help you feel more comfortable in knowing what to do when your child is being cyberbullied.


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Peeping Tom? Still Suffering from a Load of Junior High Lack of Self Esteem

Confessions of Self Esteem Issues in Junior High

Remember how you hated junior-high - we all suffered with a lack of self-esteem. Here is my story. Enjoy!

spongebob band, self esteem
Sponge Bob in Marching Band.

Hey you, I see you there. Are you a Peeping Tom? Junior High is the worst. Are you still suffering from a lack of self-esteem? We all struggle with life in those awkward teen years. Here's my take.

Shh...  Don't tell anyone. I like to window peep, strike that, make it love.  I love to window peep especially during the holidays.  Driving thru the city with the clever vise of looking at Christmas lights, I secretly spy on families thru their picture windows. It's neat to see what they are doing -to notice their dining room decor or their living room doings.  I'd never hop out of the car, knock on the door, and scream, "Hey, I'm watching you!"

No, I'd never do that.

Why do we like to know when someone reads our blog?  Why do we ask them to advertise our button to share the love?  Two years ago, when I launched my blog I worried about who might see or read it.  I got a few blog hoppers who asked me to visit their blogs. I discreetly perused other blogs for ideas and ways to improve mine.  I never left a comment.  I didn't want anyone to know I had stumbled upon their most personal thoughts.  Mostly, I wondered why I would want other bloggers to read my blog.

I wanted readers, fans, followers, anything but bloggers...  Now I get it.

Bloggers are our equals.  Bloggers will become friends.  Friends will become followers and fans.

So, why do I still hide much of the time?  Most bloggers know I've visited because they keep track. I look at many blogs everyday following anyone who asks me to, and I visit other blogs, but I only read a few.  One of my favorites is "I'm a Lazy Mom".  Why?  Because, I am a lazy Mom.  It validates my life.  It makes me feel okay with my lazy, little secrets.  In a recent post she discusses cleaning the stove off with a vacuum.  Been there, done that!  I peek in her window a couple of times a week -she didn't ask me too- but I'm sure she doesn't mind.

Why, then, do I feel uncomfortable about peeking into a blog that is written by someone I know in real life?  I've read several blogs written by friends and acquaintances from high-school, but I rarely go back for more.

 A girl, okay a woman, I went to school with, blogs regularly.  Apparently, she's been doing it for awhile.  I pop in and covet her header, her followers, her style. I knew her in high-school. We weren't exactly friends, but we weren't enemies either. At least, I don't think so.

I don't really know much about her. Whenever I talked to her, I liked her, but we rarely talked. I heard an occasional hearsay comment about this or that from her brother or my boyfriend who were best friends.  I made assumptions about her through hearsay as I expect she did about me.

Cheerleader clipart, self esteem,  junior high

She was a cheerleader and I was band-geek.  A cool, band-geek I might add.  I played the bass guitar in Jazz Band.  The point is we had different interest and different classes. The last time I remember having her in class was in eighth grade, I think.  Oddly, I sometimes confuse her with another girl.  I think this is because they were both nice to me at times, and I didn't know what to do with it.

You see, I felt geeky most of the time. Yep, I know we all did; too bad  we didn't know that then. Both girls were pretty and popular.  Apparently, I was too, but I didn't understand that back then. I was an awkward skinny, terrible-toothed, little girl until the fourth grade. I got cuter for a second, and next thing I knew I was a chubby puberty-bound girl with a fat face.

The summer before seventh grade apparently something changed.

Bert and Ernie Picture
Bert and Ernie.

Seventh Grade.  Yuck.  All of the elementary schools meet up.  New faces. New friends.  New people to tease me.  They called me "Jimmy Carter" and "Big Lips".  I smiled a lot and had, get this... big lips.  They told me I had bushy eyebrows like Brooke Shields and a uni-brow like Bert.  I guess today that would be considered bullying?

I was clumsy.  I could  can trip over nothing.

I plucked my eyebrows to nothing.  Oh, how I wish I had Brooke Shield's eyebrows to sculpt today.  Please explain to me how having "Brooke Shield's" eyebrows transpired to lowered self-esteem?

Advice for Teens who struggle with self-esteem: My story

The first thing my husband said to me when he saw me - you and your lips remind me of Angelina Jolie. (Wonder if he still thinks that two kids later?)  Brooke Shields?  Angelina Jolie?  Smiling all the time?  Aren't kids nuts?  Today, those things make me blush.  What extraordinary, backhanded  compliments for a middle-aged, overweight, has-been.

So, I confuse these two pretty girls because they both complimented me during Junior-High.  One spoke to me for the first time after gym in the locker room.

"Are you trying out for cheerleader?"
I blushed.
I laughed.
I said, "No!", as if it were the most ridiculous thing I'd ever heard.

It was the most ridiculous thing I had ever heard.

Why would she ask that?  Was she teasing  me?  Of course not.  At that moment, I lost a potential new friend.  She later became one of my best-friends, best-friends.  I never really talked to her again.  How rude and nasty she must have thought I was... I bet she never knew I thought she was beautiful and untouchable, someone who couldn't possibly want me as a friend.

Tortoise Shell Glasses
Tortoise Shell Glasses.

Back to the blogger.  I think she once told me she liked my clothes.  Another time, my hair. Preposterous! I think both girls were in that eighth grade English class.  I didn't care for the snobby, preppy teacher and the feeling was apparently mutual.  One day, she asked if anyone knew what kind of glasses she was wearing. The other girls, fashionably aware, raised their hands.

My best sweater came from Sears and had my initials neatly embroidered on the front.  The preppy teacher called on me!  I figured she picked on me to humiliate me.  I looked around and thought, "Of course, they know the answer!"  Why didn't she call on them?  I had no idea so I blurted, "Bifocals"?  I don't know.

Wow.  No... apparently not bifocals.  If the teacher didn't like me before...  Yikes.

Everyone laughed, but I didn't get the joke.  I was red from ear to ear.
'You're so stupid,' I thought to myself.

Now, I get it.  Oops!

The irritated, English teacher called on one of the prettier, popular girls.  The girls whose hair and clothes I coveted, their smiles, and bubbly personalities, and their confidence.

"Tortoise Shell?"

"TORTOISE SHELL!  What the heck?"

The teacher looked back at me.

"I've never heard of that!"

"Of course you have," she grunted. (She thought I was a royal b who purposely said bifocals to make a mockery of the situation. I didn't even know what bifocals were. To me, they were just a type of eyeglasses.)

No, I really hadn't. I may have looked like a fashionista in my garage sale, K-mart, Hill's, and Sears clothing, but I'd never even been to a mall until eighth grade.

My mother always ironed my clothes. I obsessed that everything matched perfectly all the way down to my socks.  I appeared to be a preppy.  Other kids would call me a 'Prep' with a nasty glint in their eye.  I didn't really know what a prep was, but I sure knew I didn't want to be one.  Unfortunately, even though I couldn't afford Ralph Lauren, Gloria Vanderbilt, or Nike's in eighteen colors I was a prep.

In retrospect, the teacher probably called on me because she assumed such a stylish, popular, pretty, young girl would know the answer.  Again, I cast a stone against them (all three of them) without warrant or intention.

I dated boys because they asked me too; rarely because I wanted to. I didn't want to hurt their feelings.  It never lasted long.  They moved on when they realized nothing was about to happen.  So when a cute boy asked me to the carnival I decided to meet him there.

We waited in line to ride the octopus and he combed his hair.  He combed his hair in glare of the adjacent car.  He wore a comb in his pocket.  That was that.  End of story.  Back then, I heard this girl, now turned blogger, liked him and was upset with me.  If you know anything about me, you know I am nothing if not naive.  Again, I cast a stone.

My boyfriend was a hussy.  He told stories on himself all the time.  He told stories about blogger-girl.  She unknowingly cast a stone against me or maybe not.  Maybe it was intentional pay back.  Maybe it never happened.  I don't know.  I don't care.  It never mattered.

I always liked blogger-girl's point of view; apparently, I still do.

I follow her, but I try to hide my visit when I see myself show up on the Blog-Frog button.  I feel my face burning like I am doing something wrong.  What if she thinks I am spying on her?

The truth is, I like her blog.  I like her style.  If I didn't know her personally, I'd be telling her how awesome I think her blog is and how much I enjoy her postings.

Oh I don't know... she probably thinks she is lazy and imperfect but there are different levels of imperfection to consider here.  It seems she likes nice things.  It looks like she takes care of herself.

I am a lazy, mom blob.  I don't know if we'd ever be friends in the real world, but I really like her blog; it makes me smile. I read it whenever I get the chance. Is it because I enjoy peeping into her life- seeing how her life turned out? Or is it because her writing entertains me and her anecdotes often bring a tear to my eye or have me laughing out loud?  You decide.  It's a great blog, so I'll share a link, I'm tired of deleting my visits.

Don't worry, I sent her a head's up so she can read this too. This is my Olive Branch for the week.  'Tis the season go out and extend your own Olive Branch today.

This post is dedicated to my teenage daughter who will one day understand what it means to feel beautiful.

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