I have a friend who has to be the most diligent person I know when it comes to keeping up with the kids and their social media use. Not a day goes by that she isn't filling me in on the latest things kids are saying or doing online. And when Instagram came out with the Vine app, she was the first to see it. Then when kids starting using Ask.fm she was right there checking it out. She's becoming the neighborhood watchdog all on her own.
And with so many kids abusing social media and cyberbullying one another, this kind of diligence is essential. I just wish we could clone her because not all parents keep up with their kids' online lives. This is unfortunate because cyberbullying is becoming a huge issue.
Not a day goes by that I don't hear of another young person that took their life because of cyberbullying or online gossip and rumors. In those cases, I often finding myself wishing that I could have done something to prevent another senseless tragedy.
If your child is being tormented by cyberbullies, I encourage you to get involved quickly. Be sure to coach your child on how to respond to cyberbullying, instruct her on how to deal with online gossip and help her overcome the effects of cyberbullying. Also, don't be afraid to get outside help for your child if needed.
Too many people assume they can handle the situation on their own, while others are worried about the stigmas associated with counseling. But I urge you to find your child a counselor, especially if she is acting depressed. Other red flags include a change in personal hygiene, thoughts of suicide and a change in eating habits.
Never ever worry about what others will think. Your top priority should always be about getting your child the help she needs before it's too late. Cyberbullying is too dangerous of an issue and the consequences are much to steep for it to be ignored.
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