Cyberbullying and consequences

October 06, 2010

There have been many stories in the news lately about bullying, cyberbullying, childhood depression and even suicide. Witness the recent suicide of a college freshman at Rutgers who was subjected to cyberbullying via video, and the deaths of a 9-year-old boy from The Colony, Texas, and a 13-year-old from Joshua, Texas, who had been bullied by their classmates.

It’s a complex issue. Bullying and cyberbullying, depression and suicide are in many cases interrelated. There’s even a new name for it: bullycide. In the case of cyberbullying, the power of social media outlets like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter is incredible, and kids don’t always realize how much harm can be done by the press of a "send" button.

If you suspect your child is being bullied, start by contacting your school. It may have a policy in place like the Lewisville ISD, which has an anti–bullying contract all students and parents must sign and that spells out actions the school will take in cases of bullying. If you think your child may be depressed, contact your healthcare provider.

Children’s can help parents communicate

We’ve put together some resources for parents to educate you and empower you to talk with your child about bullying, cyberbullying, signs of depression and why some children may attempt suicide. Put these issues at the top of the agenda for your next family meeting or discussion. It’s time to talk about these subjects openly, and parental involvement is the key to prevention.

Bullying/Cyberbullying

Bullying persists: Suggestions for talking with your children
Factors that can lead to your child being a bully
Cyberbullying and steps to prevent it

Depression:

Signs of depression to look for and advice for parents
Mood disorders, including major depression
What is major depression?

Suicide:

What is suicidal behavior and why adolescents may attempt suicide

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