October 2015

M O N T H L Y  T I P
What to do if your child is being cyberbullied


Cyberbullying is a big issue among today’s tweens and teens and can have real and lasting negative effects. If your child tells you (or if you discover) that she is being cyberbullied, here are several steps you can take to help stop the cyberbullying and protect your child: 
  • Talk to your child first: Talk to your child about what she is going through, and make sure to gather as many facts as you can before reacting. Let her know that she will not be punished for telling you what is happening, and reassure her that she is safe and that you are there for her. 
  • Don’t respond: Responding to a bullying post, text, picture or comment may encourage the cyberbully to continue his/her bullying behavior. Instead, keep a record of all incidents of cyberbullying including the dates and times of when the incidents occurred.
  • Block and report the person: If possible block (or have your child block) the cyberbully from accessing all social media accounts and your child’s phone. Report the bullying behavior to all service providers, in some cases you may need to provide evidence of cyberbullying. 
  • Report cyberbullying to your child’s school: Cyberbullying often negatively impacts school performance. Let your child’s teachers and school administrators know about the problem. Many schools now have policies in place to help stop, prevent, and protect students from bullying and cyberbullying. 
  • Report cyberbullying to law officials: if the cyberbullying threats involve violence, child pornography (naked pictures of anyone younger than 18), an invasion of privacy, stalking, or hate crimes, these should all be reported to your local authority, as the above are considered criminal acts. 
For more information and further guidance check out Boston Children’s Hospital’s Bullying and Cyberbullying Prevention and Advocacy Collaborative (BACPAC).  

P A R E N T  Q U E S T I O N S
My 10-year-old is using a school tablet to access inappropriate content. What should I do?

A: Many parents can relate to your confusing and frustrating situation when it comes to their children’s use of school technology. Your best ally in your effort to help your daughter use the tablet in healthy and safe ways is… your daughter. Her respect for herself and for others is what will protect her from harm. Online, as IRL (in real life), children will always go where they want to go. Technological blocks like software actually backfire because they make the sites they block into forbidden fruit, all the more tempting. The key here, as with her use of any media, is to educate and empower your daughter to take care of herself. Read the full answer here.

M E D I A  M O M E N T S  

Screaming at the Screen

Kristelle Lavallee, CMCH’s Content Strategist, shares how an experience in a movie theater on Halloween affected her current work creating resources for parents.

Take a look at the full post and follow along every month at Ask The Mediatrician.

R E S E A R C H   

Bullying, cyberbullying, and mental health in young people

Bullying continues to be a big issue in schools and online, and can lead to depression. Read more.

P R E S S   

Do babies know when they’re Skyping? 

Many families use video chatting to connect with friends and family, and including your baby in this practice is on the rise. Dr. Michael Rich talks about babies and video chatting in this Atlantic article. Read more!