In her article in the Wall Street Journal on December 17, 2008, “Talking to your kids about Cyberbullying,” Sue Shellenbarger writes about the difficulties of dealing with cyberbullies. In addition to the difficulties in getting your children to talk to you about the problem, there are often additional problems because the bullies’ parents won’t stop their children and school administrators often won’t take effective action.
It’s so frustrating for parents because we feel pretty helpless. We may have to work hard to get our kids to tell. How many of us told our parents when we had trouble?
We have to plant the seeds of sharing and problem-solving long before the kids encounter this type of bullying. You have to know each child and with a shy or introverted one, be extra vigilant so you can probe at the first signs of trouble.
The other part of the difficulty is changing the situation. If the bullies’ parents don’t care and the schools won’t take effective action, you will probably feel isolated and stuck. Too many administrators are cowards – they don’t want to get involved.
We focused on strengthening six our children and helping them be determined and resilient in order to face the real-world jerks and bullies they would inevitably see at school and when they became adults.
Remember the adults who encouraged a teenager to commit suicide.
I give examples of how to deal with bullying in my book “Parenting Bully-Proof Kids” and the CD set “How to Stop Bullies in their Tracks.” I’ve also written many posts on my blog about developing resilient kids. Of course, coaching can help you design tactics that fit your specific situation.