Cyberbullying & working mother guilt

- Hi Mary Jo,

I want to know - as a parent - what we can do to help our kids when they’re being cyber bullied on social media.

Thank you, Kim

Dear Kim,

To answer your question, I consulted with colleagues who work with cyber bullying. Currently, 53% of bullied kids are bullied online. It's much easier to prevent cyberbullying than to stop it. Prevention begins with talking to your kids about protecting themselves. To stop cyberbullying, parents need to get involved with what their child is doing on the internet.

  1. Talk to your child and stay alert to their changing behavior. DO NOT minimize anything your child says in regards to being bullied.
  2. Your child may be concerned that they will be punished if they tell you the truth. Assure them that you are on their team, and you won’t punish them, but you want to keep them safe.
  3. Talk to your child’s teacher and your child’s best friend if you are concerned about a change in your child’s behavior. Schools have policies, but sometimes they are not enforced.
  4. Make sure you copy any intimidating Facebook posts, tweets, and text messages to use as evidence when you suspect your child is being cyberbullied.
  5. Be prepared to submit evidence to a lawyer and take action if you need to protect your child. Cyberbullying is a crime, and the effects of humiliation, embarrassment, and isolation are a primary reason for suicide in children.

Here are some signs your child is being cyber bullied from bullyproofclassroom.com.

  1. Does your child close their browser or mail windows immediately when an educator and/or parent enters the room?
  2. Is your child evasive when an educator or parent asks about his/her internet activity?
  3. Is your child’s browsing history always cleaned out?
  4. Is your child less attentive in school or falling behind with school work and requirements?
  5. Is your child’s grades failing or getting worse?
  6. Has your child’s eating habits changed?
  7. Does your child complain more about stomach aches?
  8. Is your child openly fearful, especially when friends are brought up?
  9. Is your child emotionally distant?

Hi Mary Jo,

I’m a pageant queen and working mom of three, and I want to know how do you get over the guilt of not being everything to everyone all the time?

Thank you, Misty

Misty,

This kind of guilt often begins with feelings of needing to be perfect to be accepted, loved, and worthy. It usually develops early in childhood. Many don’t realize they suffer from it until they begin seeing the same behavior in their children. Below are three skills you can practice that will help you accept your vulnerability, let go of guilt, and learn to love your imperfect self. Teach your children early that when you try to be everything to everyone you lose yourself, and that’s a terrible loss.

  1. Practice forgiveness of others and yourself.
  2. Laugh, enjoy life, and look for friends who know how to play. Try to see the lighter side of difficult or challenging situations.
  3. Practice letting go of things that really don’t matter. When you struggle to be perfect, you become fixated on trying to control life; that’s a futile endeavor that only fuels guilt.
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