Frequent Check-ins with Your Kids Can Prevent the Harmful Consequences of Bullying…

Internet BullyingInternet bullying, also known a cyberbullying, can cause kids to have substance use and mental health problems. In a study by the Journal of the American Medical Association it is found that frequent communication with parents and family dinners can help to protect kids from the harmful consequences of cyber and face to face bullying. More conversations with parents in cars, at the home, and during dinner can make all the difference.

About Cyberbullying

In some ways cyberbullying is worse than face to face bullying because it’s so hard for the parents to detect it’s going on. No reports from school. No black eyes. The new study involves anonymous survey data from more than 18,000 teens at 49 schools in Wisconsin.  The findings show that  one in five students said they’d been bullied on the Internet or by text messaging at least once over the past year. Cyberbullying is more common for girls than boys and it tends to happen as kids get in the teenage years. Kids how have be cyberbullied are more like to report mental health problems like anxiety, self-harm, thoughts of suicide, fighting, vandalism, and substance use problems.

Results of Cyberbullying

Close to 20 percent of the children reported an episode of depression and 5 percent reported suicide attempts or using drugs.  Teens where are cyberbullied are more than 2 times as likely to have been drunk, been in a fight, vandalized property, or had suicidal thoughts.  They are 4 times as have misused drugs.

Family Meals (Open Communication Times) and Their Correlation To Positive Behavior

As the number of family dinners with parents increased, the better the mental health for kids who are cyberbullied an those who are not. It seems the support and the development of copy strategies is what can help kids who are victims of cyberbullying.

Advice to Give a Child Who Was Cyberbullied

Be sure to  emphasize that it isn’t the victim’s fault and that they shouldn’t retaliate.

It basically comes down to taking the time to check in with your child frequently in a relaxed social situation or a lot or potential problems can go undetected.

>> JAMA Study

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About Pediatrics of Florence

We believe that children are more than just “little adults.” They have unique personalities, challenges, and life circumstances and we have made every effort to make our offices and care as “kid friendly” as possible. We have an aquatic theme in the waiting rooms (separated for sick and well children) as well as themed examination rooms. All of our physicians are Board Certified Pediatricians and members of the American Academy of Pediatrics and our nurse practitioners are all licensed Pediatric Nurse Practitioners and are available to see both well and sick children.
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