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Posts Tagged ‘online bullying’

Bully, Bullied and Bystander

Friday, October 8th, 2010

Hello from Montana,

Thanks for visiting this blog and joining a community of kind, thoughtful people who want respect for all. Dr. Phil McGraw is also part of this community against cyberbullying.

My goal as a “BullyAdvocate” is to:

  • Empower the bully to gain empathy and other ways of communication
  • Empower the victim or target to gain skills in assertiveness and setting boundaries
  • Empower the bystander to speak up and let others know that cruel behavior is not cool

According to National Association of School Psychologists, about one in seven schoolchildren has either been a bully or the target of a bully.

What If Your Child Is The Bully

Bullies come in all sizes, shapes and temperaments.  They may come for a dysfunctional home, but may also come from a great home with parents who care deeply and are mystified as to why their child would deliberately hurt or abuse someone else.

It may be teasing that got out of hand. It might be revenge. It might be part of “group think” or power of peer pressure.  It may be behavior that mimics what was seen in a movie or television show.  It can also be that the personality is manipulative and self-centered.

No matter why or how your child tries to dominate others, it is important to teach empathy and kindness.  Helping a child who has been bullying others for power or attention, may

As many bullies as there are in the world, the one common denominator is a desire for power. They want to win at all costs.

If your child
What To Do If Your Child Is Being Bullied

The first thing to do is remain calm and remember you are the adult, not the child you were when you were being bullied in the third grade. Listen to your child’s story and reinforce that you want to help him/her solve the problem and what would they prefer you do to help.  It is important to let them know it is not their fault and that there are mean people in the world who deliberately hurt others with words or actions.

If your child needs social skill training, help them role play some responses to the bully.  Teach them about being assertive and give them some words to say that will deflect the bullies anger or hurtful conduct. You will find some great exercises and techniques  in my book and classes at

Children who are different in some way or have behaviors that annoy or amuse their school mates still have a right to be treated with respect and kindness. But, as parents, we may need to coach our children in ways to increase “likeabilty.”

Bullied kids feel helpless and hopeless. This can lead to depression.

What if Your Child Witnesses Violence?

Remember to empower young  people by reminding them they are strong and capable and that you have confidence in them. Help them to see that they have a voice and a choice not only in their actions but in their reactions.

If they have witnessed bullying but did not speak up, they will be traumatized and feel they have betrayed their value system.  Help them to understand the power of the word.  A single word of kindness  or a pat on the arm can make the difference in not only how the victim feels but how they feel about the situation.

Practice with them as they speak in a polite assertive voice “Hey cut it out.” Or,  “Please stop. No one deserves to be treated that way.”

There are no winners in a bullying situation. The bully, the bullied and the bystander all suffer in some way.

By teaching respect and kindness for all, we can build a better world.  For more information, please see and leave a comment or claim your free report on bullying.

You can do it. I have confidence in you.

Judy Helm Wright

Bystander Bully Assistance – Help Through A Traumatic CyberBullying Situation

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

How Bystander Bully Assistance Can Help You Through A Traumatic CyberBullying Situation

If you are the victim of cyber bullying you are not alone. As the prevalence of internet use increases among all age groups there is a greater need for better restrictions and assistance on how both youth and adults communicate online.

Being the target of malicious attacks is a difficult and embarrassing event for anyone. Enlisting the right bystander bully assistance can help educate you and your young one on how to respond when personal attacks are made online.

Targeted Threats

Numerous reports of individuals being overwhelmed by “mean speak”; threats and suicide encouragement have been presented by the news media.  Phoebe Prince from MA is an example of a teen who felt she had no one to turn to for help.

There has been for a long time no real protocol in dealing with these attacks. Schools, churches and organizations are caught in the bind of not knowing who is responsible. The public onslaughts of vicious speak have left many feeling as though there is no way out.

Internet Safety

Teach teens that cybrbullying is a crime. Help them resist the urge to pass along hurtful messages. Learn internet safety.

Having to deal with nasty e-mails, death threat and pranks can be overwhelming, especially if the victim is young, which the case is most often. Many young people are not aware of the consequences that a posted message can have.

Often the response to an unpopular statement or opinion can become terrifying when meted out by the wrong group. It is not like bullying in the old days when your enemy was right in front of you and you could fight it out or tell the principal.

Nowadays, cyberbullying is very anonymous and the venom is passed from cell phone to computer to FaceBook to MySpace and can be global almost instantly.

Teach Teens To Not Pass On Gossip Online

While adults have a better understanding of the resources that may be available to help them deal with a tumultuous situation online, teenagers often do not.

They generally tend to weather the storm alone hoping that it will subside by itself. Unfortunately due to ease of access, these situations generally continue to spiral out of control if unchecked until an awful climax is reached.

Words Have Power for Good and Bad

Teaching your children smart internet skills is one way to avoid the hassle. Make certain that they understand the effects that different forms of online communication have on their privacy.  Help them to pause and think before sending on a message that might hurt or embarrass another.

As a family discussion continue to share with them the less than stellar responses received by teenagers that share too much information. It is also imperative to keep the lines of communication open in order to ensure that your child is not quietly suffering as a victim.

Help them to brainstorm ideas of being brave enough to stand up for someone being cyberbullied or to refuse to pass on hurtful messages. Just one person being kind can make a huge difference in the lives of others.

When they are aware of the consequences of bullying, it is far less likely that they will have to endure or become a part of it in any way.

Questions to ponder

  1. Have you ever had someone say something mean about you and played like it didn’t matter?
  2. Do you know it is against the law in many areas to harass or threaten someone online?
  3. If a friend were being cyberbullied, could you help them?  How?
  4. Do you know where to find information on internet safety?

Girl Bullies – International Problem

Sunday, August 8th, 2010

What Is Girl Bullying And How Can You Help

Girls bullying is a huge problem in and out of our schools and society today. More and more we are seeing violence by girls as well as against girls. This problem of “mean girls who form cliques or gangs” is international in nature.

Bullying, teasing, taunting and threatening does not always have to be physical nor does it have to take place in school. Many shopping malls are gathering places for bullies and gangs. Cyber bullying is extremely prevalent today and can be accomplished by texting and posting on social media groups.

Definition of Bullying

Bullying off line or electronically is an imbalance of power. It includes the process of intimidating or mistreating somebody weaker

Online bullies have become an international problem. Girls are more likely to send embarrasing and humilating text messages than boys. If a boy breaks up with a girl, it is the girl who is blamed and taunted by other girls.

or in a more vulnerable situation.  It can include harassment, maltreatment, singling out or exclusion as well as other forms of discrimination.

What Can Parent Do

There are a few things that you can do to help your daughter if you suspect she is being bullied

The first thing that you can do as a parent is to make sure that your daughter knows that you are there for her. It does not hurt to state that fact occasionally even if you do not suspect bullying. Knowing that you will communicate and listen without judgment or rushing in to solve her problems creates an atmosphere where she will use you as a sounding board.

You should also be aware of the schools policy on bullying and cyber bullying. This can be as simple as reading the handbook that the school sends home with your child. Make sure your daughter is also aware of it. Encourage open conversation and ask her to read the policy. It helps to know that there are solutions to every problem. It just takes some creative thinking to problem-solve..

Violence Does Not Solve Violence

Encourage her to ignore the bullying if possible. Many times a victim will get fed up and retaliate after a prolong period of being bullied, and then will be the one accused of fighting or being a bully.

You may want to gently ask the lunch aide or teacher what they have observed.  Make sure you are not making a mountain out of a molehill.  It may be age appropriate teasing and joking around.  If not, then do take steps to confront the issue.

If you suspect your daughter is being cyber bullied check. Ask to look at her email or text messages. This is an extreme step but catching cyber bullying early may be a key step. Try to do this in a way that is non-threatening to your daughter.

Internet Safety

If you suspect your child is being bullied keep the evidence you will need it if it goes to court. Make sure that your child is not in any physical or emotional danger by bringing it to the authority’s attention as soon as possible. Make sure that you daughter knows what to do if she is being bullied and make sure she knows where to go for safety if the bullying turns physical.

Make sure you are informed about cyber bullying, girl bullying and the laws regarding it. In order to stop this new trend parents and students need to know the consequences and that there is help out there. Bullying in any form is not a laughing matter.

To be completely informed about safety on the internet and how to safeguard your family, please claim your report at You will be glad you have gathered this information.

I have confidence in you.

Cyber-Bullying Gets Out of Control

Monday, August 2nd, 2010
Out of control is the only way to describe a recent case of cyber-bullying hitting the national news wires. Eleven year-old Jessie Slaughter (her screen name, not her real name) was recently hospitalized in a mental health facility after her case of cyber-bullying got out of control. Jessie had posted an explicit and profanity laden response to suggestions about her sexual history. Shortly after the video was posted she began receiving nasty e-mails, pranks, posts and even death threats.

Her father then added fuel to the already burgeoning fire when he posted a tirade on YouTube threaten those who were engaged in the battle against his daughter, offering them up to the authorities. The video also shows a sobbing Jessie in the foreground. This new post took the cyber-bullying to a whole new level bordering on the verge of cyber-stalking.
Recently when their story was featured on ABC’s Good Morning America experts offered up just a few of the actions we can take to prevent these incidents from happening to our children in the future. Parent need to learn how to respond properly to these kinds of acts, and teach their kids what to do if something like this is happening to them.
Children require a few basic rules in dealing with Cyber-bullies. Firstly, they need to stop what they are doing, and not respond to threatening e-mails or posts. By blocking the person or message it will stop any more nasty threats from coming from that person or e-mail address. They also need to tell a trusted adult what is happening.
One suggestion experts have for adults who are helping a child deal with cyber-bullies is to suggest the child put down the mouse and walk away from the computer. This few minutes of doing something  else will help them regain balance and perspective. Remember, to look at the situation and recognize the options.
This is not the time to respond in anger.
If the situation that happened with Jessie had happened in a schoolyard, and not on the internet it likely would not have blown up like it did. By posting these videos to the internet the victim lost her privacy, (the video had more than a million hits), while the bullies were able to remain anonymous.
A few simple ways to prevent these kind of incidents from happen with your children include: setting up a net nanny on your computer to be able to monitor your child’s internet activities. Also, be sure to supervise your children when they are on the internet and if you can not monitor them consistently, be sure to check their internet history. Lastly, be sure to report threatening posts to the internet site where they are posted as well as to law enforcement.

Parents Bully Teachers Online

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

Parents Bully Teachers Online

While most schools encourage open communication between parents and teachers, there are some instances where it borders on bullying or abuse. Emails and text messages from parents to teachers and school staff can make it difficult for teachers to concentrate on educating a large group of students intricate subjects.

More and more schools offer homework assignments and grading online, as a convenience to both student and parent. Often the message the child shares about homework assignments and the assignment as listed online are different. Rather than take the word of the teacher as to what the assignment entails, it often is easier for parents to intervene. Sometimes becoming assertive or even aggressive towards the teacher.

Later we will discuss how to create a partnership between teachers, students and their parents to make learning rewarding for everyone.

Helicopter Parents

There are parents who hover over the school administration trying to supervise every detail of their child’s life. This has been dubbed “helicopter parenting.” Their main objective is to control everything and everyone who comes in contact with their child. These parents may have forgotten that their child is not the only one in the class and perhaps he/she is not working up to potential.

It is a disservice to the child when they intervene or antagonize a teacher. The child receives the message that they are weak and cannot take responsibility for their own choices and decisions. The child may grow up with a victim mentality and may not develop problem solving skills effectively. It may be more beneficial to ask the child to brainstorm solutions rather than just have a parent step in. By stepping in the parent takes away the child’s power.

A child who has always been rescued may grow up with the attitude that they deserve special treatment and often blame others for their problems. An important part of being a successful adult is learning to assume personal responsibility and looking for meaningful solutions.

Partnership Between Home and School

When parent, teacher and child work together to build successful study habits and life skills, everyone benefits. Parents should enhance the schoolwork through open communication and brainstorming as well as encouragement of the student, the teachers and school personnel.

When a parent is upset by something happening at school it can be very easy to send an accusatory email in the heat of the moment. The email may not set the right tone for the communication, and may even be offensive. Parents who have concerns and wish to work together to solve problems, are best to communicate face to face. Through face-to-face communication we use both verbal skills and body language, which helps to convey a positive message. For more information on dealing with conflict without confrontation, visit

Blame and Bullying

I have talked to many teachers who have made the difficult decision to quit the teaching profession or who have become jaded in dealing with disrespectful children and parents who won’t acknowledge problems, or take ownership of them.

These teachers feelings are reflective of the feelings of many educators who say they are tired of being blamed and bullied for the behavior of children which should have and could have been corrected with consistent discipline at home.

This migration of gifted and talented teachers is disheartening. Those of us who care deeply about the education and guidance of young people are leaving the teaching profession in staggering numbers. With more open dialogue between parents and teachers, and more respect from children and parents alike schools could once again be the fulfilling and enlightening place it should be!

After all, everyone wants is to be treated with respect and courtesy. You can’t beat the golden rule, “treat others as you would like to be treated.”

You can do it. I have confidence in you.