What to do when your child is being bullied online

Yalda Uhls, MBA, PhD Regional Director at Common Sense Media, shares advice for parents on how to help their child if they are being bullied online and how to best respond to the online bully
What To Do When Your Child Is Being Bullied Online
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What to do when your child is being bullied online

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If you see your child being bullied online, it really can be painful, and you often may feel like getting angry or jumping in and saying something to the other child, but definitely don't do that. Don't ever post anything online that could embarrass your own child. If you know the parents of the other child and feel like they would react well, it can be appropriate to call them, but you do run the risk that they will defend their own child, and it could turn into something that's going to really embarrass your child. Again, the key is you don't want your child to feel like you're going above them, or to somebody else. It's going to make them feel worse with their peers, and then people will call them a 'tattle-tale' or other things. Usually with the online bullying, something's going on offline, so talk to the teacher at the school, talk to the principal at the school; try to determine what's happening in your child's life that is now coming into the online world, and see if you can deal with it that way; asking the teacher to possibly step in, or the school to step in, without connecting it to you. Then obviously, talk to your child about it. They can 'de-friend' the person, they can 'block' them; there are plenty of choices children can make, so that they don't have to feel the emotional trauma. The problem is, many children don't tell adults when they're being bullied online, even though a third of them say they're being bullied online. You want to make them feel like they're not going to be embarrassed or shamed by anyone if they come to you.

Yalda Uhls, MBA, PhD Regional Director at Common Sense Media, shares advice for parents on how to help their child if they are being bullied online and how to best respond to the online bully

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Yalda T. Uhls, MBA, PhD

Regional Director, Common Sense Media

Yalda T. Uhls, MBA, PhD, is the Regional Director of Common Sense Media, the leading non-profit dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and independent voice they need to thrive in a world of media and technology. Yalda's own research with the Children's Digital Media at UCLA was written about in the New York Times, CNN, Time Magazine, The Huffington Post, and more. As an expert on media’s effects on children, Yalda has been featured on the BBC News, KPCC, the LA Times and many other news outlets. Her awards include UCLA's Psychology in Action Award for excellence in communicating psychological research to audiences beyond academia as well as honorable mention for the National Science Foundation's GSRF. Yalda's former career as a Senior VP at MGM, in film production, informs her perspective that media content has great power to socialize children, to inspire and teach as well as to be used inappropriately. In her talks, she brings her deep knowledge of the latest research about how children ages eight to 18 use media, as well as a realistic understanding of how digital natives use media from her experiences with her two children, ages 10 and 13.  Her newest book, Media Moms & Digital Dads: A Fact-Not-Fear Approach to Parenting in the Digital Age will be published in Fall 2015. 

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