PARENTING: Tips for stomping out bullying and digital harassment

We often receive emails, IMs and phone calls from parents and grandparents concerned about their child’s wellbeing in school. Often the child has reported being harassed or bullied. We commend parents for taking the first step toward a resolution.

There are numerous resources available to prevent and address conflict. One of my personal favorites is the Stomp Out Bullying organization.

Is your child being cyberbullied? Is she or he experiencing conflicts in school? Here’s how you can help.

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Be supportive of your child. Parents may be tempted to tell their kids to toughen up, that names never hurt anybody, yet – cyber attacks can harm a child easily and have a long lasting effect. Millions of cyber accomplices can help target or humiliate your child. That emotional pain is very serious and very real. Do not ignore it.

Alert the school and guidance counselor to watch out for in-school bullying and see how your child is handling things. It is important that you give your child love, support, nurturing and security. Children have committed suicide after having been cyberbullied. Take it seriously.

Did you know?
*Girls were about twice as likely as boys to be victims and perpetrators of cyberbullying.
*Of those students who had been cyberbullied relatively frequently (at least twice in the last couple of months):
*62% said that they had been cyberbullied by another student at school, and 46% had been cyberbullied by a friend.

April is National Card/Letter Writing Month

As a fourth grader, I recall the excitement I felt when our teacher announced that we were starting a penpal program with a sister school on the other side of town. The anticipation of receiving a letter each week was exciting. Equally as exciting was writing the letter to my penpal.
Fastforward to the 21st century and it seems electronic communication has replaced pen and paper as a more modern and effective way to keep in touch. These days, text messages, emails and tweets keep us informed of news and happenings in the world and in the lives of our friends and family.
But this month, Americans are encouraged to communicate the old-fashioned way.
April is National Card and Letter Writing Month (NCLWM), an annual observance sponsored by the US Postal Service, of course!
“Sure, email and texting is quick and convenient, and Facebook has photos and videos, but nothing beats the thrill and excitement of opening your mailbox and finding a personal letter addressed to you,” U.S. Postal Service Judicial Officer William Campbell said last year during a dedication ceremony for the NCLWM Forever stamp.
So for one day, put away those smartphones and tablets and put the ink to the paper and write a note to someone special in your life.