Cyberbullying: how to spot the signs

Cyberbullying: how to spot the signs

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – As your kids head back to school, it's important for them to know they can talk to teachers or parents about cyberbullying.

Although cyberbullying can be discreet, there are ways to spot the signs your child may be victim to it.

Licensed Professional Counselor Lenore Bowlig said cyberbullying can lead to things like depression, anxiety and even physical problems like headaches and stomachaches.

"Kids have so much access to electronics and data and sites and apps," Bowlig said. By the time parents bring their children in to talk about cyberbullying, they are likely already engaging in self-harm or have attempted suicide.

"Well the parents are definitely concerned," Bowlig said.

Because most teens use cellphones, it is the most common place for cyberbullying, but it can happen other places, like online.

Bowlig recommends that parents sit down and have a conversation with their child about what cyberbullying is and give advice on what to do if they see it happening.

"Communicate. Be open with a warm tone and gentle voice. Do it in a non-judgmental way," Bowlig said.

Parents should have a conversation with their kids to help educate them and let them know they are there for their child as a safe zone if they ever become victim to cyberbullying. Bowlig said children having so much free access to electronics, social media and different apps makes them even more vulnerable.

The best way to help a child struggling with cyberbullying, according to Bowlig, is to listen to them and take action.

School administrators, teachers, and even psychologists like Bowlig are mandated by law to report something like cyberbullying.

Bowlig recommends blocking any contact a victim may have with a bully on social media, and even change their phone number if they have to.

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