How to stop cyberbullying

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How To Help Your Child Avoid Cyberbullying
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How to stop cyberbullying

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We know that cyber-bullying has become very common over the last decade and it's very difficult to know what to do in these situations. You can feel a little bit helpless when you're being bullied online. And it can be anonymous as well, which is one of the reasons why I think it's become so popular and so common. But the reality is that the strategies that kids sometimes use to handle cyber-bullying aren't always the best strategies. Their instinct is often to fight back and to defend themselves. But you have to get into the mind of the cyber-bully. What are they trying to get you to do? They want you to fight back, right? It' called trolling. They're these people online and they post negative comments online about people and it's called trolling. And one of the sayings online is: Don't feed the trolls. You don't want to post negative comments back or try to defend yourself because you're actually giving them the reaction that they're looking for. And you're actually making it more likely that you're going to be cyber-bullied. But what does tend to be affective is having a friend come to your defense, having them kind of have your back, essentially. Because just like bullies in real life, bullies online like to pick on people who are alone, who seem unprotected or defenseless. It's easier to pick on someone when they're alone. So if it looks like you have support, it's going to be less appealing to cyber-bully you. And then finally, for parents, if this is a chronic, ongoing, sort of pervasive problem for your child, you can get involved. You can contact the school, you can contact the webmaster. But before doing that, you might want to give your kids these other strategies for handling cyber-bullying and teach them to kind of deal with these problems independently.

See Liz Laugeson, PsyD's video on How to stop cyberbullying...

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Liz Laugeson, PsyD

Psychologist & Author

Dr. Elizabeth Laugeson is a licensed clinical psychologist and an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior.  Dr. Laugeson is the Director of The Help Group – UCLA Autism Research Alliance, which is a collaborative research initiative between The Help Group and the UCLA Semel Institute, dedicated to developing and expanding applied clinical research in the treatment of children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders.  She is also the Director of the UCLA PEERS Clinic, which is an outpatient hospital-based clinic providing parent-assisted social skills training for adolescents and young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other social impairments. 

Dr. Laugeson has been a principal investigator and collaborator on a number of studies funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) investigating social skills training for youth with developmental disabilities from preschool to early adulthood and is the co-developer of an evidence-based social skills intervention for teens and young adults known as PEERS. She was the two-time recipient of the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award from the NIH from 2004-2007, recipient of the Semel Scholar Award for Junior Faculty Career Development in 2008, and received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Pepperdine University in 2010. Dr. Laugeson has presented her research at international conferences throughout the world including the U.S., Canada, England, Italy, and Australia. Her work has been featured on national and international media outlets such as People Magazine, USA Today, the LA Times, New York Times, Washington Post, CBS, NBC, and Channel 4 in the United Kingdom.

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