Welcome to Part 2 of the interview with Alexis A. Moore, author of A Parent’s Guide to Cyberstalking and Cyberbullying. Part 1 addresses parents’ greatest concerns and what parents can do. Here we discuss what parents need to tell their teens about cyberstalking and cyberbullying and how parents can help their child recover from being stalked or bullied. One hundred percent of the profits from Alexis’s book will go towards assisting victims and creating a victim resource.
EBB: What are the 3 most important things parents should tell teens about cyberstalking and cyberbullying?
1. You are not alone. Millions of people are stalked every year and cyberstalking and cyberbullying is no different. Just because you may not know someone who is being bullied, the chances are there are more people around in your classrooms, youth groups, and sport programs and beyond who are who are just like you feeling too embarrassed to speak out!
2. Speak out!
3. It is no different from being bullied in person –since tech is here to stay we have to be engaged with our teens and remind them speak out and that bullying of any kind should never be tolerated.
EBB: How can parent help a teen who has been cyberstalked or cyberbullied recover?
AAM– Parents should become familiar with their schools programs in the local Los Angeles area and find out if there is a teen support group or other youth program where victims can go online or off to garner support from others. Since this is such a new phenomena, not all schools have support groups or even discuss the topic. A quick Internet search by parents should be enough to clue them in to whether or not there is a support group or other network for them to turn to for help.
Overcoming being bullied has a lot to do with building your teen’s confidence. Get them involved in doing things that they are good at and that they truly enjoy. If they are great in math be sure to have them focus in on that strength and if they are a great artist, football player, runner, or can sing- if they love animals have them volunteer at the local animal shelters or in other programs that involve animals-help your teen build back their confidence doing activities that they enjoy and that they are passionate about- whatever their strong suit is help them build back their self-esteem through doing what they love and enjoy and what they are truly good at and passionate about.
One mother that I worked with in Los Angeles took her teen daughter who loves to get glammed up out to the spa for a girls day and they made this a weekly thing that they could do at home together inviting over the teen’s favorite gal pals to have spa Saturdays. A father in LA took a different approach and started going to the gym with his son in the evenings after work.
It can be a parent, aunt, uncle, big sister or coach, drama teacher whomever – finding that special time for the teen to engage with a trusted adult role model is also fabulous way to help the teen overcome the challenges of today – cyberbullying and cyberstalking being one of them.