Be on the watch for cyber bullying - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Be on the watch for cyber bullying

Bullying, it's an age-old problem on the school yard, but now cyber bullies are following kids into places that used to be safe havens.

Many parents may not be aware of attacks happening at home. As psychiatrist Dr. Heywood Zeidman explains,"One of the big problems is parents didn't grow up with this because it wasn't there then."

But with computers and cell phones now, a child can be bullied anywhere. When a nasty rumor, picture, or video makes the round on a social networking site, the psychological impact on kids can be devastating. "Kids think, 'my God, the whole world knows. They've all seen it.'

"Effects can range from low self-esteem, missing class, dropping out of school, or worse. We've certainly all heard the news about kids who try to kill themselves or do kill themselves because of cyber-bullying."

Psychiatrist Dr. Heywood Zeidman says parents need to pay attention, talking with their kids and be sympathetic. The first thing to do with a hurtful text or email, delete it. "Do not respond back. Bullys like nothing better than somebody who fights back because then they think, 'ah ha! I've got em, they're really upset.' leave it alone." And in many cases, you can block cyber attacks electronically.

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