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  • Experts Share How To Respond When Your Child Says She's Been Bullied

    Could your child have been bullied already, without you or your kid realizing it?
    by Maita de Jesus .
Experts Share How To Respond When Your Child Says She's Been Bullied
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  • How do you protect your children from cyberbullying?

    Nine-year-old Anna* enjoyed posting her dance videos on a popular social media app. Most of the comments were positive, cheering her on to keep posting.

    But along with the positive comments would be negative ones like, “you don’t dance well,” “You’re not pretty enough to do this song,” or simple eye-rolling, laughing, or vomiting emojis that were hurtful to Anna. Anna’s mom, who manages her daughter's account, said it would bother her whenever these comments would pop up.

    "Why would someone intentionally hurt a kid?" Anna's mom asked.

    Cyberbullying is more common than you think

    Kids have been online more than ever because of the COVID-19 pandemic. With online schooling, online games, and different social media platforms, being online is how your kids connect with their friends and the outside world.

    But with that comes many threats — you must know how much braver people feel to say whatever they want to say when they can hide behind a screen. In an event for the short-form, video sharing app Tiktok, one of their guests, Josel Anne Miolata of the Philippine Mental Health Association, described how your online life affects your actual life.

    She says, “Bullying happens through repeated behavior, spreading lies, impersonating someone, sending hurtful or threatening messages, or posting embarrassing pictures. 43.8% of Filipino children ages 13 to 17 years old have said that they are victims of cyberviolence.” That’s almost half of the Filipino kids!

    Kids aren’t too sensitive! 

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    If your child opens up to you about being bullied, how do you handle it? First, do not downplay your child’s dilemma as overreacting or something they need to let go of.

    Maribeth Chua of the Department of Education’s Child Protection Unit is also a teacher and a mom and she says this about cyberbullying, “As a parent, there are two ways. You have to make sure they don’t grow up to be a bully. Be there with them."

    "For me, personally, gauge the situation. If you can manage to fix this situation with the parents of the other child, the two of you can work it out,” she adds.

    But, what if you’re wondering if your child is truly being bullied? Could it be that they're just overreacting?

    Experts agree that each child has a different tolerance to pain. But if your child says that they are being bullied, believe them. Never discount what they’re going through.

    “Kids aren’t sensitive, we’re stomping out bad behavior. And this is amazing,” Miolata says.

    *names have been changed to protect the minors involved. 

    Click here for a mom's account on how she handled her son being bullied by his friends online. 

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