New Kid in Town? How to Protect That Child from Cyberbullying

Many kids will encounter cyberbullying at one time or another, and one group which may be inordinately targeted by cyberbullies is those who have recently moved to a new hometown. It is imperative that recently-located parents take ample time to instill in their children strong skills through even stronger communication.

Family Communication is Key!

The Virginia Cooperative Extension highlights the incalculable value of communication within the family, as these verbal and nonverbal ways in which families exchange information serve as the building blocks for a child’s ability to socialize outside of the home. Mental health website Healthy Place explains that effective listening – an integral aspect of good communication – boosts self-esteem, as it establishes positive behaviors that engender a child to their peers.

For a child new to a town and school, the first impression he or she makes can be crucially important

to avoiding ostracism. Displaying positive communication skills, and therefore a sense of confidence, will allow that child to quickly establish him or herself as a student not to be trifled with.

Bullies, particularly the kind that hide behind online anonymity, feed on those who they suspect will be most affected by their harsh words, rumor-spreading, and general vitriol. If a child is unable to communicate effectively, the bully will continually pick on that child with impunity. The ability to respond maturely and confidently to the bully arises from true communication skills, which must first be taught in the home. Creating a stress-free home environment is also important for the overall well-being of the child.

Edutopia provides a guide to teaching communication skills to students, a set of tips which also can be utilized by parents who may be unsure of how well they are fostering good communication in the household. Behaviors such as strong eye-contact often project strength and confidence, two traits that ward off bullies. After all, bullies often have greater insecurity than their victims, and the prospect of somebody more confident than they is often repellent.

Parents who promote genuine communication will find that their children take the time, even if the parents must insist, to share their thoughts and experiences,