Dr. Elizabeth Lombardo:
THE GOOD KID PROJECT
I checked my daughter’s social media activity and noticed she
wrote a nasty comment. How can I talk to her about it?
Start out by letting her know that you saw the comment, and then let her
explain the situation before giving your opinion. Does she acknowledge that
what she wrote wasn’t nice? Does she think she was justified because she was
upset? Listen carefully, and use your child’s explanation as a jumping-off point
for more conversations. If she’s reacting to another child’s behavior, talk about
better ways to work through her emotions and deal with conflict. Social media
isn’t the right place for those situations to play out—for kids or adults.
After you discuss your child’s reasoning, emphasize why unkind comments
are not OK. Prompt her to put herself in the other person’s shoes by asking,
“How would you feel if someone said that to you online, or in person?” And
really talk through the ramifications.
Finally, brainstorm a plan for how your child is going to take responsibility for
her actions. In addition to removing the comment, this might involve a public
apology, which can be something along the lines of, “I’m sorry, this was the
wrong way to express myself.”
While kids do have to learn how to deal with difficult situations on their own,
they still need your guidance. Use this experience as an opportunity to check
in with your child about how she’s feeling about school and her social life, and
keep the lines of communication open.
—Elizabeth Lombardo, Ph.D. Clinical psychologist and author of Better Than
Perfect . Find her at elizabethlombardo.com.
>> Don’t ignore cyberbullying or let your kids handle it on their
own—whether they are the target or the perpetrator. This is a
time when kids need adults’ input, guidance and full support.
Recent high profile cases in which teens have committed suicide
have shown the most dire consequences of a problem that’s now
Head to the internet and check out suggestions at
StopCyberbullying.org. This website was developed by Perry Aftab,
a national leader in creating tools and strategies for preventing,
recognizing, and dealing with cyberbullying.
Aftab teaches young people to STOP, BLOCK, and TELL:
ɋ STOP, and don’t answer back—that only increases the bullying.
ɋ BLOCK the person or the message.
ɋ TELL a trusted adult.
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