YMCA NYC Shares 6 Tips to Deal with Cyberbullying for Kids & Teens

Being online and using social networks can be an enjoyable experience. Except when cyberbullying causes it not to be. With more children and teens spending greater amounts of time socializing online and using cell phones than in previous generations, research shows the prevalence of cyberbullying has increased as well.

YMCANYC 6 Tips to Deal with Cyberbullying for Kids & Teens

Cyberbullying can cause a range of serious and negative mental, physical and behavioral effects in young people, which can include and lead to problems such as anxiety, substance abuse, self-harm and even suicidal thoughts or actions.

But families with children and teens dealing with this issue don't have to feel hopeless. Recent research shows that frequent and positive interactions with family members – from eating meals together to simply engaging in regular conversation – can help reduce the negative impact of cyberbullying.[Family Dinners May Help Kids Cope with Cyberbullying." Reuters. Thomson Reuters, 01 Sept. 2014. Web. 03 Apr. 2015.]

“Between texting, social media sites and live video streaming, cyberbullying is easier than ever, but the signs are often difficult to spot,” said Yoko Liriano, Director of City-Wide Teen Programs. “While we can’t prevent all bullying, we can help parents and families understand and recognize the issue, and give them tips to help their kids cope with others’ hurtful actions.”

The YMCA of Greater New York recommends these tips to help parents protect their children and teens from the harmful effects of cyberbullying.


1. Make face time with your kids – the old fashioned way. Spend time with your kids every day and give them your full, undivided attention. Turn off cell phones, TVs and computers to create a conversation-friendly environment.

2. Learn the signs. A child who is being bullied may have a loss of appetite, may lose interest in favorite activities and may withdraw socially and emotionally in other ways. Watch for changes in behavior and seek help if you suspect something is wrong.

3. Be available to talk – but don’t force it. Kids may feel embarrassed, ashamed, angry or confused about being bullied, and it may be difficult for them to talk about it with you. Give them time to open up and let them know you are there and will be supportive if they need your help.

4. Let them know it’s not their fault. Never blame a child for being bullied or for not “fighting back.” It can be helpful to share one or two your own personal stories so they know they the only ones to experience this kind of behavior or feel the way they do.

5. Help find positive ways for them to feel empowered and regain self-esteem. Show that you are committed to helping them resolve the issue, and talk through ways to address or cope with the bullying behavior.

6. Be a model for kind behavior. Set the right example for your kids and avoid making negative or bullying comments about others – online or in person.


The YMCA of Greater New York offers a variety of programs and services for families and adolescents – including counseling – in a positive an affirming environment.

For more information, visit www.ymcanyc.org


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16 comments:

  1. This is something that really worries me. Thanks so much for these great tips!

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  2. My niece was being teased pretty bad a few years ago and she did not want to discus it at all. Her mother pushed her and it seemed to make the problem worse. We found, when we let up, she came to us in her own time to talk about her feelings and the situation. Great tips!

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  3. I'm glad the YMCA is doing so much to help combat bullying. It's become a dangerous, deadly epidemic in this country.

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  4. Great tips! Cyberbullying happens too often it is great YMCA is pairing up to help stop bullying!

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  5. Great tips (and information). I worry about cyberbullying all the time because my kids LIVE on their devices (the youngest is 17). It's all they do, so I have to wonder how seriously they treat it (and each other).

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  6. We always have family dinner and my kids talk about everything. My oldest will frequently want to discuss things at bedtime, this is when she really spills the beans. I don't care when they talk, as long as they do.

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  7. Great tips. We like to think we have a great relationship and that we continue to discuss the what-ifs in life... Thanks for sharing.

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  8. These are super helpful tips. Cyberbullying is such a difficult issue to handle since it can come from anywhere online.

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  9. These are great tips. I am lucky my kids are grown up now and did not have a lot of bulling in their school when they were younger. It is so different now with all the social media.

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  10. It is terrible there is so much bullying today. Social media makes it so much easier for kids to be bullies. These are great tips.

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  11. Being available to talk but not forcing it is very important. Sometimes kids feel they no longer want to talk to you any more if you force them to.

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  12. Cyberbullying a real problem. Thanks to your post I hope parents will feel more educated to help their children navigate through any difficulties they may encounter through middle and high school.

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  13. Great tips to help kids avoid cyberbullying. It really is an awful problem for so many and it is important for parents to be aware and willing to help their children as needed.

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  14. You have to teach kids that having a phone is a privilege and that it has to be used responsibly! That's an important life skill!

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  15. I know my generation was just told to tough it out. But I feel it's empowers kid to identify bullying for what it is...just pure meanness.

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  16. These are very helpful tips. Some kids can really be mean.

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