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3 Ways to Help Kids Deal With Cyberbullying

Blog 103fixedBullying certainly isn't a new problem, but in today's world the way bullies attack has changed dramatically. Instead of on the playground, kids today can face hurtful comments online as a result of cyberbullying. Out of 100 preteens, 17 say they've had something mean, threatening, or embarrassing said about them online. Sixteen percent of these kids told no one about it. Here are some things you can do to help the kids you work with deal with cyberbullying.

  1. Know the signs. Keep an eye out for signs that point to a child being bullied online. According to education.com, victims of cyberbullying may display a variety of negative emotions such as sadness, frustration, and anger. They may avoid computers and phones and shy away from discussions about them. Other things to watch for include trouble sleeping, changes in appetite, a drop in grades, withdrawal from friends or family, and a reluctance to attend school.
  2. Point out biblical examples. Kids need to know that the Bible is still relevant to their lives. One great way to do that is to point out biblical examples of bullying. We have bullies like Goliath, Delilah, and the Pharisees. We see people who didn't want to make a difference, such as Jonah and those folks who came before the Good Samaritan and didn't offer help. And we also see the people in the Bible who were bullied, such as  Joseph, who was tormented his brothers, and even Jesus. Dive into the Bible and find accounts of bullying and how they were handled. Verses like 2 Timothy 1:7, Matthew 5:11, and Deuteronomy 31:6 will help inspire and equip your kids.
  3. Help end the cycle. Bullying is a cycle. If something isn't done, it will just keep coming back. Teach the kids you work with why bullying is wrong. There are many great organizations  you can find online to help you equip your kids with the information they need to help stop bullying at their school. For the parents of the kids you work with, be prepared to help them protect their kids. Remind them of the signs to watch for, and inform them of steps to take ( stopbullying.org has some great tips).

Any form of bullying is wrong, and it's important that we take action to protect our kids. Our team just got back from KidMin2012 (sign up today for next year's conference!) and it was a blast. The Skit Guys were one of the keynote speakers for the event, and they blew us out of the water! One of their skits was about emotional baggage, and in one scene we saw a young child getting picked on because of his weight. According to the Skit Guys, the saying "sticks and stones may break your bones but words can never hurt you" is the biggest lie we tell our kids. Wow.

The truth is, words do hurt. But love can heal those wounds. Share God's love with your kids today.

Posted at 13:41

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