These tips can help you, yours deal with summertime bullies - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

These tips can help you, yours deal with summertime bullies

Your child may be bullied at a park or the mall. But the number one place they'll be victims this summer is social media. (Source: KSLA News 12) Your child may be bullied at a park or the mall. But the number one place they'll be victims this summer is social media. (Source: KSLA News 12)
SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) -

Summertime means a lot of free time for youths.

Especially if they're not involved in sports or other activities or they don't have a summer schedule of things to do and places to be.

And that means the opportunities to bully or be bullied increase. 

Your child may be bullied at a park or at the mall.

But the number one place they'll be victims this summer is social media.

"With social media, teenagers particularly want to be involved on social media even if they are the recipients of being picked on or bullied because to not be on social media is worse than being on social media and being picked on," explained Brentwood Hospital clinical director Charles Lee. 

Parents need to keep a close eye on their child's social media habits, especially during the summer, he added.

Whether your child is a victim or a bully, Lee said don't be afraid to step in. 

"Kids and parents need to realize that they can be held responsible if they're sending messages that cause someone to harm themselves."

One of the easiest ways to stop cyber bullying is to block users who send harassing messages, experts say.

And don't reply to harassing messages; instead, report what you see. 

"Parents need to talk to their kids before it becomes a problem to discuss it with them in an open nonjudgmental way."

Experts also suggest role playing with your children to tech them how to react when faced with a bully.

"Say 'OK, what if this scenario happened? How would you handle that?' and 'I'm gonna be the bully, and I'm gonna say this. What would you do with that?'  said Daniell Cisterno, Teen Pep program director.

"They might be seem a little cheesy. But they go a long way because, think about that, the next time that child sees that happening, they'll be equipped to handle it the right way."

And remember, what goes on the Internet is always out there doesn't go away it doesn't disappear.

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