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Bully and Cyberbullying: How to Keep your Kids Safe!

As therapists who counsel children and adolescents daily, we find ourselves educating our clients and their parents on how to advocate for themselves in many different ways.

With the world evolving in this age of technology, bullying has become an even greater concern. Bullyingamong school-aged children is defined as an unwanted, aggressive behavior that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. Cyberbullyingis using technology such as email, text messaging, social media, and personal webpages to intimidate, bully, or harass an individual or group of people. Interestingly enough, much of the time both the victim of bullying and the bully experience serious, long lasting problems. 


Did you know that in 2009 NC passed the School Violence Prevention Act?

This act offers protection from forms of bullying or harassment, be it written, electronic, verbal, or physical for students and school employees. Under the act, both the student and school employee are not to be subjected to bullying by either party. If bullying is reported, the victim and/or witness should not receive retaliation for reporting the incident. It is expected that both students and school employees who have witnessed bullying should report the incident to the appropriate school official.


What does this mean?

Schools have to take these matters seriously! And much of the time they do. However, if the appropriate school official isn't aware of the bullying occurring, then there is nothing that they can do. That's where the advocating comes into play. There are several reasons that students do not report bullying. Much of the time, the student is afraid that if they tell on their bully, that the bully will increase the harassment. We remind our clients about the serious consequences associated with bullying and that once reported, the bully will receive even stricter consequences if the behavior continues. We find that once the behavior is reported, the client rarely continues being bullied by the same student. If the student struggles with reporting the repeated behavior, it is important for the parent to advocate on the student's behalf with the appropriate school official. If bullying continues after being reported, then the parent should definitely become involved. 


It is important to teach children how to advocate for themselves, and not only in the matter of bullying. We spend time role-playing with our clients on how to report the incident of bullying and we ensure that they know who is an appropriate school official. Often times, the student doesn't know how to explain what they are experiencing or when it is the right time during the school day to do so. It can be encouraging and confidence building for them to practice what to say in a safe place.


It may be difficult to protect your child from being bullied at school, but there are ways to protect them in the cyber world. Parents, keep in mind that most websites and social media sites/applications, require that registrants be 13 years of age or older. Explain to your child the importance of staying in control of their online reputation, such as not posting information, photos, or videos that they may regret later. It is important for everyone to be mindful of their online image. Review your child's privacy setting to limit access to their page. This will be helpful in keeping their page private from online predators and potential cyber bullies. However, this is not a guarantee that their information will be completely safe in the online world. Remind your children that online choicescan haveoffline consequencesand in some cases, legal implications. Far too often do we see our client's images and information being forwarded beyond their group of friends to others via messaging and social media.


Co-Authors:Jessica Craig Driggers, M.Ed, LPC & Juliene Simpson Cook, MS, LPC

At Craig Counseling, PLLC we are passionate about helping people of all ages find balance in their everyday lives and their relationships with others. Our therapists are trained to set goals to help clients develop the skills to experience peace and fulfillment in their lives.

Please contact us for further resources on bullying/cyberbullying or to discuss another concern to see if we could be of assistance to you or your child. We have flexible scheduling options at our South Charlotte practice. To learn more about our services, visit our website at www.craigcounselingpllc.com.


Owner & Licensed Therapist, Charlotte, NC

"I love being a therapist for that moment when my client realizes that they have the power to change their direction in life. That spark in their eyes shows me that they have found hope again, and I am grateful for the opportunity to lead them." -Jessica Craig Driggers, M.Ed, LPC

I believe in the inate ability that we have to heal ourselves in most situations, physically and emotionally. We just need the tools to do so, that's where I come in. I am present-centered, meaning that I work with my clients in the moment- exactly where they are. I look at your body language, at times just as much as I focus on what you are saying. Our bodies can tell just as much of a story as our words. I use cognitive behavioral therapy often, because there is a strong interaction between what we think, how we feel, and the associated behaviors.

I'll assist you in identifying where you see yourself in the world, your value system, and I'll challenge those areas against your presenting concerns. I am action-oriented, which means that there will be assignments outside of the counseling room. I believe that counseling goes beyond the office and is most effective when we live it out in our daily lives. I assist my clients in healing considering the pressures and norms in today's society. I am a distance credentialed counselor, meaning that I can meet with you for online counseling sessions when appropriate.

My ideal client is:

  • Depressed or sad

and/or

  • Anxious or worried

and/or

  • Has low self-esteem or confidence

and

  • Motivated to change and work hard.

I can't wait to get started! Click here to schedule an appointment with me now. 

Licensed Therapist, Charlotte, NC

"I love being a counselor and seeing people in the midst of a challenging event come to the realization that life is going to be okay. Helping them discover the path they were really meant to be on and how to reach their goals keeps me pushing towards my passion." -Juliene Simpson Cook, MS, LPC

My passion lies in empowering my clients of all ages! I work with children, adolescents and adults at the practice. I facilitate individual, family, and couples counseling. I have advanced training with children, as I've worked as a middle school counselor for 18 years. I have had the ability to collaborate in schools, as well as the community to educate and promote healing with children and parents. I can assist parents in learning skills to manage their children's behaviors due to school issues or family dynamic changes. I also offer support in navigating 504 Plans and Individualized Education Plans (IEP).

I use cognitive behavioral therapy while I explore the link between your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. I have had the awesome opportunity to train with the Hypnosis Motivation Institute. When appropriate, I introduce these skills into my work with clients. I utilize motivational interveiwing in my work as a therapist because it helps clients resolve feelings of uncertainty and insecurity to find the internal motivation they need to change their behavior. Intrinsic motivation makes for the best changes! It is a regular practice to teach my clientsmindfullness skills to manage their emotional distress. I am a Therapy Dogs International Handler, and have a sweet pooch named Chloe who we may assist in our work together if appropriate.

My ideal client is:

  • Overwhelmed

and/or

  • An anxious or sad child or adult

and/or

  • Experiencing relationship issues

and/or

  • A confused parent

and/or

  • Struggling with adult or child ADHD

and

  • In need of flexible afternoon or evening appointments.

Let's go! Click here to schedule an appointment with me now.


We accept Blue Cross Blue Shield PPO plans, Aetna, & Medcost (CBHA).

I am out of network with all other insurance plans, and we can offer an invoice to submit towards your out of network benefits for potential reimbursement.

Self-Pay Rate: $100 per 55 minute session

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Monday, 19 November 2018

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