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Teenage Turmoil: Tackling Cyberbullying Frenemies To Foster Psychological Safety, 4

I recently listened to a Podcast series called “Three.” It’s about a friendship triangle where two best friends turned on the other and killed her simply because, ‘they didn’t like her anymore.’ The tension between them became hostile and violent, they didn’t know how to stop the conflict so in their teenage minds, killing her was the best way to handle it.  “


An extreme example? Yes, absolutely.

However, there’s truth to the ‘teenage brain’ aspect. In a teen’s brain the connection between the emotional and decision-making center are still developing, and won’t fully develop until their mid-to-late 20s.


What’s the ultimate message I’m trying to convey with this cyberbullying series? The pain is real and negative, bullying behavior isn’t always harmless or just, ‘kids being kids.’ Teenagers are often emotionally reactive and don’t have the full ability to completely grasp the powerful consequences of negative actions, and parents need to be involved with what their kids are doing.


This is the last in the ‘Teenage Turmoil: Tackling Cyberbullying Frenemies To Foster Psychological Safety,’ series which shares preventative tips for stopping cyberbullying and becoming familiar with local policies and laws. ‘Part III’ took a deep dive into what parents can do to protect their teens. ‘Part II,’ covered teenage cyberbullying impacts, ostrich parents, and tips on how to break the vicious cycle, and ‘Part I,’ provided an overview about what cyberbullying is.


In today’s interconnected world, teenage cyberbullying is a BIG concern. With the anonymity and ease of online interaction bullying behaviors have no boundaries and can cause profound emotional and psychological harm to victims. Tackling teenage cyberbullying frenemies to foster psychological safety, is a shared effort:


  1. United Community Involvement: The first step in addressing teenage cyberbullying is to recognize that it’s not an issue for schools or families to tackle alone. It’s a community-wide-problem that demands collective action to raise awareness about the prevalence of this negative online behaviors.


  1. Preventive Measures: Prevention is key, to cultivate a cyber-free community and combat teenage cyberbullying. It begins by building a community where cyberbullying isn’t tolerated and instead, fosters a culture of respect and empathy. Preventions measures can include: workshops, seminars and awareness campaigns to provide teens with the appropriate knowledge to navigate the digital world safely and responsibly.


  1. Encouraging Empathy: Helping teenagers understand the impact of their words and actions online, fosters a sense of compassion and understanding, making it less likely for them to engage in bullying behaviors.


  1. Responsible Digital Citizenship: Educating the importance of using online platforms ethically and responsibly, encourages teenagers to think critically about the content they share and equally so, the impact it has on others.


Know the laws in YOUR state.

Currently there isn’t a federal law against cyberbullying but all 50 states have laws against bullying. Every state except Alaska and Wisconsin has an explicit reference to cyberbullying in their anti-bullying laws.


In Virginia where I live, the Virginia Anti-Bullying Laws & Policies website clearly outlines components of state anti-bullying laws and regulations. It includes the following definition of bullying:


“any aggressive and unwanted behavior that is intended to harm, intimidate, or humiliate the victim; involves a real or perceived power imbalance between the aggressor or aggressors and victim; and is repeated over time or causes severe emotional trauma.”


What are the policy requirements for schools to prevent and respond to bullying behavior? Virginia school districts must include policies and procedures that prohibit bullying in district codes of student conduct.  School district policies must be consistent with the standards for school board policies on bullying and the use of electronic means for purposes of bullying developed by the state board.


Unfortunately, there will always be ‘mean’ people that cross your path in life.


“'Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play. And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate. And the fakers gonna fake, fake, fake, fake, fake. Baby, I'm just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake. I shake it off, I shake it off!” -Taylor Swift, 1989


Although it’s hard to do, remember, it’s them, not you. When dealing with a ‘mean frenemy,’ it’s important to know there are always to find support and help. Be strong and know you aren’t alone.


Cyberbullying is a complicated topic. Laws vary from state to state. They may even vary amongst schools.The power to curb this negative behavior lies in communicating awareness about what the negative bullying behaviors are, and establishing proactive programs to prevent them from occurring. In doing this, we can create a safer and more supportive online environment for teenagers.


To help you better understand how to navigate it, I’ve dedicated a page on my website specifically for this topic. I’m also talking to schools, to help foster awareness about what parents can do and where they can find support. Additionally, in an effort to ‘free the world from frenemies,’  you can find tips and advice in my book, ‘Behind Frenemy Lines.’ Message me with your proof of purchase, if you’d like the .pdf workbook to go along with it.

Today I will be fearless. Today I am grateful.

Shine on beautiful people. 🦄


P.S. If you’re interested in learning more about psychological safety and how to deal with female frenemies, follow me on LinkedIn!



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