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

I was recently talking with some teens about cyberbullying and how frequently it occurs. Unbeknownst to parents, one of the more frequent forms of cyberbullying harassment is ‘sexting,’ defined as,


“the sending of sexually suggestive or explicit messages in text, image or video form.”


Amongst teens it’s also called, ‘sexts, noodles, or nudes.’ As it pertains to cyberbullying, it’s typically shared ‘without consent with the intent to humiliate.’ Not only is this behavior harmful, it’s illegal in many states. Also on the rise for children, teens and college students, and one of the most common forms of blackmail is, ‘sextortion,’

“where someone online threatens to send a sexual image or video of you to other people if you don’t pay them or provide more sexual content.”


Did that grab your attention? It should! Cyberbullying is nothing to mess around with! Welcome to, ‘Teenage Turmoil: Tackling Cyberbullying Frenemies To Foster Psychological Safety, Part III,’ where I take a deep dive into what parents can do to protect their teens. ‘Teenage Turmoil, Part II,’ covered teenage cyberbullying impacts, ostrich parents, and tips on how to break the vicious cycle. ‘Teenage Turmoil, Part I,’ explained what cyberbullying is.


In today's digital age, cyberbullying has become a widespread issue. With the rise of social media and online gaming, teens are increasingly vulnerable to harassment, intimidation, and humiliation. So often in these bullying situations, teenage victims are afraid and don’t know what to do. Because there’s shame associated with the behavior, they frequently don’t ask for help. As a parent, it's essential to take proactive measures to safeguard your teen from the harmful effects of cyberbullying.


Here are some ways to become more involved:

  1. Communication + Education: It’s difficult to bring up uncomfortable topics but open communication helps to foster a supportive environment where teens feel comfortable sharing information WITH YOU. Encourage your teen to share if they’ve experienced any type of bullying, and assure them that you're there to provide support. Educate your teen about online responsibilities, the importance of treating others with respect and kindness, as well as potential consequences of cyberbullying, both for the victim and the bully.

  2. Document, Document, Document! Keep detailed records of cyberbullying incidents, including screenshots of offensive messages, posts, or comments. Document the dates, times, and nature of each incident to provide evidence for potential legal action.

  3. School Engagement: Know your child’s school bullying policies. If nothing’s in place, advocate to implement educational, anti-bullying policies that help promote online safety. Work with teachers, counselors, and administrators to develop comprehensive, proactive strategies for prevention and intervention. If your child is a victim, collaborate with the school to proactively address it. If the bullying continues, don't hesitate to seek support from relevant authorities and report the incidents to school officials.  

  4. Cease + Desist Letters: Let them know you’re serious. Issue a formal cease and desist letter to the bully and their parents warning them of legal consequences to their actions. This type of letter is a precursor to potential legal action, but it may encourage the bully to stop the harmful behavior.

  5. Legal Measures: If the situation escalates and poses a threat to your teen’s well-being, involve the law. Consult with a legal expert to explore your options and rights as a parent. Consider obtaining a restraining order, or pursue a civil lawsuit against the bully and their parents. These legal measures help enforce consequences for their actions and provide protection for your teen. In the case of cyberbullying, it’s important to know when and how to involve law enforcement. Report serious offenses that violate harassment, defamation, or child endangerment laws. Provide law enforcement authorities with the necessary information and evidence to investigate and address the issue effectively. Keep in mind, laws will vary by state.

Parents play a crucial role in advocating a safer online environment to protect their teens from the negative impacts of cyberbullying. Combating teenage cyberbullying to foster psychological safety however, requires a collaborative effort that involves parents, schools, authorities, and the community at large.


Cyberbullying is a complicated topic. 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.


Stay tuned, for part IV of this series in two weeks, where I share preventative tips for stopping cyberbullying and becoming familiar with local policies and laws.


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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