Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…
Dear GWBW — I have two daughters and one of them gets cyber bullied and bullied in school, while her sister is Miss Popular. This makes the picked on one feel even worse. How do help her? — Torn Dad
Dear Torn Dad,
I’m sorry to hear about your family’s pain and your daughters’ (both of them) situation. While it’s pretty easy to see how difficult your bullied daughter must have it, it may be less obvious what your more popular daughter is feeling around her sister’s situation at their school. Some of her feelings might surprise you — they may have common ground in shame while experiencing/expressing it very differently. Aside from informing and involving school officials (and why not any other support groups your family may be involved with, such as your church or cyber bullying organizations), holding regularly scheduled supportive and strategic family meetings towards encourage your daughters (and by extension, your family) to work as a team (solidarity, identifying and less loneliness for both) to soothe if not conquer the abusiveness, and build up self-esteem. From A-Z in the process, enable the sisters’ truthful sharing by embracing both seemingly positive and negative emotions offered. Shedding light on them is the most important part, not that someone may have what may on the surface appear to be “inappropriate” feelings (i.e., shame or embarrassment of either the situation or her sibling). If they weren’t close before, sharing this experience may help them forge a bond that could long outlive your family unit.
Some previous GWBW posts (search “bully” at our site for others):
(building character) Dodgeball, In or Out of Bounds?
Basic cyber bullying TIPS:
• Delete messages from offenders without reading them
• Don’t try to seek revenge or cyber bully back, or someone else
Awareness of why teens bully:
• It gives them attention
• They think everyone cyberbullies
Stay aware of your kids’ friends on- and offline. Talk openly and regularly about their online activities, and restrict computer time to homework and approved sites and (email) lists.
No Bully Zone,
Your Witches are in a period of time when family issues are omnipresent for us each. Send some love and light to GoodWitch and her fam today especially. Thank you.
Image: Chris Whitehead, Getty Images
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