How can I determine whether my kid is a cyberbully?
Kids with a history of face-to-face bullying also could start to cyberbully, so if this sounds like your kid, you're right to be concerned. These are some signs that could point toward a cyberbullying problem or some other emotional issue that needs attention:
Behavior changes. Is your normally happy kid grumpy, aggressive, or defiant?
Slipping grades. Is schoolwork suffering or inconsistent?
Moodiness. Is your kid only happy when he or she is texting or using the computer -- or happy only when not doing it?
Habitual use. Is his or her phone constantly buzzing? Is he or she using the computer or texting at all hours?
Secretive or evasive behavior. Does your kid hide his or her phone or other devices? Does he or she switch screens quickly when you walk by?
Multiple accounts. Does your kid have several online profiles for one social network, each with a different username and email address?
If you notice any of these behaviors, talk to your kid about what you see. If necessary, enlist the help of others, including teachers, family members, clergy, or therapists to get to the root of the problem. And if you find out that your child has been bullying others online, come up with a plan to address the damages, including apologizing to those who have been hurt and limiting the use of digital devices.