Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein Offers Tips To Ease The Anguish For Teen And Tween Victims of Cyberbullying

The recent New York Times article, ‘Online Bullies Pull Schools Into the Fray’, outlined the modern day problems teens and tweens face in the today’s online culture. Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein, author of The Truth, (I’m A Girl, I’m Smart and I Know Everything) offers tips for parents to help combat cyberbullying

The explosive growth of cell phones, computers and online social sites have created a modern day problem that parents of teens and tweens must face and hopefully overcome – cyberbullying.

Remember when a tiny note rolled up and passed along in class could be devastating? Or someone changing tables in the cafeteria as you sat down could be a message that hurt for months? These sorts of events were awful and children were known to cry themselves to sleep over such innocent slights and hurts.

“Just magnify that by 1000,” stated Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein, “and you get closer to what today's kids have to deal with. The New York Times article brilliantly outlines the typical nightmares that many kids of today face and also the difficulties that schools have in curbing much of it. After all, schools of today, just as 30 years ago, can't control what happens after school or on the weekend. As a psychologist and school psychologist I take very seriously what is happening to today's kids. Parents and schools need to respond and act, not just react.”

Parents are, as always, on the front line of the child’s development. This means parents must:

* Make themselves available to the child at meals, in the car, in the evening when possible, and on the weekends.

* Not use cell phones, phones, or computers when the child is expecting and may need connection, help, advice or simply love. Research shows that kids don't like it when their parents are only giving them partial concentration.

* Refuse to talk on a cell in the car when the child is in the car. They should also refuse to bring any phone to the dinner table, and not answer the phone during mealtime, except during emergencies.

* Make certain to have meals with the child at least three nights a week.

* Plan weekend time as a family. During that time, whether a picnic or a visit to a relative, set aside only brief times when anyone uses technology.

In the NYT article, Maeve Cannon, a 14-year-old eighth grader advising younger people how to avoid bullying, was quoted as saying, "If you're under 13, you shouldn't even be on Facebook." Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein agrees 100% with Maeve and would even take the advice further.

"If you child is under 13,” she stated, “he or she should be so tired at night from school work, hobbies, studying an instrument or taking a sport, helping with chores, socializing with family and friends, that the very thought of lifting a finger to talk on a keyboard, without the human input of a smile or a grimace, just wouldn't make sense!"

She further states: "Bullying is often the outgrowth of excess emotions and energies that are not more wholesomely directed. Feelings and thoughts can run amuck in anyone, particularly youngsters already experiencing so many emotional and bodily changes, when they are not challenged, encouraged and taught how to make good use of their time."

Dr. Barbara speaks regularly on radio programs around the country, and appears on television in New York and New Jersey. Her inspiring audio shows and podcasts can be found on the web, along with hundreds of her articles and stories. She has been a contributor to Heart and Soul, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Redbook, Simple Pleasures, The Wall Street Journal, Time on line, and Family Circle Magazine. She can be reached using the information below or by email at drbarbara@enchantedself.com


Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein, internationally know Positive Psychologist is the creator of The Enchanted Self ®, a positive psychology method for increasing happiness. Dr. Holstein has been a school psychologist for over 25 years. She is in private practice in Long Branch, New Jersey with her husband, Dr. Russell M. Holstein.

Her pathfinder book ‘The Enchanted Self, A Positive Therapy’ was published in 1997 by Harwood Academic Publishers and is now in its second printing through Brunner-Routledge. Her second book ‘Recipes for Enchantment, The Secret Ingredient is YOU!’ has received rave reviews as a wonderful inspirational story book. ‘DELIGHT’, Dr. Holstein’s third book is available in two versions, paperback and a CD-rom that includes music, art, and Dr. Holstein’s voice.

Her book, ‘The Truth, (I’m a girl, I’m Smart and I Know Everything)’ is a first in positive psychology. It is a fiction book for girls, tweens and teens. Written by an 11 year old girl as a diary, Dr. Barbara has embedded within the story positive truths and concepts geared to help girls develop self-esteem and resiliency

Her second book in The Truth Series is Secrets: You Tell Me Yours and I’ll Tell You Mine…maybe!’ Now the girl is 13. She handles many adolescent issues, including a crush, moving, a death in the family, feeling fat and problems with girlfriends. Kids and parents have a book they can share and use as a sounding board for needed communication between the generations.

All books are available at the author’s websites below, online booksellers and stores nationwide.


Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein
170 Morris Ave., Long Branch, New Jersey 07740