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Topic : 10/28 Cyber Bullying

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Created on : Friday, October 24, 2008, 02:49:53 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
Bullies love an audience, and there’s no bigger playground than the World Wide Web. Cyber bullies create vulgar MySpace posts to taunt others, or send harassing text messages and threatening e-mails. Dr. Phil tackles this topic head on with his son, Jay, whose new book, Jay McGraw’s Life Strategies for Dealing with Bullies, offers action-oriented plans. Jay recently sat down with a group of teens to get their perspective on cyber bullying -- and they didn’t hold back! Learn what concerns the students the most. Next, 17-year-old Austyn says a close friend turned on her, hacked into her MySpace account and reformatted the page to say that Austyn is a " slut," a “sag” and a “butter face.”  Austyn says she now has a bad reputation at school and shows Dr. Phil producers a typical day in her life. What can the teen do to empower herself? Steve DeWarns, a police officer and founder of, explains when cyber bullying becomes a crime. Then, is your child capable of intimidating other kids? Jay gives the Dos and Don’ts of reacting to a bully. Plus, meet a teen who fears his future may be ruined after a fake MySpace page was created in his name, and a mother who says her 15-year-old son was bullied to death. Join the discussion.

Find out what happened on the show.

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October 26, 2008, 8:03 pm CDT

cyber bullying

As a society we have lost our way.  We seem to always deal with problems after the fact, rather than try to prevent them.  Cell phones, and the internet have opened up a Pandora's Box of evil beyond anything I could have imagined in my 64 years.  We are becoming parodies of ourselves.  Sorry, folks, but the sky is falling.  We have lost control and have, in the guise of free speech, become thoughtless and mean because we have little personal contact these days.  We no longer have parents who not only say NO, but demand it.  We no longer have any decorum and good manners in our approach to each other.  Our "empire" is being reduced to the ashes that once destroyed the Greek and Roman empires, as well as countless others.  I am not some holy roller.  I am a divorced mother who pretty much raised two daughters alone.  They both are college educated and professional women.  We are pandering to the lowest common denominater.  Seems reminiscent of "Lord of the Flies". 
October 27, 2008, 9:54 am CDT


I believe that there is a fundamental problem in families when parents ignore the warning signs that their child's behavior is inappropriate and, in some cases, dangerous.  I once taught in private and parochial schools and cannot remember how many parents blamed everyone but their own parenting and their child for problems that arose from their child's attitudes and behavior.  Their chld was "misunderstood," or the teacher was "meanspirited" or "disliked" their child; or it was the fault of the other child. 


Some parents are overwhelmed by work; some are oblivious; some simply do not care.  All too many did not recognize that their own child had a problem. 


When I was a teacher I often wished that people needed to attend parenting classes before having children.  Since that didn't and won't happen, all parents need to be involved in lives of the children in their community -- at school, at home, and elsewhere -- so that they are not only aware of problems but also able somehow to be better parents -- not merely reproducing organisms.

October 27, 2008, 10:50 am CDT

10/28 Cyber Bullying

Quote From: jathena

As a society we have lost our way.  We seem to always deal with problems after the fact, rather than try to prevent them.  Cell phones, and the internet have opened up a Pandora's Box of evil beyond anything I could have imagined in my 64 years.  We are becoming parodies of ourselves.  Sorry, folks, but the sky is falling.  We have lost control and have, in the guise of free speech, become thoughtless and mean because we have little personal contact these days.  We no longer have parents who not only say NO, but demand it.  We no longer have any decorum and good manners in our approach to each other.  Our "empire" is being reduced to the ashes that once destroyed the Greek and Roman empires, as well as countless others.  I am not some holy roller.  I am a divorced mother who pretty much raised two daughters alone.  They both are college educated and professional women.  We are pandering to the lowest common denominater.  Seems reminiscent of "Lord of the Flies". 

Congrats on raising good kids. I am still in the process myself, but I think you will agree that instilling realistic self esteme is crucial, and always useful in being resiliant to bullies, whether in person, on the phone, or on the chat.


I agree that parents are part of the problem, not only by not saying no, but mostly by being absent. It isn't their fault really. They have to earn a living, but they aren't home, and 9 times out of 10 when they do say no they are so misinformed and unaware of what is going on, that NO isn't even the right answer. Parents are out of touch with their kids, and the kids are raising themselves and each other, because parents have gone AWOL. The kids are growing up in a high pressure vacuum, with zero tolerance, and zero rights. It isn't that parents are stupid, or have poor judgment, but they are misled, and manipulated by society, so that they have no resistance to peer pressure, because they themselves are in the grip of it. They can't give their kids what they have been robbed of, which is dignity, and self control. They are not masters of their own fate, so how can they teach their kids to take the bull by the horns. How can they tell them how to handle bullies, when they are being bullied themselves. The school tries to force kids to be passive, and that they have no rights. In generations past when a child was bullied, The parents would go to the school and talk to the principal, and things would be straightened out. Now the parents don't know, and don't trust their kids, and they won't stick up for the kids. The parents are afraid of the principal, and the principal is afraid of the bullies too, and no one is taking care of the problem. No one is instilling the self esteme in these kids to help them fend off the bullies, and the system attacks people for taking care of themselves in a hostile environment, which no one wants to admit is hostile... but public schools are a hostile environment. So is the work place, and so is society in general.


The internet is only a tool.It could bring us down, sure, but it also has the potential to save our society. It can be used in the ways we see fit. Thank God, and Bill Gates for the computer and internet. It is a wonderful thing. A real gift of knowledge, and communication. IFpeople want to waste the wonderful gift, by looking at pornography, and gossiping about others, then that is their choice, but we DO NOT have to participate, If we don't want to read something escape is at the touch of a button.


The huge plus about the internet, is that it can't hurt us, unless we let it. Unlike the phone which jangles our nerves as well as our ears with unwanted calls, we DO NOT  have to chat with people on line, unless we want to. The ease of blocking people from all the messengers and chats is one of the huge bright sides. WE don't have to open e-mail, and in fact we can delete it unread, or read it and pretend we didn't. No response is necessary. On forums, people can be banned, and dismissed easily. We do not have to tolerate bullies on line. They can say what they want, but we don't have to listen, unlike when they are in our faces at school or work or on the street. It is very EASY to ignor on line bullies, and still use the internet for more positive purposes.


There are down sides, including cyber stalkers and people whom we meet in life and on line, whom we get tired of talking to long before they tire of talking to us. In the cyber realm, we press a button and we can't read or hear what they say. I wish we could do this in person actually.


I have a site of my own now, a little forum where kids can come and talk to an on line mom. I started it after I joined a forum where there were a lot of teens. Before I'd been on a forum with old men in their sixties. It is strange how forums tend to reach a certain age even though they are based in interests. I figured I might be kind of unpopular on this site with all the kids, but I wanted information about what they were discussing. In no time though I was getting messages from kids, "I am home alone, and have a nose bleed! What can I do to make it stop?" or "I am home alone and there is a storm. I am scared, would you talk to me till it stops?" Then it picked up a bit. "My dad tried to molest me, what can i do?" or "I am having recuring nightmares, what does it mean?" I also help with improving writing skills, and how to reserach term papers. In general the topic of our site is our developing spiritualty and dealing with visionary abilities, which many children, and some adults have. The are kids on my site are gifted, most of them academically, but all of them have a lot of intuitive abilities, which cause them to be a little different than their peers. I give them a place of acceptance, where they can express their visions, and their opinions on most anything and still be accepted. We are a little family and my on line kids are there mostly to interact with me and each other in a safe environment. WE don't allow bullying, and my only real rule is that we all have to respond to each other with love, concern and respect. WE build self esteme, and try to care for each other through difficulties.


These kids work together to solve their life problems, deal with their inner anxieties, and discuss ways to prepare for an uncertain future, which most all of them get glempses of every now and then. WE compare notes and agree that the future is up for grabs. The future isn't set. There are many different forces both human divine and demonic that seek control of it. It is a war that still rages and we don't know the outcome, but we do know that there is hope. It is up to us as human beings, all of us, not just the visionaries to take responsiblity for our own personal futures and to whenever possible lead others in the right direction. The right direction it towards compassion, and fairness. We have hope that tradgedy can be averted, and we are using our abilities to try to understand and correct problems though prayer, spiritual work, and divine guidance.


There are some frighening possibilities for the future. Bio engineered plagues, coliding planets, global warming, government colapse, esculating war, and political oppression, are among the top concerns. However these things aren't set in stone, and we know that through it all we are more than conqurors. WE can handle the future no matter what it is, as long as we keep the faith and believe in ourselves, our god given abilities.


When you are considering such important and weighty matters, the opinons of these bullies sort of fades and become irrelivant. Who cares what some idiot says about you? Even if they are believed what difference does it really make. WE know who we are, and what we are made of. These things are of no consequence, and will soon fade into obscurity. If you ignore it or handle it appropriately then it will stop. It is our fear of bullies, and our reaction that makes them powerful, and if we refuse to react in the ways they expect, then what they are doing just looks stupid.  

October 27, 2008, 3:46 pm CDT

Cyber Bullying

    Parents need to get involved. When chilldren are roaming around on the internet and they get somewhere where there are these cyber bullies or bullies can take advantage of them. Parents need to take the  internet away and protect their children.............
October 27, 2008, 9:52 pm CDT

10/28 Cyber Bullying

Quote From: frosado

Cyberspace has so many advantages and great ways to find great resources for anything that we need.  Unfortunately,  Man has perverted cyberspace so badly to where now we have "cyberbullying".  Now it's so easy to bash someone and spread rumors about them, not only around school or the work place, but spreading them throughout the whole entire world.  Are we this cowardly that we have to hurt others by bashing them through the Internet?  Teenagers have no business having a My Space nor any other chat account to begin with.  We as parents need to block websites that can be threatening to our children, and monitor where they surf.  Limit their time in the Internet. Put them in other activities so that they do not have time to be bullying others in the Internet.   That is why we have family safety, so what we can keep our children from this type of danger.  I know that not everything is controllable and we cannot be with our children 24-7, but we can do our best to prevent stuff like this from happening .  It's better than doing nothing about it. 


We need to set an example for our kids.  It's just plain common sense!  I remember the poor 13 year old girl committing suicide because a PARENT disguised herself as a 16 year old boy and toyed with this girl's mind, just so that she can get information if this 13 year old girl was talking bad about her daughters.. How mature of her!!  In my eyes, this lady is a murderer for doing such a horrible thing.  A parent lost a child because of another parent's immature action and poor judgement.   I have a 13 year old son, and I don't know what I would be capable of if a neighbor is remotely hurting my child like that.  If our children look at this wonderful example,  they will think that it is acceptable to bully someone around in the Internet.  If our  kids see us fight, argue and bully little league coaches, karate instructors, teachers and neighbors, guess what.?  They are going to do the same thing, whether if it's through the Internet or live.  That's right, it will bite right back at us.


Dr Phill is right.. Bullies love an audience, and they will do anything to get attention.  When someone, whether if it's a friend, schoolmate or a family member, tries to bully and upset my son in some form or fashion, my husband and I always remind our son that bullies are nothing but cowards with a low self esteem, that loves to grill a kid with great morals just to make themselves look high and mighty.  Bottomline:  Teenagers should not have access to My Space or any other chat account until they are grown and out of the house. 

Eventually guarding your children from the evils of the world will make them ultrasesitive to the evils of the world. You can't hold your child's hand all throughout life. Especially their teen years, it's just not possible. What you should be doing is limiting their ability to make large mistakes. Educate them some and let them make their own decisions sometimes. If you don't you will be setting them up for a very troubled young adult hood(18-24).

Let me give you a case. I'm 20 and a senior Biology student at a major university. I work two jobs and go to school full time. When I was 17, I had a girlfriend of 17 with parents very much like you. They were very overly protective, they had a list of things they didn't want their daughter doing. One thing was dating boys, another was social networking sites and amongst those two was sex, hanging out with 'bad' teens, and basically everything you can imagine. They were insane about limitations, they had timers for phone calls, internet use, and pretty much any action in her life. Well, being teens of legal consenting age(17 for Texas) me and her decided to have sex after about six months in the relationship. They caught word and banned me from seeing her. All of the limits combined with not being able to see her best friend of many years/boyfriend of many months tramatized her ability to romantically socialize and she went on to be an emotional wreck. Over the past two years she's had several boyfriends, cheated on all of them, dropped out of college for a guy, moved three hours away for a guy, been abused sexually by guys. And there's no longer a legal intervention her parents can take because she won't let anyone with good intentions control her. That is just my personal experience with over protective parents. The problem is parents think their children are going to get several years of life experience on the day they turn 18, grow up, and be functional adults. They need to transition into adulthood, that's the bottom line.

As far as the internet is concerned, pretty much any social site can be dangerous. The key word is can. With some very simple precations they can be virtually harmless and even beneficial.
October 28, 2008, 3:22 am CDT


We have an Apple computer, and on it it has Parental Controls. On this we as PARENTS decide how much time is appropriate for our 13 year old. He has a Myspace page but, we as PARENTS have complete access to it. We also search for his name once in a while to see if there is another one out there that we do not know about. There is not one, we also show interest in what he is doing. It is our job as PARENTS to teach our children that there are limits. On this Parental Control we can block websites that are not acceptable, you can also block adult content. It is our job as PARENTS to teach our children what is acceptable and what is not. If it were not for this control we have over the internet then our 13 year old would not be allowed to be surfing the net without a PARENT around. It is our job to protect, teach and raise our children. I think that the computer should be in a family room and not in the bedroom, kids will be kids and try to push their limits. We will be PARENTS and set those limits. We explain what is acceptable behavior and what is not, bullying is not if these PARENTS were involved in their children's lives I would like to think that they would be active on stopping the bullying. Where are the PARENTS of the bully's?
October 28, 2008, 5:53 am CDT

Thank You, Dr. Phil

Thank you for bringing an important issue to light.  Most people are not aware of how serious this is.  I never knew until it happened to my son.  I also want to thank SafeWave for helping get the myspace page down.  Thank you both for helping my son.

October 28, 2008, 6:26 am CDT

it happens to adult to

The thing about cyber bullying is it can happen to adults as well as kids and can ruin a marriage. I had someone who got a hold of a picture that was ment for my husbands eyes only and posted it on a singles web page advertising that I was looking for afternoon affairs on my lunch hour. After it had been on for a short while they must of noticed that I was not getting the emails from this sight do to them going to my junk folder. They had a guy call my husband and tell him that they had sent me an email and to have me check my junk folder. the email was worded like they wanted to meet me for lunch to offer me a job. They then sent an email to my husband and my son telling them I was looking for someone else and giving them the website address. Thank God when my husband confronted me about this we were able to talk it out and find ways to show it was not me that put it up there so we deleted the page on the website and tried to move on. Also luckily we are parents who monitor our childrens internet access we pulled up our 16 year old sons email just to be safe and intercepted the email to him before he ever saw it. We sat all of our kids down and warned them so that they would delete the email from this person without opening them and let us know if they recieved any. This of course ment having a very embarrassing conversation with them explain all of it. We know it had to be someone who had access to our home when we were not there to have found the picture and took it and to have so much information about me as well as everyones email addresses. While we have had several people not in our lives anymore that could of done it there is no way to know which one it is. So as you can see cyber bullying is a problem with all ages and needs to be concidered a crime no matter what age.
October 28, 2008, 6:58 am CDT


October 28, 2008, 7:00 am CDT

Austyn and others

I hope bringing this to the public light will help make this a "used to be" problem.  Empathy is taught at an early age and this is a parenting problem.  Parents who have the attitude that their child could not possibly have been a "mean girl" or been in a fight, or posted ugly, untrue things about another child are the ones responsible for ending this problem.  Parents need to be held responsible legally in the civil courts and in criminal courts when crimes have taken place.  Had one of my children done anything like this, he would have had a miserable experience repaying the victim and the family.  He would have been doing chores at their home for two years without pay and made to wear a sandwich sign saying he was a bully.  Think that would cure it?  We need some parents who know what tough love is.  It would be interesting to do a show of former bullied people who were "ugly ducklings" as teens or nerds, and show how successful they have become.  Austyn, you are model beautiful.  Conduct yourself and dress yourself like a lady.  Put the jealous bullies to shame.
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