Depression is an insidious disease that is a concern for any person experiencing it as well as their families. It is a special concern for children because they are still in the process of developing their emotional behavioral patterns and can be heavily influenced by the environment around them. Adolescent depression can be worsened when the child is being bullied or made fun of in school or social environments. With electronics becoming a fundamental part of communication cyber-bullying now has to be considered as well.
Reuter’s Health Service released an article called “Cyber-bullying causes more depression, study finds.” This study was conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. The Institute looked at data from a international survey conducted in 2005-2006 including 4,500 preteens and teens from the U.S. and one of the finds stated that children who were victims of cyber-bullying were more likely to have worse depression than those who were bullied in a face-to-face confrontation: "As such, cyber victims may be more likely to feel isolated, dehumanized or helpless at the time of the attack."
What can you do as a parent? It is important to be involved in your children’s activities to reduce any activities that can worsen their emotionally depressive state. There are simple steps you can take to reconnect with your children and prevent any type of bullying. Spend time with your children while they are on the computer. Understand what websites they are using. Talk to them about the messages they get from their friends and help them to craft responses to negative comments that make them feel good and empowered about their own self-esteem. Encourage your children’s interests and support them in joining clubs and organizations that sponsor evening and weekend activities. This will allow your children to connect with other kids their age who like some of the same things they do.
Eat dinner with your family. Turn off the TV, computers and telephones and spend at time each night eating dinner together.