How to handle a cyberbully

More and more children are being harassed, threatened and impersonated through the Internet, cell phones, cameras and other technology by others with malicious intent.

“Cyberbullying can be just as harmful emotionally as regular bullying,” says Dr. Thomas Van Hoose, a clinical psychologist affiliated with UT Southwestern Medical Center. “And because much of technology is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, bullying can be more consistent, and written messages can have more lasting negative effects on kids because they can read them over and over, sending their mood further into depression and possibly despair.”

Dr. Van Hoose suggests that a parent teach their child to handle a cyberbully the following ways:

  • Don’t seek revenge;
  • Logoff or leave the website; block future communication from the aggressor;
  • Find a safe way to deal with anger after receiving bullying communication;
  • Don’t forward messages or pictures to other people;
  • Keep a record of communication from the cyberbully; and
  • Report incidents to parents, and if necessary, to local law enforcement officials.

Visit to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services for mental health, including psychiatry.

Media Contact: LaKisha Ladson