Q:

My middle-schooler is wildly unhappy and becoming very reluctant to go to school. She is being bullied on the Net and told she should leave the school because no one likes her. What can we do to stop this bullying? -- Cyberbullying

A:

Talk to the school immediately. Don't waste time with intermediaries; go to the principal. Explain the cyberbullying. Chances are very high that other children are also being bullied, and the school needs to take a proactive role in squelching cyberbullying.

On the home front, you need to be supportive of your daughter. Point out that the bullying is in no way her fault and affirm that you know that she feels bad. Acknowledge that this is an incredibly tough situation. Her way to conquer this bullying is by remaining in school. It is not a good idea for her to reply online, as it acknowledges that she is paying attention to the bullying. Be sure to explain to her that cyberbullies are cowards who hide behind anonymity.

One of the best things that you can do is to encourage her to reinvest in her friends. She should share with her friends what is happening online. They will give her social support that is so important at this time.