Ryan Patrick Halligan received instant messages calling him gay and was threatened, taunted and relentlessly insulted by cyber bullies. In October 2003, the 13-year-old committed suicide. Ryan's father, John Halligan stated, "He just went into a deep spiral in eighth grade. He couldn't shake this rumor."
If your child appears nervous or reluctant about sitting down at his computer, and is overly concerned about an instant message or email, be mindful of these subtle changes.
Your child is on the computer every day then all of a sudden, he's no longer interested. Carefully question why this habit has changed and ask him if he would like to discuss the matter further.
As a doting parent, you can always tell when something is wrong with your child. All it takes is one look and the concerns are written all over his face. Take time out of your busy day to find out what's going on in his life. Your discernment does not and should not come in an "in-your-face" fashion, simply ask a couple of questions. Don't worry if you do not initially receive answers. Be patient, kind, and loving and eventually he will open up. Most kids will not confide in their parents if questions are too probing and demanding.
Another sign of being bullied over the Internet is when a child becomes withdrawn. He no longer wants to socialize with family, friends, and shies away from normal activities, even those he are usually fond of doing.
Most teens have a rather hearty appetite, especially for their favorite foods. If your child begins to turn down his favorites, coupled with inactivity on the web, this is a clear sign that something is awry.
select one here...