Cyberbullying for Kids


By Ritu Chandra M.D. from  

Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children and includes  behaviors that focus on making someone else feel inadequate, or focus on belittling someone else and is done with the intention of bringing another person down. There are different kinds of bullying: physical, social, verbal, cyber.

Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place using electronic technology, including devices and equipment such as cell phones, computers, and tablets as well as communication including social media sites, text messages, chat, and websites.

Examples of cyberbullying include mean text messages or emails, rumors sent by email or posted on social networking sites, and embarrassing pictures, videos, websites, or fake profiles.

Why Cyberbullying is Different

-Cyberbullying can happen 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and reach a kid even when he or she is alone. It can happen any time of the day or night and even during the summer vacation. It is hard to get away from the behavior.

-Cyberbullying messages and images can be posted anonymously and distributed quickly to a very wide audience.

-It can be difficult and sometimes impossible to trace the source.

-Completely deleting inappropriate or harassing messages, texts, and pictures is extremely difficult after they have been posted or sent.

Effects of Cyberbullying

Kids who are cyberbullied are more likely to use alcohol and drugs, skip school, experience in-person bullying, be unwilling to attend school, receive poor grades, have lower self-esteem, and have more health problems.

Real Examples of Cyberbullying for Kids

  • A kid in Pennsylvania committed suicide because he was called a ‘freak’ and was told that no one liked him.
  • A kid jumped off a bridge because his homosexual sexual encounter video was posted online.
  • An OH girl sexted a nude photo of herself to her boyfriend. When they broke up, he posted this photo on social media sites and then the entire school started calling her names; she hung herself in her closet. This is called ‘Revenge Porn.’

Why children do not seek help?

-No language or framework, feel alone, fear of retaliation, think others may not believe them, parents or teachers may not know what to do

Prevent Cyberbullying for Kids

Parents and kids can prevent cyberbullying. Together, they can explore safe ways to use technology.

  • Talk with your kids about cyberbullying and other online issues regularly.
  • Be Aware of What Your Kids are Doing Online- know the sites your kids visit and their online activities, ask where they’re going, what they’re doing, and who they’re doing it takes away cell phone
  • Tell your kids that as a responsible parent you may review their online communications if you think there is reason for concern.
  • Installing parental control filtering software or monitoring programs are one option for monitoring your child’s online behavior, but do not rely solely on these tools.
  • Have a sense of what they do online and in texts.
  • Learn about the sites they like.
  • Try out the devices they use.
  • Ask for their passwords, but tell them you’ll only use them in case of emergency.
  • Ask to “friend” or “follow” your kids on social media sites or ask another trusted adult to do so.
  • Encourage your kids to tell you immediately if they, or someone they know, is being cyberbullied.
  • Explain that you will NOT take away their computers or cell phones if they confide in you about a problem they are having.


Establish Rules about Technology Use

  • Be clear about what sites they can visit and what they are permitted to do when they’re online. Show them how to be safe online.
  • Set a strong password.
  • Help them be smart about what they post or say. Tell them not to share anything that could hurt or embarrass themselves or others. Once something is posted, it is out of their control whether someone else will forward it.
  • Encourage kids to think about who they want to see the information and pictures they post online. Should complete strangers see it? Real friends only? Friends of friends? Think about how people who aren’t friends could use it.
  • Tell kids to keep their passwords safe and not share them with friends. Sharing passwords can compromise their control over their online identities and activities.

Steps to Take Immediately

  • CyberbullyingALWAYS TELL. The most important thing is that you tell someone about the bullying. “A problem shared is a problem halved.” If possible, this should be an adult that you trust.
  • Don’t respond to and don’t forward cyberbullying messages.
  • Keep evidence of cyberbullying. Record the dates, times, and descriptions of instances when cyberbullying has occurred. Save and print screenshots, emails, and text messages. Block the person who is cyberbullying.
  • Change the phone number or online ID of your child

Report Cyberbullying to Online Service Providers

Cyberbullying often violates the terms of service established by social media sites and internet service providers and it should be reported so they can take action against users abusing the terms of service.

Report Cyberbullying to Law Enforcement

Cyberbullying for kids should be reported to law enforcement officials in cases of threats of violence, child pornography, sending sexually explicit messages or photos, talking and hate crimes.

Report Cyberbullying to Schools

Cyberbullying can create a disruptive/hostile environment at school and is often related to in-person bullying. The school can use the information to help inform prevention and response strategies.

Ritu Chandra, M.D. is the founder of Preferred Medical Group in Phenix City. She is a board-certified pediatrician, and school related-problems, such as bullying is a special area of interest.

Managing Juvenile Diabetes

managing diabetes

Managing juvenile diabetes: 4 simple steps to keep your child safe at school

Between figuring out after-school schedules and seemingly constant school supply shopping trips, back-to-school time can be stressful for any parent. But some parents have more to think about than others. There are about 208,000 boys and girls under the age of 20 living with juvenile diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association, and parents of these children need to take steps to ensure their kids are safe in school.

Diabetes management is 24 hours a day, including both the many hours spent in the classroom and at other school events. As a parent of a child with diabetes, you need to feel confident that when you send your child to school, he or she will feel medically safe, be treated fairly and receive the same educational opportunities as every other student.

Reduce the amount of stress you feel in sending your child to school with these four simple steps:

Stay informed and have a plan.

Get the facts about legal protections for your child. Federal laws and many states have laws that protect children with diabetes from discrimination and require schools to meet the diabetes management needs of students. First, update your child’s Diabetes Medical Management Plan or physician’s orders so you can provide your child’s school with the information they’ll need. This is also a good time to develop or update a Section 504 Plan or Individualized Education Program (IEP) that sets out accommodations and modifications needed by your child to safely and fully participate in all school activities.

Pay attention to staff basic diabetes training. 

Every school staff member who is responsible for a child with diabetes should receive training on the basics of diabetes. These staff members should understand the daily needs of a child and know how to identify and get help in a diabetes emergency.

Get to know the school nurse or health coordinator.

The school nurse or school health coordinator is not only the coordinator but also the primary provider of diabetes care for your child. Be sure your child is comfortable with the school nurse as he or she is usually the main person responsible for making sure your child is safe. Additionally, a small group of school staff, preferably a group that interacts with your child often, should be trained by a health professional to provide both routine and emergency care in the event that the school nurse is unavailable. Provide the supplies, insulin and food your child will need and make sure they’re in an accessible location.

Advocate for self-management.

Capable students should be permitted to self-manage their diabetes anywhere, anytime. If your child self-manages he or she should be allowed to carry supplies, medication and food.

Follow these tips to get into a smooth back-to-school routine where you can feel at ease while your child has the freedom to learn and grow.

If you don’t feel comfortable and confident in the care your child is receiving at school or if you feel your child is being treated unfairly, contact the American Diabetes Association for assistance.

10 ways to enjoy a hassle-free Thanksgiving

hassle free Thanksgiving

From cooking an extravagant turkey dinner to readying the house for guests, hosting Thanksgiving is a lot of work. This annual day of thanks should be focused on connecting with family and enjoying each other’s company, not worrying if the bird will be dry or the kids will be bored. Here are 10 smart ideas to streamline your Thanksgiving holiday so you can relax and enjoy it to the fullest.

1. Plan ahead.

Start planning Thanksgiving up to a month in advance. Get solid RSVPs so you know how many people to expect. This makes planning meals, organizing activities and rearranging chairs/furniture much easier. Pick up the phone or send out a nicely crafted event email with a RSVP request.

2. Inspire gratitude.

Don’t let the reason for the season get lost in the holiday hubbub. Simply get blank stationary or gift tags at the store and hand them out upon your guests’ arrival. Have each person write down one thing they are thankful for and add it to a bowl. After dinner, pull them out one by one, reading each out aloud and guessing who wrote it.

3. Visit a restaurant.

Mix things up this year by eating your Thanksgiving meal at a restaurant. You won’t be alone; an estimated 15 million people choose to eat at a restaurant for their turkey day feast. Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, for example, is one option open on Thanksgiving. You can enjoy a traditional, homemade holiday meal featuring roasted turkey and homemade sides like sweet potato casserole – all without the stress of cooking and cleaning at home. Yum!

4. Sleep and exercise.

Get a good night’s rest the evening before the big day — it will help you stay focused and relaxed. Furthermore, don’t interrupt your exercise routine. Workout in the morning to release healthy endorphins that reduce stress levels. (Plus, then you don’t have to feel guilty about having a second slice of pie.)

5. Keep kids busy.

Keep kids from bouncing off the walls by planning a few simple activities. Create “busy bags” for each child with fun activities they can do on their own, such as counting cards, puzzles, dominos and memory games. These are great on-the-go or at home. Another idea is to create special kid spaces throughout the home, such as a table with crayons and paper or a corner with blankets, pillows and picture books. If the weather is nice, create a scavenger hunt list with things that are in the yard.

6. Order in.

Forget slaving for hours in the kitchen when you can order in and eat in the comfort of your home. Special order your family meal “To-Go” from your nearest deli. And if you call it yours, we promise not to tell.


7. Create festive table decor.

If you do grab a Thanksgiving meal-to-go from a restaurant or cook at home, it’s simple to create a memorable tablescape that embraces the feeling of fall. Instead of place cards, write guests’ names on miniature pumpkins. Skip tapered candles and instead scoop out the top section of a few apples and add tea lights. Cluster or line them up in a row to create eye-catching ambiance.

8. Prime the pumpkins.

No need to buy extra bowls, just reach for your favorite gourds. Pumpkins add elegance to any setting when used as bowls. All you have to do is carve and line them with tin foil or place a smaller bowl inside. Now you have the perfect way to serve dip and chips or add ice to stylishly chill drinks.

9. Delegate duties.

Trying to do it all makes for a stressful Thanksgiving and almost guarantees something will go wrong. If you’re overwhelmed, take up offers to help. From asking Aunt Sue to watch the children and Uncle Joe to set the table, delegating can be the key to Thanksgiving happiness. Be sure to assign clean-up duty too, so you’re not stuck washing dishes!

10. Schedule breaks.

Make time to rest and enjoy your family on Thanksgiving. You don’t need to slave away for hours in the kitchen only to eat and immediately clean up the entire mess. When you’re done, everyone will be heading home! Enjoy the parade, read to little ones, and savor a cup of tea with Grandma.



Photo Credit:


By Carrice A. Quinnie

The holidays are fast approaching, the first being Thanksgiving.   

Last night, I was thinking what approach I would have for this posting. I thought about my life and how thankful I was to be resting in a comfortable bed, with fabric softened sheets.  I’m alive and all my children and the majority of my family members are in good health.  I’m thankful now.  I don’t have to wait for a holiday to show “thankfulness.”  Matter fact, every day I say thank you before getting out of bed.  Not for any particular reason, just because I know it could be far worse.  I’m thankful for today and for the days past and the days to come.

Yes, Thanksgiving is a worldwide holiday of “thankfulness,” but how do you show “thankfulness” the other 364 days of the year?

I have to consistently remind my children to be thankful for what we have.  In America, sometimes, we can become consumed with materialism and the greed from more.  We have become a generation of consumers.  We’re never content or thankful, just in a competitive race for more stuff; the newest phone, the most expensive car.   We see other people’s lives and then we think their life is better.  Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it!  Be thankful for what you have! 

How do you show “thankfulness?”  Do you share or do you hoard and only try to accumulate more stuff?

Do you complain all day long about what you don’t have or do you appreciate and show joy for your life and current situation? Are you a good wife, husband, mother and father?  Or do you look at your family and children as a prison sentence?  Every opportunity you get, you’re out!  Never spending quality time together as a family…  I know as parents we have a hard job and we need time alone, but find a balance.

I know I ask a lot of questions, but the year is almost over and we need to start being honest with ourselves. 

Children do what they see, not what they hear! What examples are we showing our children about being thankful?

I’ve made a conscious effort to make each day – a good day.  From the moment I rise in the morning, I say thank you.  Thank you for my life and my family. This little speech makes a big difference; it sets a positive intention for my day. 

I can tell the people that live in continuous regret and un-thankfulness.  They walk around with a blank, empty stare.  They never connect to anything or anyone.  You can have a conversation with them and they look right through you, never making eye contact. Do you know people like this or are you that person? They’re always thinking about themselves.  What they don’t have or what went wrong.  (I honestly want to slap them out of it, but that would be assault.  So I write blogs instead!)

Let go of the past.   Be thankful for the present and make necessary changes to in hopes for a better tomorrow.

Be thankful every day; don’t pretend on Thanksgiving over an elaborate meal.  Be thankful – spend a night with your family. Be thankful – giving away lightly used clothes and shoes to the less fortunate and get involved with your community. Be thankful – give love to yourself and others.  Do something special for yourself at least once a month.    

We have two more months in 2015, have you shown “thankfulness” this year? What examples have you been for your families? I know I can do better.  So let’s all do better by being thankful, not just mindless consumers for more! Spend time with your family when possible.  The outside world can wait!  If there is no peace in the home, create the peace.   Be thankful for another day to make things right, with your husband or your wife. Be thankful for having the ability to feed your family.  Be thankful for breathing!  Some people have to breathe with the aid of machines!  Believe me, some of us are living good lives, but we don’t even know it, because we’re always complaining and wanting more and more.   Be the example of “thankfulness” and watch it spread through your homes and then into other parts of your lives.

I vow to have more family gathers in 2016! So, these last two months of 2015 show “thankfulness” every day! Start your day with a thankful intention and then spread it around.



Carrice Quinnie is native of Columbus, Ga.  She is a divorced, single-mother of three girls. By increasing in her own self-awareness, Carrice hopes her words will bring enlightenment and healing to other women and their families.

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Holiday Travel: Going out of Town without Going Broke

Holiday travel
Photo Credit:

Holiday Travel: 3 tips for going out of town without going broke

By Alicia Werle,

Its that time of year again when we start getting in the holiday spirit and start making travel plans for visiting loved ones or taking that much needed holiday vacation with the family.  Unfortunately it is also the time of year that airlines, hotels and cruise lines typical double and sometime triple their regular prices just because of demand.  Here are a few simple tricks on how to take advantage of the most savings and the best pricing that you can this season on all of your holiday travel now through January.

Tip #1:  Travel the World by Water

Whether you are looking to get out of the cold weather and go somewhere exotic or just be pampered by having someone make all of your meals and entertain you, cruises serve as one of the best ways to spend time together as a family over the holiday months.  

Most of you are thinking I am crazy right about now because when you look at cruise prices online they are sky high.  Well here is a little secret…… do not always have to book a cruise 12-18 months in advance to get the best prices.  In fact last minute bookings on cruises have been some of the best deals that I have ever seen.  

Here is another tip, cruise lines drop their pricing daily for unsold rooms even that are a month or two out.  The key is to be looking for them to drop as sometimes they only drop for a few hours.  I have seen a 7-night Caribbean Cruise listed at $900 one day and then the next day it drops to $350 for that exact same cruise for a few hours.  Make sure you register for Cruise Critic emails at to get daily emails on price drops between now and the time you are looking to travel.  You might be surprised to find that you can travel to somewhere you have always wanted to go at 50-80 percent off.

Tip #2:  Skip the Drive

If you are a family of 4 or more like we are, you are always looking for ways to save on travel.   More and more families like ours are opting to drive long distances to get to their travel destinations just to avoid the high cost of flights these days and baggage check in fees.  This holiday season you might want to skip the long drive and travel in style by air.  We have always been told that in order to get great prices on air travel you need to book your flights at least 6 months but more preferably 12 months in advance.   While this is sometimes true, this is not always the case.  

First of all one thing you need to know is that Tuesday is the best day of the week to shop for flights because most airlines typically key in cancellations on Monday nights.  You have to check early because the good flights will sell out at these prices fast and flights usually go back up the next day.  

Another tip is to use travel sites like Kayak and Hotwire as they will give you additional discounts on flights.   You can also check for Coupon codes at sites like Retail Me Not and Deals Plus.  One last trick you can and should do just to weigh out all of your options is call the airline and ask to speak with someone directly in sales.   Many times I have gotten the lowest and most aggressive pricing by skipping the third party companies and going directly to the airline themselves.

Tip #3  Get a Room with A View

This is the easiest one of them all.  The prices for booking a hotel during the holiday months probably vary more than any other type of travel.   If you search online you might get one price and if you call the hotel directly you will get a completely different price.  Knowing how and when to book your room can save you hundreds of dollars this holiday season.  If you want to get a room for $53 per night when everyone else is paying $179 or if you want to get an ocean view room at half the price of the regular room then apply these simple steps.

Typically prices drop on under booked rooms on Mondays and Tuesdays therefore those are the best days to book your hotel stay.  Using sites like and Hotwire can get you the most aggressive pricing at up to 80% off.   I can speak from personal experience as we do this no matter where we are traveling to.  

Here’s another little known secret — even when you are using these discounted sites to book your hotel stay, you can also use coupon codes with it to get an even larger discount off of your booking.   Most often there are coupon codes for $25 off of your $100 hotel purchase and other codes out there just waiting for you to take advantage of.   After all of this you are still not done.  Make sure when you check in at the hotel that you arrive earlier than normal and ask to have your room upgraded to a room with a view at no additional cost……….You will be happily surprised to see just how often this works!

I love the Christmas season and it is my absolute favorite time to enjoy traveling with my family.  Whether you want to hit the slopes this year, bask on a beach in the Caribbean somewhere or just enjoy time under the tree with family you only see once a year, make sure you use these 3 simple tips to travel this year without going broke.

Alicia Werle is the owner of Breaking Free Financial Seminars and Wee Blessing LLC. She teaches monthly seminars on how to actively become debt free through couponing.