"Enola Holmes" star Millie Bobby Brown, now 16, was cyberbullied while appearing in "Stranger Things." Her first season, she was only 12 and by 14 she had to shut down her Twitter account to escape the abuse. Recently she wrote: "... the inaccuracy, inappropriate comments, sexualization and unnecessary insults ... ultimately have resulted in pain and insecurity for me. But not ever will I be defeated."
Bravo! But tweens aren't always able to find the strength to deal with cyberbullying. According to a Tween Cyberbullying 2020, new report from Cartoon Network and the Cyberbullying Research Center, online abuse is a growing problem for younger kids now that 21 percent of 9-year-olds and 68 percent of 12-year-olds have an internet-enabled smartphone.
The report found 15 percent of tweens have witnessed cyberbullying; 6 percent have been cyberbullied many times; 8.5 percent report being cyberbullied once or twice. Among kids who've been targets, nearly 70 percent say it negatively impacted their self-esteem. Almost one-third said it affected their friendships, 13.1 percent said it affected their physical health and 6.5 percent said it impacted schoolwork.
The report urges parents to open up a dialogue with their tweens about the issue, and if they find their child is affected, to give unequivocal support, find out what your child wants to do about it and offer suggestions for stopping it from happening.
Visit these websites together for info on how to proceed: stopbullying.gov; National Bullying Prevention Center at pacer.org/bullying; and the Cyberbullying Research Center at cyberbullying.org.
Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer Emeritus at Cleveland Clinic. Email your health and wellness questions to Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizen at youdocsdaily(at sign)sharecare.com.
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.